04/14/2016, 09.32
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Jordan shuts down Muslim Brotherhood headquarters

The measure carried out on the orders of the capital’s governor. There are no official explanations for the closure. The Brotherhood and its political wing are the primary internal opposition movement. King Abdullah II is financing the restoration of the tomb of Christ in the Holy Sepulchre Church.

Amman (AsiaNews / Agencies) - The Jordanian police have shut down the headquarters of the country's main opposition movement, the Muslim Brotherhood (MB), on the orders of Amman’s governor. There are no official reasons to explain the closure, which has angered the leaders of the Islamic extremist group.

The Muslim Brotherhood enjoy strong support in urban areas in Jordan and its political wing, the Islamic Action Front (IAF), today is the most important opposition party.

In 2014 the movement was divided internally into two factions: the original, with a radical vision of politics and Islam, and a more moderate. Yesterday’s police raid targeted the headquarters of the fundamentalist faction.

Muslim Brotherhood spokesman, Badi al Rafaiah, said he was "surprised" by the "move of the Department of Public Security." He speaks of "several policemen and security agents who intervened ... broke down the door and kicked out all the staff, with orders to close the center" without providing "any explanation".

In recent months has seen the advance of extremist Islamic groups in the Middle East and in Jordan, which had to date been a model of interfaith coexistence and secular state, Relations between the authorities and brotherhood have rapidly deteriorated. The Islamic Action Front (IAF) boycotted the last parliamentary elections, accusing the system of marginalizing nonaligned political parties. Last year one of the Mb leaders was arrested for criticizing the United Arab Emirates, Amman’s allies, in the first case of "political" arrest of a leading figure in the country.

Meanwhile,  in an edict the king of Jordan announced his decision to finance the restoration of the tomb of Christ in the church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem. A decision that confirms, once again, the secular and multi-religious vision leader of the Hashemite kingdom.

In a letter sent on 10 April to the Orthodox Patriarchate of Jerusalem, King Abdullah II announced his intention to participate in the restoration, emphasizing that he "is and will remain a faithful guardian and custodian of Muslim and Christian holy places in Jerusalem."

The restoration was possible thanks to an agreement reached between the three main denominations (Greek-Orthodox, Latin and Armenian) that coexist in the Basilica. Commenting on the decision Msgr. William Shomali, Latin Patriarchal Vicar of Jerusalem, spoke of "good news of a highly symbolic value, since the Holy Sepulchre is the most sacred place for Christians of all denominations”.

"This decision - adds the prelate - shows the King’s goodwill towards Christians and his constant concern to preserve the heritage of Christianity."

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