Jordan arrests Brotherhood clerics

Jordanian authorities have arrested top officials of the Muslim Brotherhood, Aljazeera correspondent reports.

    Prime Minister Al-Fayiz (L) met Brotherhood officials recently

    Two executive committee members, former MP Ahmad al-Kafawin and Ahmad al-Zarqan were among the 30 arrested on Thursday and Friday.


    Two other ex-MPs Ibrahim Zayid al-Kilani and Ahmad al-Kufahi were taken to hospital after a heated argument with security forces, the correspondent said.


    Speaking to Aljazeera, Dr al-Kilani who is head of association of scholars at the Jordanian Islamic Action Front confirmed the arrests.


    He said police raided his house at 12.45am (2145 GMT) on Friday. "I was asked to meet police chief and the governor when none of them would be on duty at that time. The police actually wanted to detain me," he said.


    Gag plans


    The arrest campaign was part of the government's plans to gag those calling for jihad, opposing normalisation with Israel, the US occupation of Iraq and against aiding US forces with soldiers, goods and weapons, al-Kilani said. 


    Jordan's Interior Ministry officials
    have confirmed the arrests

    The government, complying with American orders, prevented scholars from delivering sermons, he said.

    "I was the ex-dean of Sharia (Islamic Law) faculty and a professor of Sharia so how could they prevent me from teaching?" he asked.


    The campaign of arrest is a conspiracy to prevent preachers fighting the US presence in Iraq and the Zionist project of "judaising" Palestine, al-Kilani said.


    "It is a violation of the Jordanian constitution which bans violating the sanctity of peoples' houses at night and asking them to go to police stations. The constitution protects individuals, their houses and dignity but the police violated that," he said.  


    Attacking sermons   


    The arrests came as the Brotherhood's preachers attacked US policies in their sermons.


    Several other members of the Brotherhood were also detained briefly. They were released after obtaining a signed pledge not to deliver speeches or teach in mosques.


    Aljazeera's correspondent said the action by the Jordanian government comes as it moves to restrict preaching in mosques to religious clerics authorised by the Jordanian Ministry of Endowments.

    The group says it is being gagged 
    for opposing US forces in Iraq

    Interior Ministry officials said the government would not tolerate Muslim preachers whose sermons incited violence against Western targets and inflamed anti-US feelings. 


    Government spokeswoman Asma Khadir confirmed several clerics had been arrested in the last two days for "abusing podiums to attack government policies and the country's political leaders".


    Reacting to the arrests, Abd Al-Majid Thunaybaat, a senior official of the Muslim Brotherhood in Jordan told Aljazeera: "It seems the campaign has been initiated by those not interested in the welfare, security and stability of this country." 


    He said the campaign was aimed at targeting the Islamic movement locally and internationally. "The method and timing of the arrest indicates that it is part of a campaign to curb the Brotherhood, its ideals and mission," he added.

    Wahdaat incident

    The campaign started three months ago when the Brotherhood was falsely accused of burning the Jordanian flag in what was called the "Wahdaat incident", an allegation which was proved false, said al-Majid Thunaybaat.


    "The method and timing of the arrest indicates that it is part of a campaign to curb the Brotherhood, its ideals and mission"

    Abd Al-Majid Thunaybaat,
    Muslim Brotherhood official

    Then came the assault on the former MP al-Fityani and his colleague, the attorney Hikmat al-Rawashda, followed by preventing the Brotherhood from its activities, he said.


    Following this, the Brotherhood's representatives met Jordanian Prime Minister Faisal al-Fayiz and a group of ministers. 


    At the meeting, the prime minister promised to resolve the issue of the Brotherhood's preachers returning to the mosque for their tasks. Some preachers went back to their sermons. But they were arrested and this is unjustified, al-Majid Thunaybaat said.

    SOURCE: Aljazeera + Agencies


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