Polish media is reporting on small demonstrations that occurred over the weekend over the planned construction of a Saudi-financed mosque in central Warsaw. According to one report:
Despite a huge amount of coverage in the media, Saturday’s demonstrations for and against the planned mosque in Warsaw attracted only couple of hundred supporters, on either side of the conflict. Though police and media almost outnumbered the protestors, the demonstrations – three different ones in all – were noisy but peaceful. Chants of “Down with Jihad” and “Freedom for women” by the anti-mosque protestors mingled with “Stop Islamophobia” from the pro-mosque group led by members of Poland’s extra-parliamentary leftwing. A third group from the far-right All-Polish Youth stood to one side, their green flags fluttering in a bitter wind. The anti-mosque demonstration was organized by the Future of Europe foundation, who fear the Islamisation of the continent. They claim that the group which will control the mosque, the Polish Muslim League, has possible links to the jihadist Muslim Brotherhood. “We are not protesting against freedom of worship or the freedom of someone to believe in Islam or Allah,” said Jan Wojcik of Future for Europe. “But we have information that connects the [Saudi Arabian] investor with the Federation of Islam in Europe, which many researchers believe is connected with the Muslim Brotherhood. This is why we are afraid and we want the government to check this.” The mosque, or ‘Centre of Islamic Culture’, has been designed by KAPS Architekci, and the building site is located in close vicinity of the Blue City shopping centre, at the Zeslancow Syberyjskich roundabout, just to the west of the city centre. The three-story building will have an 18-metre high minaret where the Polish capital’s Muslim population can come to pray or attend one of the many cultural events which will take place at the building. Non-Muslims can also come and learn about Islam. The fact that the mosque is being financed by an unnamed Saudi investor doesn’t make Jan Wojcik feel any easier about the project. “We know that Saudi Arabia is spending a lot of money around the world spreading the word of [Islam fundamentalist] Wahhabism,” he told thenews.pl. On the other side of a police line – and the argument – were a smaller group of pro-mosque demonstrators who fear Wojcik’s protest may stir up anti-Muslim feeling within Poland. “There are already two mosques in Warsaw,” someone called Magda told us. “I believe in a multi-cultural Poland. The small Muslim minority in Warsaw, just 11,000 people, need a place where they can build their community,” she said. The Future of Europe foundation – which emphasizes that it has nothing against Islam as a religion, but is concerned about the rise of what they term “Islamo-fascism’ in Europe – has come up with what Jan Wojcik calls a “constructive proposal’ to end the conflict. “If [the Polish Muslim League]sign the Charter of Muslim Understanding then we have no problem with the mosque,” he said. The proposed charter, drawn up by an internationally recognized specialist in the Koran and Sharia law, was presented to the European Parliament in December 2006 and renounces religiously inspired violence and says that the position of women, for example, in Islamic culture is historical in nature and not doctrinal. Wojcik also wanted to disassociate his organisation from the handful of Catholic-nationalist All-Polish Youth who had also turned up to protest. “We told them to stand to one side,” he said. “These people are skinheads…” ….Members of the Polish Muslim League were not at the demonstration.
The web site of the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood carried an article on the controversy titled “Poland demonstrates Islamophobic sentiments.”
As of at least 2007 Samir Ismail, the head of the Polish Muslim League, is known to have also been the head of the Qualification Muslim Cultural Society referred to above as part of the Polish Muslim League and also the Polish member organization of the Federation of Islamic Organizations In Europe (FIOE), the umbrella organization for the European Muslim Brotherhood. A report on FIOE by the NEFA Foundation describes the organization 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 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.
It should also be noted that Dr. Ismail has been listed in FIOE documents as one of the heads of its Tarbiya (Education) Department along with Abou Shewarib (aka Abou Shewareb), currently under investigation by the German government as part of a Hamas fund-raising and money-laundering case and named in a 1997 media report as the head of Hamas in Berlin.
These connections between the Muslim League in Poland and the European Muslim Brotherhood were first reported by the GMBDW in an earlier post.