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Islamism / Muslim Brotherhood /
Arabic: ikhwān 'al-muslimīn

Jordanian Islamist organization started by the Egyptian, Hassan al-Banna, in the 1940's. Banna was the leader of the original Egyptian Brotherhood. The Jordanian Muslim Brotherhood is represented in politics through its sub-organization, the Islamic Action Front.
While the Brotherhoods of other Middle Eastern countries have been in opposition to the governments, the Jordanian branch has had a rather effective cooperation with the kings of Jordan. They supported king Hussein 1 through his first years, and were later allowed to have large influence in national politics.

1942: Hassan al-Banna starts to set up Brotherhood branches all over Transjordan.
1948: After the Egyptian Brotherhood is banned, hundreds of brothers seek refuge in Transjordan.
1954: Just as in 1948, many leading brothers seek refuge in Jordan (as it is now named) after a second ban on the Egyptian brotherhood.
1950's: As President Nasser of Egypt tries to overthrow King Hussein, the brothers of Jordan are encouraged to join forces with the King. When the King reemphasis that his predecessors were guardians of the holy places in Mecca, his popularity among the brothers is secured.
1956: Demonstrations from the political opposition against the King, in which the brothers take his side.
1957: When political parties are banned in Jordan, the Brotherhood is exempted.
1970's: The King allows the Jordanian brothers to help provide miliary traing for Syrian brothers.
1989: The Brotherhood participates in the parliamentary elections through their political wing, the Islamic Action Front. They become the largest group, with 23 out of 80 seats, and work closely with 9 more representatives who describe themselves as independent Islamists.
1993: King Hussein 1 fears that the Brotherhood might become too strong in the parliament, so the election law is changed. The Brotherhood accepts this, but still manages to become the largest group in the parliament.
1994: The first ideological breach of any proportion between the Brotherhood and the King takes place with the signing of the Jordanian-Israeli Peace Treaty. The Brotherhood strongly opposes this.

By Tore Kjeilen