david patel

David Siddhartha Patel

Research Fellow at the Crown Center


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The Communal Fracturing of the Jordanian Muslim Brotherhood


David Siddhartha Patel
Middle East Brief 113, January 2018


Competing Muslim Brotherhoods, one legal and one illegal, now exist in Jordan. To coerce Islamists to participate and not boycott parliamentary elections, the Jordanian government effectively de-licensed the original organization and supported a group of Brotherhood dissidents who registered a rival “Society of Muslim Brothers.” In this Brief, David Siddhartha Patel argues that this strategy has had the unintended consequence of institutionalizing a pre-existing communal rift among Islamists. The new and licensed Muslim Brotherhood is overwhelmingly Transjordanian, while the original and now illegal organization is increasingly composed of only Palestinian-Jordanians. This communal divide, which is often misunderstood as reflecting primarily an ideological rift, will have serious, long-term implications for Jordanian society and politics if it leads to the conflation of anti-Muslim Brotherhood and anti-Palestinian sentiments in the Kingdom.

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