JAFFA, Israel – Muslim Brotherhood offices in Jordan were shut down on Wednesday by state authorities.
No reason was given for the sudden crackdown on the Islamic movement, which recently cut ties with sister chapters in the Arab world and Egypt in particular, in a bid to redefine itself as a local grassroots movement.
The Jordanian police raided the movement’s offices in Amman and evicted its employees, including the chairman, Zaki Bni Ershed.
Badi Rafayaa, a spokesperson for the movement, said they were taken aback by the sudden move and are planning to wage a legal battle against it.
Rafayaa added that there has been a “regional interest” in undermining the movement over the last few years.
“We are not a political party, and our presence in the kingdom has lasted for 70 years,” he said. “We are an integral part of Jordanian society and everybody recognizes that. We have representatives in state institutions too.”
“Only three years ago,” he went on to say, “the king met with our representatives, and we keep in contact with the state.”
In Egypt, the Muslim Brotherhood was outlawed and declared a terrorist organization following the ouster of its leader, Mohammed Morsi, from the presidency in 2013.
The movement, the largest of its kind in the Arab world, has also been banned in Saudi Arabia and the UAE.
In Israel, there are two affiliated movements. One is a political party with three representatives in the Knesset as part of the Joint (Arab) List party. The other, headed by Sheikh Raed Salah, was outlawed a few months ago for incitement to violence.