The Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan has been clamping down on the Brotherhood’s Islamic Action Front party for some time now, which has resulted in a significant decline in the political presence of the group in the kingdom. Despite all the group’s attempts to return to the political scene, it is facing obstacles from the ruling authority, which seems to be in line with the approach taken in a number of countries in the Arab and African region to ban the activities of the Brotherhood and even classify it as a terrorist group, as the Comoros recently did.
According to Jordanian media, this comes in the context of the Jordanian security services’ refusal on March 4 to grant the Islamic Action Front (IAF) a license to hold a meeting at a conference hall in Al-Hussein Sports City in the capital, Amman, to commemorate the Battle of Karameh that took place on March 21, 1968, which ended with the victory of the Jordanian army and the Palestine Liberation Organization against the Israeli army.
The Brotherhood-affiliated party has not yet issued any statement in response to the Jordanian authorities’ rejection of its request to hold this event, and this is to be expected, because the party seeks to avoid any clash with the government in light of its attempts to restore its influence in the country, which declined after the Jordanian authorities withdrew the Muslim Brotherhood’s license in March 2015 and instead granted it to a group of dissidents from the group who called themselves the Muslim Brotherhood Association. Additionally, in April 2016, the Jordanian security services closed the Brotherhood’s headquarters in Amman, because it was considered an illegal group that did not have a license to operate. In the end, the Islamic Action Front remained the only political and legal framework representing the Brotherhood in the Hashemite Kingdom.
It should be noted that the Muslim Brotherhood in Jordan, at the time of its inception in 1945, enjoyed good relations with the ruling regime, but this relationship has faced many obstacles over the past years due to the group’s desperate attempts to control the country, which has always been rejected by the ruling authority. This prompted the latter to take decisions that would enable it to reduce the Brotherhood’s penetration within Jordanian institutions, especially in unions, whether teachers or engineers, in addition to closing the group’s Quran memorization centers last year, through which the Brotherhood was promoting its extremist ideas.
In the context of the aforementioned, a number of observers revealed that the Jordanian security services’ decision to prevent the Brotherhood party from holding a conference comes as part of the pressure policy that the Kingdom has been pursuing for years to prevent any opportunity for the group’s arms to return to the scene and attract new elements to its ranks after the Brotherhood’s popular influence weakened over the past years, which resulted in it losing multiple elections, whether parliamentary or trade union elections.
Regarding the Brotherhood’s fears that the Kingdom of Jordan would classify them as a terrorist group like the rest of the countries in the region, Munir Adeeb, a researcher specializing in extremist movements and international terrorism, said in a special statement to the Reference that the Islamic Action Front is an authorized party that was approved by the Jordanian government. Therefore, it is not expected that Jordan would classify the Brotherhood as a terrorist group, given that the Kingdom previously allowed the Brotherhood to participate in the decision-making process, and the group’s leaders have committed themselves for years and at multiple times to work according to legal paths, unlike the Brotherhood in Egypt or other Arab countries.