Top Muslim Brotherhood official sentenced to jail in Jordan

A Jordan military court sentenced a top Muslim Brotherhood official to 18 months in jail on Sunday for publicly criticizing the United Arab Emirates.

Zaki Bani Rushaid, the deputy head of Jordan’s branch of the Muslim Brotherhood, was convicted of “sourcing ties with a foreign country” after he was arrested in late November for writing an opinion piece published online in which he attacked the legitimacy of the UAE’s rulers and claimed they were supporters of terrorism, the New York Times reported.

The op-ed was a response to the UAE, a key financial backer of Jordan, labeling the Muslim Brotherhood a terrorist organization.

While Rusheid received his sentence Sunday in a court in Jordan, Egypt’s deposed president Mohamed Morsi, a high-ranking member of that country’s Muslim Brotherhood, sat in an Egyptian court to face charges of espionage, the Associated Press reported.

The Muslim Brotherhood was established in Egypt in 1928 by fundamentalists opposed to Middle East government ruling at the time and rose to become a political powerhouse by force, according to reporter Michael Isikoff, who traced the group’s history in a 2007 documentary “The Brotherhood” for PBS.