Muslim Brotherhood to dissolve executive office – source

Muslim Brotherhood to dissolve executive office – source

AMMAN – Internal differences in the Muslim Brotherhood resurfaced this weekend and Islamist sources confirmed the group is poised to dissolve its executive office before the end of the month, sources said.

The expected decision would deliver another blow to reconciliation efforts within the group.

According to a source in the Muslim Brotherhood, the office will resign in an upcoming shura council session.

The news comes less than two weeks after the group’s shura council, its highest decision-making body, rejected the resignations of four members of the office to muzzle voices that called for holding early elections.

Rheil Gharaybeh, Mamdouh Muheisen, Ahmad Kafawin and Mohammad Qudah were told to return to duty awaiting further talks on the root cause of the internal dispute.

The four executives belong to the organisation’s so-called “dovish camp”, which has been pushing for an end to organisational links with Hamas. This request is fiercely opposed by the hawks, who represent a slight majority at the shura council.

The Brotherhood source, who requested anonymity, said the group is considering an initiative, proposed by a top Islamist figure, that would entail an organisational restructuring of the group’s permanent offices in a bid to settle the split.

Under the initiative, offices in the Palestinian territories would no longer be able to vote in the shura council or other influential bodies in Jordan, as a prelude to permanently severing ties with Hamas.

Dissolving the executive office would likely result in a truce, the source said, although the issue of ties with Hamas will remain a point of contention.

The hawks, who want ties with Hamas to remain unchanged, consider these ties necessary in order to combat alleged designs to make Jordan an “alternative homeland” for the Palestinians, while the doves, conversely, believe that ending the group’s links with Hamas would quell such fears.

Tayseer Fityani, a former MP and top Islamist figure, called the differences “healthy” and said they would lead the group to become better organised.

“The differences raised awareness of the need to change the criteria for selecting leadership. Members now want leaders who present to them a programme and an agenda that satisfies their aspirations,” he told The Jordan Times, insisting that the group has yet to make a decision on its ties with Hamas.

“All options remain under discussion. It is difficult to say what direction the group will take,” he added.

While there has been friction between party hawks and doves over the past two years over the Hamas issue, a recent meeting of the shura council proved to be the catalyst for the current crisis.

The resignations came less than a week after an internal political report was leaked following a shura council meeting aimed at getting hawks and doves to settle their differences over internal and external policies.

No one was singled out for blame after the report was leaked, but fingers were pointed indirectly at the political office, led by Gharaybeh, who is said to have drafted the report.