Foreign Policy Blogs

Is the Hashemite Monarchy a good partner in the war against Islamic State?


The Hashemites claim to be part of the U.S.-led coalition against Islamic State, but evidence has emerged showing that the regime is tied to the Muslim Brotherhood, who supports Islamic State.

As we speak, the Hashemite Monarchy, alongside Bahrain, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, are allied with the United States in the struggle against Islamic State. According to I24 News, Queen Rania supports the U.S.-led airstrikes against Islamic State, stressing that it is the “fight for the future of the Middle East and Islam. It’s a fight that we have to win.” At the same time, the Hashemite regime is reportedly allied with the Muslim Brotherhood, who supports Islamic State.

JerusalemOnline previously reported that the Muslim Brotherhood is a legally registered charity in Jordan. They are openly allowed to collect donations for themselves and Hamas in mosques since 1970. They have their own television and radio station, while the secular opposition does not have such a privilege. Jordan’s king has admitted that the Muslim Brotherhood supported his family’s regime since 1970. Bassam Hadaddeen, Jordan’s Minister of Political Reform stated on Al Jazeera that the Muslim Brotherhood is part of the Hashemite regime.

In order to illustrate that the Muslim Brotherhood is allied with the Hashemite regime, Palestinian journalist Mudar Zahran emphasized: “During the revolution which seculars launched, including the November 2012 revolution, the largest in Jordan’s modern history, one million people took to the street, but for some reason the US media did not report on it. In Amman, they remained in the streets for three weeks. While this documented revolution happened, the Muslim Brotherhood went on TV and stated that they would not permit the king to fall. The Muslim Brotherhood chief in Jordan Salem Falahat said openly we cleansed the revolution against the king.”

Some officials in the United States appear to believe that supporting the Muslim Brotherhood is not contrary to fighting against Islamic State. However, Zahran explained to JerusalemOnline why such officials are mistaken in their outlook: “What most people don’t realize is that Islamic State is an offshoot of Muslim Brotherhood ideology. It’s not just an agreement of ideology or goal between the Muslim Brotherhood and IS. Islamic State is an extension of Al Qaeda.”

“Bin Ladin and Zaharawi are both former Muslim Brotherhood members,” Zahran stated. “Also the Muslim Brotherhood today does not hide its support for Islamic State. The Muslim Brotherhood’s de facto spokesman Sheikh Wajdi Ghunaim openly on youtube pledges support for Islamic State. The conclusion is that the Muslim Brotherhood at least supports Islamic State.”

“If the Muslim Brotherhood and the King are in such a partnership, how the king can be against IS while the Muslim Brotherhood headquarters is exactly four miles away from his palace,” Zahran pondered. “Can you be against the Soviet Union and have the International Communist Party next to your palace, especially in a country that has zero democracy?” Zahran believes that the only reason why Jordan joined the U.S.-led coalition is because the king has no control over his military who takes orders from the U.S. and thus would join the war with or without him: “That’s why he went on television 48 hours before the war started to save face.”

Nevertheless, just because the king joined the U.S.-led struggle out of necessity does not mean that he has changed his position towards the Muslim Brotherhood and this has affected the struggle against Islamic State, as IS terrorists have been permitted to march through the streets of Jordan under police protection: “the king is playing with fire. He lost his credibility and popularity with his Palestinian majority. He is paying a dangerous game to buy time in power. Eventually, it will backfire, but by that time he will live in the UK and everyone will have to deal with the outcome of terrorism.” In the interim, U.S. policymakers should seriously ponder whether the Hashemites are a reliable ally so long as they are aligned with the Muslim Brotherhood.



Rachel Avraham

Rachel Avraham is the CEO of the Dona Gracia Center for Diplomacy and the editor of the Economic Peace Center, which was established by Ayoob Kara, who served as Israel's Communication, Cyber and Satellite Minister. For close to a decade, she has been an Israel-based journalist, specializing in radical Islam, abuses of human rights and minority rights, counter-terrorism, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Azerbaijan, Syria, Iran, and other issues of importance. Avraham is the author of “Women and Jihad: Debating Palestinian Female Suicide Bombings in the American, Israeli and Arab Media," a ground-breaking book endorsed by Former Israel Consul General Yitzchak Ben Gad and Israeli Communications Minister Ayoob Kara that discusses how the media exploits the life stories of Palestinian female terrorists in order to justify wanton acts of violence. Avraham has an MA in Middle Eastern Studies from Ben-Gurion University. She received her BA in Government and Politics with minors in Jewish Studies and Middle Eastern Studies from the University of Maryland at College Park.