Jordan's Muslim Brotherhood Leader Calls for Ouster of PM

2,000 protesters take to Jordan's streets demanding resignation of Prime Minister Marouf al-Bakhit.

The leader of Jordan's largest Islamist opposition group has called on people to topple the country's prime minister as 2,000 protesters took to the streets demanding he resign.

Anger has been rising over a decision by Jordanian lawmakers to clear Prime Minister Marouf al-Bakhit of involvement in a casino scandal during his previous 2005-2007 term.

Jordan protest - Reuters - 3.6.11

Muslim Brotherhood leader Hamam Saeed told nearly 500 people in a speech Friday that if Jordanians want "freedom," they must "rise against their corrupt" prime minister.

Jordan has been rocked by four months of street protests pressing for economic and political reforms and inspired by uprisings elsewhere in the Arab world.

The Muslim Brotherhood has made waves as of late, with rumors that the United States is engaging in dialogue with the Islamist group in Egypt.

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton clarified, however, on Thursday that the United States has not changed its policy toward the group, saying that the Obama administration “is continuing the approach of limited contacts with the Muslim Brotherhood that has existed on and off for about five or six years”.

The U.S. secretary of state added that “we believe, given the changing political landscape in Egypt, that it is in the interests of the United States to engage with all parties that are peaceful and committed to nonviolence, that intend to compete for the parliament and the presidency.”

Clinton therefore clarified that the Obama administration welcomes dialogue, but only “with those Muslim Brotherhood members who wish to talk with us”.