by Khaled Abu Toameh
What is clear by now is that no matter how much the king does to fight corruption and implement reforms, the Muslim Brotherhood will continue to argue that it is not enough. Many Arabs feel that President Obama's endorsement of the Muslim Brotherhood has emboldened the Islamists and increased their desire to drive moderate and secular rulers out of the Middle East. Unless the US administration stops flirting with the Muslim Brotherhood, Jordan will be turned into an Islamic republic.
Jordanian government officials say there are growing signs that the kingdom's powerful Muslim Brotherhood organization has plans to overthrow the regime.
The organization, according to the officials, has succeeded in hijacking the anti-corruption and pro-democracy protests that have swept Jordan over the past year.
Today, most of the anti-regime demonstrations throughout the kingdom are being initiated and led by Muslim Brotherhood supporters whose goal is to turn Jordan into an Islamic republic.
Many Arabs feel that President Barack Obama's endorsement of the Muslim Brotherhood has emboldened the Islamists and increased their appetite to drive moderate and secular rulers out of the Arab world.
King Abdullah has good reason to be worried about the Muslim Brotherhood's efforts to hijack the pro-reform drive in the kingdom. This concern was reportedly one of the main reasons that the monarch replaced Prime Minister Awn Khasawna -- a staunch supporter of rapprochement with Muslim Brotherhood and its Palestinian sister-movement, Hamas -- a few weeks ago.
In a bid to appease the anti-corruption and pro-democracy campaigners, King Abdullah has also taken a number of unprecedented measures against a number of senior government officials suspected of embezzling public funds and abusing their powers. The king has replaced three prime ministers since the "Arab Spring" began and has thrown a number of former officials into prison, but all this has not satisfied the Muslim Brotherhood.
What is clear by now is that no matter how much the king does to fight corruption and implement reforms, the Muslim Brotherhood will continue to argue that this is not enough.
"They have learned from the Egyptian experience, where Muslim Brotherhood also hijacked the anti-regime protests that were triggered by secular and genuine reformists," explained a senior Jordanian government official in Amman.
Another Jordanian official said that his government has proof that "outside forces" were backing Muslim Brotherhood's scheme to "spread chaos and anarchy in the kingdom" by exploiting demands for reform and democracy.
The official pointed out that some representatives of Muslim Brotherhood recently visited Turkey, where they reportedly met with former CIA deputy director Steven Kappes and former British MI5 chief Eliza Manningham-Buller.
Osama Rantisi, a prominent Jordanian journalist and political analyst, claimed that Kappes and Manningham-Buller pledged in the meeting that "the US government and its intelligence services will support the Muslim Brotherhood goals of reaching power."
The claim has been vehemently denied by both the US government and Muslim Brotherhood.
Muslim Brotherhood leaders say the report about a conspiracy backed by the US and Britain to help the group topple King Abdullah's regime is part of a smear campaign waged by Jordan's General Intelligence Department.
Some Jordanians have also pointed to Iran and its proxy Hizbullah militia in Lebanon as being behind a Muslim Brotherhood scheme to stage a coup in the kingdom.
But while these efforts have persuaded many Jordanians to stop their street protests, Muslim Brotherhood supporters continue to stage protests and incite Jordanians against the regime.
What has particularly worried King Abdullah is that the Muslim Brotherhood has managed to "infiltrate" many powerful Jordanian tribes, which have always been known as traditional and staunch supporters of the monarchy.
Unless the US Administration stops flirting with Muslim Brotherhood, Jordan will be turned into a radical Islamic republic and a source of further instability in the Middle East.Khaled Abu Toameh
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