The extremist and often violent global movement known as the Muslim Brotherhood has been dealt a severe blow as five judges in a top court in the Kingdom of Jordan decreed the organization illegal and has now been dissolved.
This follows moves in recent years by other Arab countries such as Egypt, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain to ban the radical organization and brand them as terrorists. Members of the Brotherhood assassinated Egyptian President Anwar el-Sadat in 1981. In 1987, Palestinian terrorists in the Gaza Strip formed an offshoot of the Brotherhood which they named “Hamas,” with the mission of annihilating Israel off the map.
Turkey and Qatar, by contrast, actively support the Brotherhood both financially and politically.
The Trump administration has been considering designating the group a terrorist organization – a move backed by a number of Evangelical leaders, myself included – but has not yet come to a decision.
Sheikh Hamza Mansur, head of the Jordanian organization’s ruling council, told Agence France Presse his group would appeal the ruling.
“The Muslim Brotherhood…is a model of moderation and an important element in strengthening national unity, so dissolving it is not in the national interest,” he told AFP.
However, senior Jordanian officials tell me they have never seen the group as moderate. They allowed it to register legally in 1946 and operate openly ever since. But this was not because its goals were compatible with Jordanian national security. Instead, the objective was to keep the Brotherhood above ground where it could be watched and monitored. Operating as the “Islamic Action Front Party,” the Brotherhood has even been allowed to participate in elections.
“During the elections of the current 18th Jordanian parliament, candidates from the Islamic Front won 15 of the 130 seats,” reported Arab News. “New elections are expected this Fall, although no official decision or royal decree has been issued about this.”
Started in Egypt in 1928 by a radical preacher and school teacher and named Hassan al-Banna, the Muslim Brotherhood over the past century has spread around the globe and emerged as the world’s largest Sunni political Islamist movement.
Reacting to the collapsed of the Ottoman Empire just a few years earlier – the heart of the Islamic caliphate in the world for six centuries – al-Banna called for the reestablishment of purely Islamic control of the Middle East and North Africa and the subjection of all Christians, Jews and other non-Muslims.
Such goals – violent and globalist in nature – were clearly stated in his hundreds of books, pamphlets and speeches.
In one book, al-Banna wrote:
- “Our sincere brothers are requested to work according to the following steps….Liberation of the homeland from all unIslamic or foreign control, whether political, economic or ideological….”
- “Rebuilding the prominence of the Islamic Umma [family or nation] by liberating its lands, reviving its glorious heritage, and uniting its countries so that one Islamic Caliphate can be established….”
- “[T]he Muslim brother persists in his Jihad to achieve his goal….Thus, he will come to either of two great ends – victory or martyrdom, in the way of Allah.”
By the 1950s, its estimated the Brotherhood had some 500,000 members in Egypt.
The Egyptian military long warned its civilian leaders that if the Brotherhood were allowed to operate legally, it would eventually take over the country. The group was thus banned in Egypt for decades. During the Arab Spring uprising in 2011 and the fall of President Hosni Mubarak, the Brotherhood did rise to power.
A Brotherhood leader, Mohamed Morsi, was elected President of Egypt in 2012, calling for the establishment of all of Hassan al-Banna’s objectives.
“The Qur’an is our constitution, the Prophet is our leader, jihad is our path and death in the name of Allah is our goal,” Morsi said in a campaign speech at Cairo University.
Morsi served as president from June 30, 2012 to July 3, 2013, when he was removed from power by the Egyptian military after millions of Egyptians, terrified by the actions he and his regime were taking, took to the streets demanding his removal.