The umbrella organization for the Muslim Brotherhood in Europe has issued its condemnation of the apparent terrorist attack on the offices of the French satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo. According to the statement by the Federation of Islamic Organizations in Europe (FIOE):
January 7, 2015 Brussels The Federation of Islamic Organisations in Europe condemns in the strongest terms the barbaric attack perpetrated today, Wednesday, on the headquarters of a newspaper in Paris, leaving behind a number of victims in its offices. This appalling bloody attack on the offices of the newspaper, Charlie Hebdo, is a vile terrorist act, which may not be justified under any circumstances, or attributed to any particular religion, culture, or constituent of society. The Federation of Islamic Organisations in Europe extends its heartfelt condolences to the families of the victims, and wishes speedy recovery of those injured, expressing its solidarity with the French people, and the press community at this painful calamity.
The GMBDW notes that condemnations of terrorism by the Global Muslim Brotherhood generally contain various equivocations and the current FIOE statement seems as much designed to avoid blame as it is to condemn the violence. Although FIOE has at times urged “tolerance” with respect to the various cartoon crisis, it and/or its associated leaders have at other times done their best to raise the level of emotion around the issue. For example, we reported in 2007 that Youssef Qaradawi, the most influential leader of the Global Muslim Brotherhood and head of FIOE’s European Council for Fatwa and Research (ECFR), helped spark the worldwide crisis over the Danish cartoons by declaring “Anger Day” on his popular TV show carried on Al-Jazeera although he had never actually seen the cartoons in question. In 2010, we reported that FIOE issued a statement denouncing what it called ” the horrendous escalation in attempts to disparage the religion of Islam and its sanctities in the West.
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 the ruling Maktoum family of Dubai. 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 has a headquarters office in Brussels and has had some success in positioning itself as a “dialog partner” for the EU and other important institutions. Ayman Aly, the FIOE Secretary-General, is a senior member of the Guidance Bureau of the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood as well as a former adviser to the deposed Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi. In February 2014, French Muslim Brotherhood figure Abdallah Benmansour was elected as the new FIOE president.
For an extensive report on FIOE, go here.