Jordan’s “Ghannouchi”

By: Mohammad Aburumman

تم نشره في Tue 10 May / May 2016. 11:32 PM
  • Mohammad Aburumman

Jordanian Islamists have to review the leaping developments undergone by their brethren Islamist “Nahda” movement in Tunisia carefully, particularly the declaration by movement leader Rached Ghannouchi, inferring the movement has wholly transformed into a national political party, with the political and missionary components totally apart.

Of course, this is not the first time Islamists have gone to separate those two components; the Moroccan experience in this field precedes, as the “Justice and Development” party there is invested fully and solely in political affairs, while the “Unification and Reform” movement takes on the missionary and religious tasks. It is prohibited to mix the two discourse, there, at all, in party lists, as clergy and sheikhs are not allowed to register in the party; the party has its specialized political body.

But the practical value of Tunisian expertise, and its intellectual indications, outstand those of the Moroccan one, as it has gone beyond separating missionary and political roles of the movement, to drawing a clear line between clergy in civil society and political members in a party with a distinct national agenda, reconciling with the modern state, and fully integrating in its national, subjective aspects.

Prominent Tunisian thinker, Salaheddine Jourchi, points to a belated reconciliation between the Tunisian Nahda movement and the Tunisian Bourguiba doctrine; the methods of Bourguiba himself, years after his death, despite the historic and ideological contradiction between the two; the Movement accepted the personal status laws, and made good with secular parties, having entered into deep partnerships with “Bourguibians”, in the “Nidaa Tounes” Party!

The dilemma of Islamists in Jordan, as they pass this unprecedented historic “hole” of a predicament —in terms of relations with the State as well as their management of their no-longer internal conflicts, with the major recent splits— is that they still see the situation in Egypt and deny it; that the Brotherhood’s failure there was, besides the coup, caused by subjective, internal factors. On the other hand, they turn away from the successful, pragmatic, smart course led by Tunisian “Nahda” approach, having manoeuvred the minefield skilfully, as opposed to falling into the same hole Egyptian Islamists fell into; Jordanian Islamists to follow!

Conservative Brotherhood leadership has driven the organisation through a sequence of errs; this is the same leadership that stood against accepting democracy, then against the formation of a political party (Islamic Action Front), later on attacking Erdogan and tainting him as a Mossad agent, a secular, and almost “expiating” him from Islam, only to have him become a great symbol for the Brotherhood. Such leadership does not have political sense, and does not have the enabling basis for political activity. This is the reason why the missionary and political components have to part.

Today, the challenge ahead of the Brotherhood seems like a suitable opportunity to make for an advanced stage; changing the rules of the game, by considering the Brotherhood a spiritual, intellectual, moral school, prefacing for the establishment of a multitude of civil society organisations, engaged in missionary and educationalist affairs, leaving political work, in totality, for the Islamic Action Front, to set the latter free from the former’s dominion and their accounts against the interests of the Front’s political agenda, as well as allowing for the preparation of qualified political activists, fully aware of the differentiation between the spheres of the Front’s political field, and missionary works, particularly in regards to public and discrete activity!

It is true that there are fears spreading among Islamists of the upcoming elections, like 2007; and they are legitimate. However, the progressiveness of the Party in public speech and discourse, declaring the separation discussed above, as well as getting more thoroughly involved in internal reformation, would in any way, lead them to new spheres, drive the party to overcome internal crises, and would preface reconciliation with a variety of political powers.

Regrettably, the greater lot of the Brotherhood’s leadership capable of lead them down the required course Ghannouchi did before, has splintered out of the Brotherhood. Yet, the greater populace retains majority for the current leadership, which still has members on board with the political awareness that requires much courage and pluck, but could bring about a new discourse.