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Jordan Shuts Down Muslim Brotherhood Branch

A man photographs the main entrance of the original Muslim Brotherhood office, that is sealed with official wax after it was raided and shut down by police, in Amman, Jordan, April 13, 2016.

Jordanian police shuttered the main office of the Muslim Brotherhood group in the capital, Amman, Wednesday, saying its leadership, affiliated with the now-banned Egyptian branch, had not applied for a license. The group split into two competing factions several months ago.

Jordanian police and security forces officially shut down the main headquarters of the Muslim Brotherhood group, sealing its doors with red wax. Officials and employees of the pro-Egyptian faction were asked to leave the facility before it was closed.

Mo'ath Khawaldeh, spokesman of the Brotherhood faction which controls party headquarters, told journalists outside the building that the action came as a complete shock.

He said the move was taken without warning and that it was an aggressive step by the government which he terms “illegal” and “undemocratic.”

The Jordan Times newspaper reported that two competing factions of the Muslim Brotherhood were vying for control of the group and that leaders occupying its headquarters had never officially applied for a license to operate. A new rival faction, which has broken with the now-banned Egyptian branch, has applied for a license.

Member of parliament Jamil al-Nemrawi told Arab media that the Muslim Brotherhood flouted the law for years and refused to apply for a license to correct its legal status.

Nemrawi said the group refused to comply with a 2012 law demanding that it stipulate if it were social, educational or non-profit and that it never received permission to hold elections. He added that a new rival faction went ahead and complied with the law, giving it precedence over the old leadership.

Qatari-owned al-Jazeera TV, which is seen by some as a supporter of the Muslim Brotherhood, said Jordan was trying to close down the historic leadership of the group, in a move similar to what was done in Egypt, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.

The Jordanian branch of the Muslim Brotherhood was founded in 1946, 18 years after establishment of the group in Egypt by founder Hassan al-Banna. It was granted permission to operate by King Abdullah in 1953.

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