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Jordan shutters Muslim Brotherhood headquarters

AMMAN, Jordan, April 14 (UPI) — Jordanian security forces shuttered Muslim Brotherhood headquarters in a show of force against the political opposition group.

The Brotherhood, the kingdom’s main opposition force, vowed to fight the closure, saying it came without warning or provocation. Unnamed Jordanian officials told The Jordan Times the group attempted to carry out “illegal” activities, including secret elections, and were possibly operating without a proper license. No further explanation was provided.

“We consider the move unlawful and politically motivated — any decision of that kind should be in the hands of the courts only,” Badi Rafaya, a Muslim Brotherhood spokesman, said.

The Brotherhood, a political movement that has repeatedly called for reform in Jordan, was founded in 1928. Its members are pushing for a move from secularism to guidelines established in the Koran.

The organization lost its official registration in 2015 when it failed to comply with new government requirements. It has been operating on the outskirts of the law since then.

Oraib al-Rantawi, director of the Al Quds Center for Political Studies, told the New York Times the closures may appear to be part of regional politics but are more likely domestic matters.

“Jordan joins other regional players,” he said, “but mostly the decision is an internal one with parliamentary elections approaching and the government feeling more like the group is not playing by the rules and registering legally.”

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