The Federation of Islamic Organizations in Europe (FIOE) has announced that its President Chakib Ben Makhlouf has visited the Gaza Strip on an extended tour where he visited Hamas facilities, praised Palestinian “martyrs, and visited the grave of Hamas spiritual leader Sheikh Ahmed Yasine who was killed by Israel. According to the FIOE announcement:
Mr Chakib Ben Makhlouf the president of FIOE visited Gaza Strip in an extended tour where he inspected the conditions of Palestinians and their civil institutions after three years since the Israeli war on the strip. During his visit, the FIOE president expressed the commitment of the European Muslims to support the Palestinian people and their legitimate rights. He also confirmed that the European Continent people and civil society have an increasing understanding of the Palestinians’ legitimate demands of freedom, justice, independence and an end to this inhumane siege and occupation. The visit included the Palestinian Legislative Council (Parliament) and a meeting with the acting speaker of the Parliament, Dr Ahmed Bahr, in addition to some heads of parliamentary committees. Talks dealt with the way of developing the Palestinian-European relations and strengthening the relations between the elected parliamentary members and the European civil society. The FIOE president reviewed the general status of the Palestinian Legislative council which had been targeted by Israeli raids. He understood the obstacles that the parliamentary life faces in Palestine, on top of which is the arrest of Dr Aziz Dweik the speaker of the parliament and dozens of parliament members to hinder its meetings and proceedings. The meeting also handled the current situation of the Palestinian issue and Jerusalem under occupation. It also dealt with the issue of settlements and racial segregation wall condemned internationally. The Palestinian minister of social affairs Ahmed Al-Kurd received the FIOE president in his office and explained the social status of Palestinians in Gaza Strip, their limited employment opportunities and the general difficult situation they live in. Discussions reviewed the development projects in various sectors and the requirements to develop the social position in Palestine. Mr Chakib Ben Makhlouf inspected a number of refugee camps in Gaza Strip and discovered the difficult conditions of those refugees who represent the majority of Gaza Strip population. He noted that: “I found a strong will and determination from the Palestinian refugees to confront the cruelty of reality and adhere to their right to return to their country and homes from which they were displaced in 1948. They affirm that this right is not compromisable.”
Read the rest here.
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.
FIOE has taken umbrage in the past over being characterized as part of the Global Muslim Brotherhood with ties to Hamas but this latest visit by the FIOE President should, but probably won’t, put the matter to rest.