Supporters of Al-Jamaa al-Islamiya attend a rally in Sidon. (The Daily Star/Mohammed Zaatari)
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Al-Jamaa al-Islamiya, widely viewed as the Lebanese branch of the Muslim Brotherhood, is ready to cooperate with Hezbollah to prevent a much-feared Sunni-Shiite strife in Lebanon as a possible spillover of the 5-year-old war in Syria, the group's newly elected head said Tuesday.Azzam al-Ayyoubi also said Al-Jamaa plans to play a bigger political role in Lebanon, including establishing new relations with the Future Movement that have been strained largely by the latter's support for Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, whose government has banned the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, branding it a "terrorist" group. With Al-Jamaa planning to open up to other political parties, Ayyoubi was asked if the group is ready to cooperate with Hezbollah leader Sayyed Hasan Nasrallah's recent call to prevent sectarian strife in Lebanon as a consequence of a spillover of the war in neighboring Syria.Widely portrayed as the Lebanese branch of the Muslim Brotherhood, Al-Jamaa was first licensed in 1964 and it is seen as one of the strongest Sunni organizations in Lebanon.
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