Islamic Action Front

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Islamic Action Front

Jabhat al-'Amal al-Islami
جبهة العمل الإسلامي
LeaderHamza Mansour
Hamam Saeed
Islamic democracy
ReligionSunni Islam
International affiliationMuslim Brotherhood
Colours  Green
Chamber of Deputies
15 / 130
0 / 65
IAF official website

The Islamic Action Front (Arabic: جبهة العمل الإسلاميJabhat al-'Amal al-Islami, IAF) is an Islamist political party in Jordan. It is the political wing of the Muslim Brotherhood in Jordan.

Founded in 1992 with 350 members, Engineer Ahmed Azaida, Dr. Is'haq Farhan and Dr. Abdul Latif Arabiyat were the main force behind the formation.[1]

Sheikh Hamza Mansour is the chief of the IAF and has declared the organization's intentions as wanting "to be treated as free men" and as wanting "relations with the US based on mutual respect", while questioning US Administration's motives in the Middle-East and around the World.[1]


The IAF is known for its support for the Palestinians against the Israelis and defends Hamas, the Palestinian and military branch of the Muslim Brotherhood, banned in Jordan since 1999 for "disrupting" Jordan's peace treaty with Israel. They support the Palestinian cause and oppose bilateral ties with Israel. In 1997, three years after Jordan's peace accord with Israel, IAF boycotted Parliamentary elections, citing manipulation by the government.[2]

At the legislative elections, 17 June 2003, the party won 20 out of 84 seats. All other seats were won by non-partisans. The National Democratic Block did not win any seats.

During the August 2007 municipal elections, IAF withdrew their 25 candidates up for election, accusing 'the authorities of manipulating votes cast by military personnel who were taking part in municipal elections for the first time.[3]

The voter turnout for the election was a record-low 51%, but IAF still won four contests, including two mayoral races.[citation needed]

Four months later, the IAF fielded 22 candidates for the Jordanian national elections held on November 20, 2007. Of its 22 candidates, only six won parliamentary seats in the elections, marking the lowest showing of the Islamist party since the resumption of parliamentary life in Jordan in 1989.

The IAF attributed its loss to the government overlooking illegal practices such as vote buying, the transfer of large numbers of votes, and inserting large numbers of voting cards in ballot boxes[4] Nevertheless, a few days after the election, the Muslim Brotherhood (the social organization that informs the IAF’s platform and whose political branch the IAF is considered to be) dissolved its Shura Council and started preparing for internal elections to take place within six months.

In 2009, the deputy secretary of the party declared that the Pope was not welcome in the kingdom after plans were announced for Pope Benedict XVI to visit the country.[5]

In 2012, Rohile Gharaibeh, a former senior IAF official, established the Zamzam Initiative, an organization with the stated goal of ending the Brotherhood's "monopoly on Islamic discourse" and promoting a more inclusive, indigenous Islam that does not "alienate the public."[6] However, the Brotherhood's Shura Council responded by prohibiting members from interacting with the new group."[7]

In 2015, the IAF was split between reformists and nonreformists, resulting in the party terminating the membership of seven members: Abdul Majeed Thneibat, Qassem Taamneh, Mamdouh Muheisen, Khalil Askar, Ali Tarawneh, Jaber Abul Hija and Mohammad Qaramseh.[8] As a result, they formed the new Muslim Brotherhood Society, who will join the National Initiative for Building.

In December 2015, around 400 members resigned from the IAF, including Hamzeh Mansour, a former Secretary-General of the organisation.[9]


The Islamic Action Front is somewhat less radical than Islamist parties in some other countries since 2015.[10] For example, they recognize democracy, pluralism, tolerance of other religions, and women's rights as key to Jordan's development process and they do not support extreme revolutionary movements or any kind of Muslim extremism and brutality groups such as ISIS. The IAF's support base is primarily Palestinians residing in Jordan. Most members of IAF are of Palestinian origin. The IAF act as the conservative element in Jordan's Parliament, representing the traditional segment of society.[citation needed]

Ibrahim Zeid Keilani, a former Minister of Awqaf and Islamic Affairs, served for a long time as the head of the Sharia Ulema Committee of the party.[11]

Within the IAF Abu Zant called himself the leader of the most radical section of the party.[12] He had a sizeable group of followers.[13][vague]

Electoral results[edit]

Jordanian Parliament[edit]

House of Representatives
Election year # of
overall votes
% of
overall vote
# of
overall seats won
+/– Position Outcome Leader
17 / 80
1st Opposition
1997 Boycotted
0 / 80
16 / 110
1st Opposition
6 / 110
1st Opposition
2010 Boycotted
0 / 110
2013 Boycotted
0 / 150
15 / 130
1st Opposition
10 / 130
1st Opposition

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Jordan's Islamic Front rallies Muslims
  2. ^ Jillian Schwedler, Faith in Moderation: Islamist Parties in Jordan and Yemen. Cambridge 2006.
  3. ^ "Jordan: Islamic opposition urges king to cancel municipal elections results".
  4. ^ (in Arabic).
  5. ^ "Islamists To Pope: Define Your Position on Islam, Peace".
  6. ^ "Down and Out in Amman: The Rise and Fall of the Jordanian Muslim Brotherhood". Retrieved 2016-01-22.
  7. ^ "The Implosion of Jordan's Muslim Brotherhood". Retrieved 2016-01-22.
  8. ^ "Members of new Muslim Brotherhood society to join 'planned Zamzam political party'". Jordan Times. November 4, 2015.
  9. ^ Khetam Malkawi (31 December 2015). "Hundreds, including top leaders, abandon Islamist party". The Jordan Times. Archived from the original on 31 December 2015. Retrieved 31 December 2015.
  10. ^ Timreck, Sarah (13 December 2017). "The Islamist Spectrum - Jordan's Mosaic". Wilson Center. Retrieved 13 May 2020.
  11. ^ "Jordanian Islamists Outraged over Saturday Day Off". Al Bawaba. 1 February 2000. Retrieved 21 October 2013.
  12. ^ Lamar Smith (1 November 2001). Terrorist Threats to the United States: Congressional Hearing. DIANE Publishing. p. 28. ISBN 978-0-7567-1725-4.
  13. ^ Jillian Schwedler (19 June 2006). Faith in Moderation: Islamist Parties in Jordan and Yemen. Cambridge University Press. pp. 92–. ISBN 978-0-521-85113-8.

External links[edit]