European Muslim Brotherhood Meets In Tunisia

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The Federation of Islamic Organizations in Europe (FIOE), representing the Muslim Brotherhood in Europe, has held its annual meeting this year in Tunisia. According to the statement from the meeting:

Final Statement of the 3rd General Assembly Meeting in the 10th Executive Term of the Federation of Islamic Organisations in Europe

Tunis, 21-24 January 2016 (10-13 Rabi‘ al-Thani 1437H)

The 2nd General Assembly Meeting in the 10th Executive Term of the Federation of Islamic Organisations in Europe was convened, with the blessing of Allah—the Almighty, on 21-24 January 2016 (10-13 Rabi‘ al-Thani 1437H) in Tunis, with the participation of the Federation leadership, and representatives of member organisations in the European states. Tunis was chosen for the General Assembly meeting in a fraternal message from Europe, and valuing the Tunisian people’s experiment in freedom and democracy over the past five years.

The General Assembly was briefed on the work of the Executive Office and Shura Council reports, as framed by the Federation General Plan for the 10th Term (2014 to 2018. The Assembly evaluated performance, and deliberated over the means of developing the trajectory of the Federation and members, in enhancing their roles of serving societies.

Moreover, the Assembly discussed the ways by which to project the updated Federation vision, ‘European Muslims’, and realise work based on the mission of ‘promulgating Islam, encouraging and supporting Europe’s Muslims in performing religious practice, and contributing effectively to the different aspects of life, within a framework of moderate understanding, and an innovating reformist approach’, and the strategic objectives derived from the Federation’s new vision.

The Assembly urged the scale-up of efforts of collaboration and coordination with European civil society in diverse spheres, while strengthening effective communication and constructive partnership with the constituents of European societies. Moreover, developing Muslims’ participation in public life, and in addressing the shared challenges faced by societies.

Read the rest here.

The FIOE statement goes on to detail some of the conclusions of the meeting which included the organization’s customary incitement over the Al-Aqsa Mosque:

The Assembly condemned the attacks by the occupation authorities and settler gangs in Palestine, their continued violations in Jerusalem, and the provocations by occupation troops in the blessed Al-Aqsa mosque.

New on the list of FIOE concerns this year is the refugee issue in Europe and the group called for “adherence to the standards of human rights and respect for human dignity in the policies and measures applied in in dealing with the refugees.” Other highlights of the statement included:

  • Predictably condemned “the abuse by terrorist groups of Islamic sanctities by introducing these in their propaganda of killing and aggression” and said it held a “specialist workshop on the subject of ‘religious discourse in confronting extremism.’”
  • Called for “reinforcing moderate religious understanding and awareness among Muslims” (by which the Global Muslim Brotherhood typically means adhering to its own extremist ideology.)
  • Called for “combating racism, hatred, and Islamophobia, while reinforcing shared values, and the principles of mutual respect and social peace.”
  • “Noted with alarm the deterioration in conditions in a number of Arab, Islamic, and African states, and the spread of unrest, military oppression, and widening sectarian conflict, extremism, and hatred.
  •  Expressed “its solidarity with the Syrian people and all other peoples suffering in their continuing ordeal.”

Interestingly, the FIOE statement for the first time called for “developing the presence of women and youth in the leadership bodies and councils of Islamic organisations in Europe.”

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.

For our report on the 2013 FIOE meeting, go here.

For the FIOE report on its 2015 meeting, go here.

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