The more things change, the more they stay the same: Jordanian Islamist responses in spring and fall

Brooking Institution - Rethinking Political Islam - September 30, 2015

David Patelis a Junior Research Fellow at the Crown Center.

Analysts often describe the historical relationship between the Hashemite monarchy of Jordan and the local branch of the Muslim Brotherhood as “symbiotic” and, compared to elsewhere in the Arab world, relatively non-confrontational. The Jordanian Muslim Brotherhood has never been driven underground; its leaders were never systematically jailed. Its organizations survived the banning of political parties under martial law in 1957, after which the movement operated openly as a registered charitable society and, in 1992, formed a political party. The Brotherhood was allowed, even encouraged, to expand throughout the Kingdom when it offered an alternative to pan-Arab and leftist movements that the monarchy considered a greater threat than political Islamism. In return, the Brotherhood never challenged the legitimacy of the Hashemite regime, including during the 1970-71 Jordanian Civil War and after the Israel-Jordan Peace Treaty of 1994. The consistency of this relationship differentiates the Jordanian Islamic Movement from its sister movements elsewhere, where periods of persecution and suppression by regimes impacted Islamists’ organization, leadership, strategy, and “habits of thought and behavior.” The “twin shocks” of the fall of Mohamed Morsi in Egypt and the rise of ISIS in neighboring Iraq and Syria have not fundamentally changed this relationship between Jordan’s Islamic movement and its monarchy. ... Read the Full Text