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Jordan takes sides in Islamist rift

The Jordanian government is supporting a Muslim Brotherhood breakaway society, thus deepening the divide within the group in Jordan.
Supporters of the Jordanian Muslim Brotherhood take part in a rally in Amman, celebrating what Hamas say is its victory in Gaza, August 29, 2014. Tens of thousands of the Brotherhood's supporters took part in the celebrations after an open-ended ceasefire, mediated by Egypt, took effect on  Tuesday evening between Israel and Palestinian militant groups in the Gaza Strip. Hamas presented the truce as a victory for the Palestinian people. REUTERS/Muhammad Hamed (JORDAN - Tags: POLITICS CIVIL UNREST CONFLICT)

A possible confrontation between the Muslim Brotherhood group in Jordan and the government was avoided through an uneasy truce, with both parties opting to take a step back in preparation for their next move. On April 30, a day before the group was to hold a public rally in an Amman suburb to mark seven decades of existence, the leadership acquiesced to government warnings and postponed the event indefinitely.

A last-minute meeting between representatives of the group and the minister of interior convinced the Muslim Brotherhood leadership that the government was serious about its decision to ban the rally and that it would use all available means to prevent it from taking place. But what is particularly interesting is that the governor of Amman, who delivered a stern message to the group ordering it to stop the event, also said that the new Brotherhood had applied for permission using the name and insignia of an existing society. This was the closest the government has ever come to hinting that the 70-year-old group was now illegal or unlicensed.

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