Whether the Muslim Brotherhood (the armed faction of the Islamic Action Front) practices forced recruitment of Palestinians for jihad; if it does, whether these Palestinians are citizens of Jordan, and whether the government has taken any measures to protect those being targeted for such recruitment (2004 - 2006) [JOR102175.E]

According to a renowned expert on the Middle East, and president of the consulting firm Near East Support Services, the Muslim Brotherhood in Jordan does not practice forced recruitment of Palestinians for jihad (12 Dec. 2006). He described the Muslim Brotherhood in Jordan as a "significant force" in the country with substantial Palestinian representation, but specified that it differs from Muslim Brotherhood organizations in other countries such as Egypt (President 12 Dec. 2006). The President of Near East Support Services explained that the Muslim Brotherhood in Jordan practices "soft recruitment" in cultural or religious milieus rather than "hard recruitment" in the manner of al Qaeda (ibid.). A 24 March 2006 news article states that the Muslim Brotherhood in Jordan focuses its activities on Palestinian refugee camps and regions populated by Jordanians of Palestinian origin (WLUML). In a 13 December 2006 telephone interview, a professor specializing in Middle Eastern politics at the University of Southern California stated that the Muslim Brotherhood is made up of both Palestinian and "East Bank" members; East Bank refers to Jordanians of Transjordanian origin.

According to the President of the Near East Support Services, the Muslim Brotherhood in Jordan is not a "terrorist" organization (12 Dec. 2006). In contrast, a 13 September 2006 news article describes religious edicts or "fatwas" issued by the council of the Muslim Brotherhood in Jordan as promoting jihad and holy war (Dow Jones Newswires 13 Sept. 2006). Another news article reports that Jordanian Prime Minister Marouf al-Bakhit asserted that extremist factions of the Muslim Brotherhood in Jordan are emerging (ibid. 3 July 2006). In September 2006, Jordanian King Abdullah II stipulated that stricter legislation is required to curb the proliferation of extremist ideas (AP 14 Sept. 2006). Following his statement, the Jordanian parliament approved a law specifying that only state-appointed Muslim scholars may issue religious edicts (ibid.; Jordan Times 14 Sept. 2006). With the approval of this legislation, the Muslim Brotherhood in Jordan is no longer permitted to issue religious edicts (Dow Jones Newswires 13 Sept. 2006).

Additional information on forced recruitment by the Muslim Brotherhood in Jordan or government protection for those individuals or groups that might be targeted by such recruitment practices could not be found among the sources consulted by the Research Directorate.

This Response was prepared after researching publicly accessible information currently available to the Research Directorate within time constraints. This Response is not, and does not purport to be, conclusive as to the merit of any particular claim for refugee protection. Please find below the list of additional sources consulted in researching this Information Request.

References


Associated Press (AP). 14 September 2006. Jamal Halaby. "Parliament Endorses Jordan's First Religious Edict Law to Rein in Islamic Extremism." (Factiva)

Dow Jones Newswires [New York]. 13 September 2006. "Jordanian Parliament Endorses Religious Edict Law." (Factiva)

_____. 3 July 2006. "Jordan Muslim Brotherhood Says Government Trying to Divide Group." (Factiva)

Jordan Times. 14 September 2006. Mohammad Ben Hussein. "Lower House Endorses Law Governing Fatwa Issuance." http://www.jordanembassyus.org/09142006002.htm [Accessed 12 Dec. 2006]

President, Near East Support Services. 12 December 2006. Telephone interview.

Professor, International Relations, University of Southern California (USC), Los Angeles. 13 December 2006. Telephone interview.

Women Living Under Muslim Laws (WLUML). 24 March 2006. "Jordan: Jordanian Women Face an Unequal Fight for Equal Rights." http://www.wluml.org/english/newsfulltxt.shtml?cmd%5B157%5D=x-157-530830 [Accessed 11 Dec. 2006]

Additional Sources Consulted


Oral sources: Professors of Middle Eastern politics at Appalachian State University, the University of Guelph and the University of Maryland did not provide information within the time constraints of this Response.

Internet sites, including: Alternative Information Center, Arab Studies Journal, BADIL Resource Center for Palestinian Residency and Refugee Rights, Center for Policy Analysis on Palestine, Center for Strategic Studies (University of Jordan), Collective for Research and Training on Develepment - Action (CRTD-A), Institute for Palestine Studies (IPS), International Journal of Middle East Studies (IJMES), The Jerusalem Fund, Journal of Palestine Studies [Berkeley], Middle East Institute (MEI), Middle East Policy Council, Middle East Studies Association, National Centre for Human Rights (NCHR), Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) REFWORLD, Palestinian Centre for Human Rights, Palestinian Development Gateway, Palestinian Human Rights Monitoring Group (PHRMG), Palestinian Initiative for the Promotion of Global Dialogue and Democracy, SHAML Palestinian Diaspora and Refugee Centre.