Islamic Action Front Party
The history of the Islamic movement in Jordan displays a glaring contrast with that of other Middle Eastern countries like Algeria, Egypt, pre-Rev-olutionary Iran, and Syria. In the latter cases, the relationship between the state and Islamic opposition has been characterized by a sequence of bloody confrontations. In Jordan, on the other hand, the Islamic movement, with the exception of some minor trends, has not only been predominantly peaceful and nonviolent but also defended the state vis-à-vis the challenges of radical ideologies. Following the democratization process launched by King Hussein and the emergence of political openness, the Muslim Brothers embraced the democratic rule of the game and began to participate in the 1989 elections and thereafter. What is more, to reconcile their belief in the sovereignty of the Shari&*ah and the secular framework established by the state, the Brothers made a keen political move by forming the Islamic Action Front Party (IAFP). The latter’s sole objective was to participate in the elections within the framework of the political parties law. This proactive move also provided additional political space for the pragmatic and moderate Islamic activists who otherwise might have left the Brothers for a more rewarding political career. The formation of IAFP has thus far hindered a split in the rank of the Brothers, even though the movement has become diversified and politically heterogeneous in recent years. This phenomenon is remarkable because the Jordanian Brothers have considerable ideological and organizational affinities with their counterparts in Egypt and Syria.
KeywordsWestern Civilization Middle Eastern Country Political Openness Radical Ideology Islamic Movement
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