The European Forum of Muslin Women (EFOMW) has announced that in early March, it organized a hearing on the impact of Islamophobia on Muslim women at the European Parliament. According to the announcement:
March 2, 2016 Ahead of the international women’s day, EFOMW (European Forum of Muslim Women) in cooperation with MEP Soraya Post, ENAR (European Network Against Racism) and FEMYSO (Forum of European Muslim Youth and Student Organisations) organized a hearing at the European Parliament with intention to shed light on the growing Islamophobia in Europe and its devastating impact, particularly on Muslim women.
In recent decades we have experienced in different ways a gradual downplaying of civil rights, liberties and equality of European Muslim women. The testimonies and data from across Europe show an alarming increase of Islamophobia, and in particular its disproportionate effect on Muslim women. Still, we lack a strategy that corresponds to the seriousness of this issue.
The hearing brought together politicians, human rights activists and academic experts to discuss not only what consequences Islamophobia has on the social, political and economic lives of Muslim women, but also to stress the need for immediate action to guarantee European Muslim women full equality.
Several important issues have been highlighted such as the fact that Muslim women are victims of multiple discrimination. They are often discriminated because of their religion, their ethnicity (or just belonging to a minority group), and also because of their gender.
‘Islamophobia is extremely gender biased form of discrimination and of racism’. Muslim women are one of five groups mostly affected by discrimination in employment. They are also most likely to be victims of hate crimes which are ‘usually very violent and very physical’, reported ENAR.
Read the rest here.
The GMBDW first reported on the European Forum of Muslim Women (EFOMW) in 2008 when we covered another seminar on women’s issues at the European Parliament that featured Noura Jaballah, the wife of Ahmed Jaballah another important European Brotherhood leader living in France and at that time the EFOMW President. Also participating in the 2008 event was Sajjad Karim, a member of European Parliament from Northwest England and a speaker at the above event. Both Karim and Soraya Post, the organizer of the above event, were featured at an October 2015 European Parliament Roundtable that saw the launch of the second European Action Day Against Islamophobia and Religious Intolerance. Many of the participating organizations above were also participants in the 2015 event.
A report by the NEFA Foundation authored by the GMBDW editor indicates that the EFOMW is affiliated with the Federation of Islamic Organizations in Europe (FIOE), the umbrella group representing the European Muslim Brotherhood. The history of the EFOMW provided on the organization’s website obscures this background but a cursory examination of the group’s member organizations and its current leadership continues to show many links to FIOE and the European Muslim Brotherhood.
The same NEFA Foundation report identifies the Federation of Muslim Youth and Student Organizations (FEMYSO) as the youth/student arm of the FIOE. 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. The GMBDW reported in 2013 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.
The European Network Against Racism (ENAR) describes itself as “the only pan-European anti-racist network that combines advocacy for racial equality and facilitating cooperation among civil society anti-racist actors in Europe.” The only two Islamic organizations included in its list of European member organizations are the EFOMW and FEMYSO.
The GMBDW finds it inexplicable that MEP Soraya Post, a Swedish politician for the Feminist Initiative party, would choose to partner with the European Muslim Brotherhood given the group’s record and positions on the relevant issues.