AMMAN — The Islamist movement in Jordan is not Hizbollah, does not intend to develop an armed wing similar to the Lebanese Shiite group, and will maintain its peaceful approach during protests, a Muslim Brotherhood leader said on Monday.
Amid the growing tension between the Islamists and state agencies, the movement said yesterday that it will remain peaceful at all times, although its members came under attack during a recent rally at the northern city of Mafraq.
The Muslim Brotherhood’s political arm, the Islamic Action Front (IAF), believes in achieving reform through peaceful means, according to IAF Secretary General Hamzah Mansour.
But the authorities must not “take advantage of this position to draw the Islamists into confrontations”, IAF Spokesperson Jamil Abu Bakr told The Jordan Times over the phone yesterday.
“We have open channels of communication with the government, but there are certain powers who work very hard to block any proximity between the government and the Islamists,” he charged.
Following Friday’s rally in downtown Amman, which was described as the strongest show of force yet by its members, the movement dismissed claims that it is following in the footsteps of armed Islamists such as the Lebanese Hizbollah, describing such allegations as attempts to tarnish the Muslim Brotherhood’s image in Jordan.
“This is a manipulation of facts, we are not and will never be Hizbollah,” Abu Bakr stressed.
Friday’s rally was in response to an attack on a march led by the movement in Mafraq one week earlier that resulted in the burning of its headquarters in the northern city, an incident Islamist leaders claimed was orchestrated by security services.
The movement called on the government to exercise its full authority over all state agencies; otherwise, “there will be no real reform in Jordan,” Abu Bakr said.