Various media sources are reporting the two major European Jewish organizations boycotted a meeting of EU officials and European religious leaders over the inclusion of leaders of the European Muslim Brotherhood. The meeting was co-hosted by the presidents of the European Commission and the European Parliament. According to one report:
…the conference of European Rabbis (CER) declined the invitation to attend the interfaith gathering with the support of the European Jewish Congress (EJC), while Rabbi Levi Matusof, a representative of the interests of Jewish communities in Europe, was present. “It is inappropriate that organizations such as the Federation of Islamic Organizations in Europe, or individuals who in the past made, or endorsed, anti-Semitic statements and who are clearly linked to the radical Islamist movements such as the Muslim Brotherhood should be present at such gatherings,” said Rabbi Aba Dunner, executive director of the CER. …“At the very root of any meaningful interfaith dialogue is the critically important issue of tolerance, acceptance and mutual respect. Sadly, today’s European interfaith gathering reflects neither that spirit nor its practice,” EJC President Moshe Kantor said in a statement.“Instead, whether by oversight or by deliberate action, three of the four Muslim invitees taken by Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso and European Parliament President Hans-Gert Pöttering included Muslim representatives who have links to organizations affiliated with the international Muslim Brotherhood, an extremist organization known for supporting jihad against the West”. “This undermines the important interfaith efforts that so many European leaders have worked to strengthen,” the EJC said. The Jewish group particularly mentioned the presence at the meeting of Prof.Tariq Ramadan, who, it said, “is a divisive and conflicted individual who has been known for promoting and defending the ‘clashes of civilizations’ ideology.””There is simply no excuse for those who either preach hate or are affiliated with extremist religious organizations to be invited to any official interfaith gathering in Europe, especially under the patronage of the Presidents of the European Union and the European Parliament,” it said.
A report by the NEFA Foundation on the Federation of Islamic Organizations in Europe (FIOE) characterizes the group as follows:
The Federation of Islamic Organizations in Europe (FIOE) claims to be an independent organization representing the interests of Muslims in Europe. In reality, the FIOE is an umbrella group that comprises the global Muslim Brotherhood in Europe. Strong links connect FIOE’s leadership central institutions and member organizations to the Brotherhood, as well as to Saudi Arabia. Funding for the FIOE is derived largely from Gulf sources, including some of the ruling families of the United Arab Emirates. The FIOE has strong ties to Hamas and Hamas fund-raising organizations, and some FIOE member organizations show evidence of links with Al-Qaida. The FIOE has recently opened a headquarters office in Brussels and has had some success in positioning itself as a “dialog partner” for the EU and other important institutions.
Tariq Ramadan is perhaps best described as an independent power center within the global Brotherhood with sufficient stature as the son of Said Ramadan and the grandson of the founder of the Muslim Brotherhood to challenge positions taken by important Brotherhood leaders. His statements and writings have been extensively analyzed and he has been accused by critics of promoting anti-Semitism and fundamentalism, albeit by subtle means. On the other hand, his supporters promote him as as example of an Islamic reformer who is in the forefront of developing a “Euro Islam.”