The Federation of Muslim Youth and Student Organizations (FEMYSO), a part of the European Muslim Brotherhood, has announced a new campaign aimed at developing what it calls “a pan-European youth-led Green Muslim movement. According to the FEMYSO announcement, the current vice-president of FEMYSO is a daughter of Tunisian Muslim Brotherhood leader Rachid Ghannouchi:
FEMYSO, in cooperation with development NGO MADE in Europe, are launching “Green Up my Community!”, a campaign to inspire a pan-European youth-led Green Muslim movement. The campaign will educate European Muslim youth to campaign for climate and trade justice issues, encouraging them to think and live “Green” and training them in the skills needed to change the habits of their local communities. The first part of the campaign is a training course which will take place from the 16th to 21st of December 2012 in Berlin for 30 young activists. The course will train young European Muslims in campaigning tools and skills and educate them on global development issues including climate change, trade justice and global inequalities. The 30 young activists will be trained and empowered to change the habits and practices of their local institutions, mosques and communities. The campaign will take place through 2013 and will aim to inspire a new Muslim youth-led pan-European environmental and trade justice movement. It will bring together European youth from over 10 European countries with a keen interest in tackling environmental and trade justice issues to share knowledge and strategies on embedding environmentally friendly and ethical consumption habits among their local communities. Intissar Kherigi, FEMYSO Vice-President, said: “We are very excited to be launching this new initiative, something that has never been done at the European level. European Muslim youth have twice the reasons to be green and ethical consumers – based on a shared humanity and based on their faith, which encourages them to care for the earth and for their fellow human beings around the world. We all have freedom of choice – let’s exercise it in a way that protects our earth and gives dignity and sustainability to farmers and producers around the world”. This project is part-funded by the European Youth Foundation, a fund established in 1972 by the Council of Europe to provide financial support for European youth activities.
A Hudson Institute report identifies Intissar Kherigi as a daughter of Tunisian Muslim Brotherhood leader Rachid Ghannouchi and explains that they often work from a left-wing perspective:
Ghannouchi’s daughters, who became personally involved in the Brotherhood movement and in related political causes, also help to show how life in the West has impacted al-Nahda’s organization and development. For example, his daughter Soumaya al-Ghannouchi became a prominent media figure while only in her twenties in the 2003-2005 UK protests against the Iraq War. These organized protests were often staged in conjunction with pan-Brotherhood groups such as MAB as well as far-left organizations such as the Socialist Workers Party. Through this experience, al-Nahda activists like Ms. Ghannouchi acquired useful experience working in coalitions with other Islamist as well as non-Islamist movements. They were also exposed to a range of non-Islamist ideas. Another daughter, Intissar Kherigi (who uses Ghannouchi’s familial surname) also rose to prominence by helping organize “Islam Expo,” a pan-Islamist event held in London in 2006 that brought together Islamist speakers (including her father) from around the world. Both daughters have also written extensively, particularly for The Guardian and the al-Jazeera website. While they do not argue for Islamist policies per se, a frequent theme of their polemical writing is opposing Western counter-terrorism strategies and foreign policy as hostile toward Muslims, often from a left-leaning perspective. For instance, Soumaya Ghannouchi accused Tony Blair of “secularized missionary absolutism” and of “constantly pointing the finger at Muslims.” A third daughter, Yusra Ghannouchi, also engaged in activism and later became a spokeswoman for her father’s party.
NEFA Foundation report identifies FEMYSO as the youth/student arm of the Federation of Islamic Organizations in Europe (FIOE), representing the Muslim Brotherhood in Europe. Over the years, FEMYSO has developed a relationship with both the Council of Europe and the European Commission where it has been invited since 2003 to attend meetings of the Group of Policy Advisers (GOPA). One of the important leaders of FEMYSO over the years has been Ibrahim El-Zayat, the leader of the Muslim Brotherhood in Germany. Michael Privot, a Belgian convert and former youth leader in FIOE who in 2008 had openly acknowledged being part of the Muslim Brotherhood, has written in his blog that he has “put an end to all my links and ties with the European Muslim Brotherhood.”
It is the opinion of the GMBDW that the new FEMYSO Green initiative is, in reality, another attempt by the European Muslim Brotherhood to make common cause with the left.