A new European interfaith organization has been created that includes the European Muslim Brotherhood as its Islamic component. According to the website of the European Network On Religion and Belief (ENORB), the inaugural conference was held in May at the European parliament:
Organisations from several European countries and from very different traditions – inter-faith and inter-convictional organisations, churches and religious associations, philosophical and non confessional associations – have come together to plan this initiative. We are conscious of the delicate and often controversial policy issues in the field of Religion and Belief, for example: prejudice and discrimination; freedom to dress and wear religious insignia; equalities in relation to gender and sexual orientation; employment in relation to religious or non-religious beliefs. Many of these issues are primarily the domain of member states, but they also have implications across national boundaries, for all faith/belief groups, and for the EU. Abdullah Faliq (third from left) speaking at ENORB’s inaugural conference at the EU Parliament, May 2012. Martin Gurvich (Hindu Forum of Europe, left) and Karim Chemlal (Federation of Islamic Organisations in Europe, centre) are also members of ENORB’s Executive Group.
The ENORB website goes on to identify a wide variety of religious organizations that participated in the inaugural conference that was held under the auspices of the Presidency of the European Parliament. The website also identifies the following groups as founding members of ENORB which has been registered as an association under Belgian Law :
- All Faiths and None
- Religions for Peace–Europe
- G3i (Groupe Inter-convictionnel, Inter-culturel et International)
- Hindu Forum Europe
- Federation of Islamic Organisations in Europe
- The Cordoba Foundation
A NEFA Foundation report on the Federation of Islamic Organizations in Europe (FIOE) 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.
A post from February discussed a trip to Gaza by FIOE President Chakib Ben Makhlouf where he visited Hamas facilities, praised Palestinian “martyrs, and visited the grave of Hamas spiritual leader Sheikh Ahmed Yasine who was killed by Israel. A post from June reported that FIOE issued a statement expressing its “great sorrow” over the death of French Holocaust denier Roger Garaudy. A post from September reported that a FIOE leader had been appointed as an adviser to Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi. In addition, the ENORB website identifies Karim Chemial of FIOE as the organizations Secretary. Another NEFA Foundation report identified Mr. Chemial as a business partner of of Belgian Muslim Brotherhood leader Bassem Hatahet who was also recently identified as a member of the now defunct Syrian National Council, an umbrella Syrian opposition group controlled by the Muslim Brotherhood. The NEFA report further identifies Mr. Chemial as a leader in the Belgian Muslim Brotherhood.
In 2008, now U.K. Prime Minister David Cameron identified the Cordoba Foundation as a Muslim Brotherhood front that ” has close connections to people with extremist views, including Azzam Tamimi, the UK representative of Hamas. The founder and CEO of Cordoba is Anas Al-Tikriti, the son of Osama Al-Tikriti, one of the leaders of the Iraqi Islamic Party representing the Muslim Brotherhood in that country. In addition to his role at Cordoba, Al-Tikriti is one of the leaders of the British Muslim Initiative (BMI), part of the U.K. Muslim Brotherhood. The Muslim Association of Britain (MAB) had for many years been the most active organization in the U.K Muslim Brotherhood but many of the leaders of the MAB left in 2007 to form the BMI. According to an Israeli think-tank report, the breakup appeared to be the result of a conflict between traditionalists in the MAB who were unhappy with the high level of involvement in U.K left-wing politics while those who who formed the BMI wished such activity to continue. A post in May 2011 reported that Al-Tikriti had arrived in Cairo to conduct “exploratory consultations” with unidentified civil society and political leaders.
The GMBDW repeats one of its earlier observations:
One of the most ubiquitous tactics of the Global Muslim Brotherhood is the establishment of a dizzying number of organizations and initiatives and which create the impression of broad based support when, in reality, the sponsors are the same individuals and groups whose leaders have not changed in many years.