The Federation of Muslim Youth and Student Organizations (FEMYSO) has issued a statement joining other elements of the Global Muslim Brotherhood in phrasing its condemnation of recent violence in Egypt in terms of “respect for democracy.” According to the statement:
August 20, 2013 FEMYSO is deeply concerned at the escalating violence and loss of life in Egypt today. As the situation on the streets of cities across Egypt continue to escalate dramatically, FEMYSO urges the EU to press for an end to violence against peaceful protesters and to take all measures available to put critical and substantial pressure on the Egyptian authorities to accept the political solution which, following the EU’s initial diplomatic visit to Egypt, had been agreed to by representatives of the peaceful protesters but rejected by an unelected cabinet of internally appointed people, unrepresentative of the Egyptian people and their hopes and dreams.
We call on our European political representatives to stand by the principles that have brought long term stability and peace to Europe, including the alternation of power based on free and fair elections, free participation of citizens in political life, and respect for freedom of expression and association. These principles are being openly violated in Egypt today.
FEMYSO has sought through its work with Muslim youth across the world to spread the principles of nonviolence, democratic participation and active citizen engagement to increase cohesion, mutual respect and solidarity among peoples. The current violence in Egypt challenges these basic values and fundamentally undermines democracy in our neighbouring region.
The ending of the process of democratic reform that was initiated in Egypt and other countries in the region in 2011 can only lead to chaos, violence, social polarisation and a return to dictatorship. A political settlement is needed – but an agreement is becoming ever more distant through the use of deadly violence in blatant disregard for human life . The window of opportunity for the EU to support democratic reform in Egypt and the region and to be seen to uphold its core principles of democracy, rule of law and human rights is fast closing.
Supporting democracy and human rights in Egypt and the region not only serves to uphold our principles of respect for democracy and the rule of law, but also serves our interests as European citizens to have peace and stability in our neighbourhood. FEMYSO urges the EU to condemn the ongoing violence and to take clear and firm measures to put pressure on the Egyptian authorities to end these widespread violations of human rights and basic democratic rights.
The FEMYSO statement goes on to describe the organization while omitting its close ties to the European Muslim Brotherhood:
FEMYSO was founded in 1996 in Sweden at a time when Muslim youth from across Europe felt the need to come together to create a united body, to share ideas and experiences, help develop the capacity of Muslim European youth and represent their concerns and views to the European institutions. Since then, FEMYSO has grown into a wide network of 34 student and youth organisations throughout Europe, all working to benefit their communities and societies. The FEMYSO vision for European Muslim youth is proactive youth participation and service to humanity. We have trained thousands of young Muslims, contributed to the emergence of a strong confident identity of young European Muslims, and built strong partnerships with organisations across Europe.
In fact, a NEFA Foundation report identifies the Federation of Muslim Youth and Student Organizations (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.” The GMBDW reported today that the new FEMYSO leadership structure includes two relatives of important Muslim Brotherhood leaders.
The GMBDW recently reported that newly elected members of the organizations Executive Committee include relatives of important Global Muslim Brotherhood leaders such as the daughter of Tunisian Muslim Brotherhood leader Rachid Ghannouchi.
(Disclosure: FIOE and Belgian Muslim Brotherhood reports authored by the GMBDW editor)