Jordan's Islamists protest arrests

Sept. 11, 2004 at 10:13 AM
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AMMAN, Jordan, Sept. 11 (UPI) -- Jordan's Islamic movement Saturday threatened to take the government to court following a wave of arrests of Islamic leaders in the kingdom.

The head of the powerful Muslim Brotherhood Movement, Abdul Majid Thneibat, told United Press International the crack down in recent days on its leaders, unprecedented since the movement's establishment in Jordan in 1945, was illegal.

Jordanian authorities have issued arrest warrants for 39 of the Brotherhood's leaders and clerics on charges of violating mosque regulations, saying they did not obtain licenses to give sermons.

Thneibat, however, insisted the charges are aimed at "politically targeting the Islamic movement and not for violating the law of guidance," which requires permits for addressing worshippers in the mosques.

Condemning the arrests, he added his movement was making contacts with the prime minister, the interior minister and would seek an audience with King Abdullah to resolve the crisis.

Hamza Mansour, the spokesman for the Islamic Action Front, the political arm of the Muslim Brotherhood, accused the government of trying to "marginalize not only the Islamic movement, but the entire Jordanian national movement."

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