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Final Statement of the Fourth Shoura Council in the Ninth Term of the Federation of Islamic Organisations in Europe (FIOE)

Istanbul, 9-12 February 2012 (18-21 Rabi‘ al-Awwal 1433H)

The fourth Shoura Council in the ninth term of the Federation of Islamic Organisations in Europe (FIOE) was held, with the blessing and aid of Allah, from 9-12 February 2012 (18-21 Rabi‘ al-Awwal 1433H) in the city of Istanbul. The Council was convened in this ordinary meeting, with the participation of the Federation leadership, representatives of member organisations in the majority of European countries, and a number of esteemed guests, enriching the sessions.

The Council deliberated over the developments in the Federation’s work, and the progress in administrative tasks; it also discussed the performance of the Federation, its bodies, and member organisations, praising achievements, and urging further advances in positive efforts and initiatives.

The Council reflected on the situation in Europe, and the affairs of Muslims on the Continent, as well as related issues and concerns. The Council also considered means of reinforcing cooperation and coordination with partners in citizenship in Europe, and developing participation in societal dialogue, as well as continuing to strive to serve Europe's Muslims, and contributing to assuring the public interest of European societies.

 

The Council, at the close of proceedings, articulates the following positions and directives:

 First: the Council urges Europe's Muslims—groups, organisations, and individuals, to adhere to the principles and teachings of Islam, and embody good citizenship and positive examples in their daily life, and to provide the best expression of the spirit of positive communication and noble manners, while participating effectively in the service of their societies, and striving for their prosperity. The Council reminds Europe's Muslims of the importance of following the example of the noble Messenger Muhammad, peace be upon him, in all their affairs, and that the anniversary of his birth, peace be upon him, be the motivator for them to improve their situation, and express the noble human values emphasised by Islam in the life of the individual and society.

 Second: the Council stresses the importance of moving towards inclusion of the youth—young men and women, by European Islamic organisations in the various spheres of work and levels of management, including leadership levels. The Council encourages providing opportunities for the youth, and directing sufficient attention to meeting the

needs of the younger generations, in terms of the necessary projects, programmes, and efforts.

 Third: the Council draws attention to the obligations of officials and political leaders in European countries, to respect religious and cultural diversity, and advance the spirit of harmony and understanding. The Council deplores the stances and statements offensive to Muslims adopted irresponsibly by prominent political figures, particularly during the fever of election competition. The Council calls for this phenomenon to be addressed, and solidarity and mutual understanding to be strengthened, in the interest of protecting human values and constitutional principles.

 Fourth: the Council consoles the families of those falling victim to the wave of cold and ice that swept across Europe, and feels the pain and suffering of those lacking shelter, or the opportunity to warm their homes; the Council prays to Allah, the Almighty, for relief of their suffering. The Council also invites Europe's Muslims, and their social and charitable organisations, to provide help and assistance to the affected groups, and to reinforce their readiness to respond to emergency cases requiring urgent aid. The Council urges Islamic centres to open their doors to those affected, and offer shelter, warmth, and care; the Council praises and values the initiative of European Islamic organisations that have already assumed this noble role.

 Fifth: the Council expresses its concern regarding the repercussions of the current economic crisis in a number of European countries, and the consequent rise in levels of poverty and unemployment. The Council emphasises the importance of reinforcing solidarity and mutual support among the constituents of society in confronting this challenge. The Council also urges Islamic organisations in Europe to establish constructive collaboration with partners in the European countries, and seek optimal solutions and ideal remedies for the social dimensions of the economic crisis, to redouble efforts in cooperating to find solutions to the dilemmas and difficulties faced by European societies, and to contribute to responding to the various shared societal challenges.

 Sixth: the Council expresses its profound sorrow for the escalating massacres and atrocities perpetrated against the Syrian people, for merely demanding freedom, democratic change, and an end to tyranny. The Council emphasises its solidarity with the Syrian people, and consoles the families of those killed or injured, while renewing its severe condemnation of the massacres and intimidation currently taking place. The Council deplores the powerlessness and lack of resolve in face of the terrible violations committed by the Syrian regime and its machinery of repression; the Council urges the Arab and Islamic world, the European Union, and the international community in its bodies and councils, to support and aid the Syrian people, and that Europe's Muslims take the initiative in providing greater fraternal solidarity and support for this just cause.

Furthermore, the Council condemns the restrictions placed by the Syrian authorities on the entry of aid convoys, human rights delegations, and the media.

 Seventh: the Council expresses its great concern regarding the situation in the city of al-Quds (Jerusalem), and the violation by the Israeli occupation and its extremist groups, of the sanctity of the Blessed al-Aqsa Mosque, and their continuing striving to impose a status quo in al-Quds, and altering its civilisational identity, as well as the policies of apartheid inflicted on the inhabitants and the expulsion of their elected parliamentarians. The Council also strongly condemns the repeated attacks by settlers on mosques and churches, involving vandalism and burning.

 Eighth: the Council congratulates the Arab peoples that have made important steps on the road to freedom, democracy, and reform, and have submitted to the outcome of the ballot box in historic elections, heralded by revolutions restoring dignity, and the resolve to bring about reform, concluded in a civilised manner. The Council notes the huge challenges faced by the Arab peoples, in laying the foundations of freedom, pluralism, and participation, shouldering the economic and social burdens, caring for the youth and providing opportunities for them, paying attention to the different generations and their needs, achieving prosperity in the various spheres, protecting civil rights, and preserving diversity and plurality. The Council wishes for the best in the success of the people and their elected leaders, with the aid of Allah, to realise these dues, after long periods of adversity, tyranny, and corruption.

 Ninth: the Council expresses its concern for the escalating political despotism in Bangladesh, and the increasing restrictions on civil liberties, as well as waves of arrests targeting scholars, pioneering reformers, and public figures. The Council condemns these grave violations, and calls upon the Bengali authorities to respect human rights and fundamental freedoms, and to lift the restrictions on general civic activity, while assuring transparent popular participation for all citizens, and ceasing all forms of repression against them.

 Tenth: the Council is saddened by the developments in the crisis between France and Turkey, and expresses its disappointment regarding the deterioration in relations between the two important countries within the extended European family. The Council hopes that the French leadership moves quickly to address the causes of the crisis, and that Ankara and Paris strengthen mutual relations on a base of consensus and mutual respect. The Council reminds that laws criminalising discussion of historic issues are not the wise course to do justice to victims of conflicts, past and present.

 Eleventh: the Council draws attention to the importance of respect for the religious rights of Europe's Muslims in the specifications of meat and foodstuffs. The Council expresses its surprise at attempts to discriminate against Muslims in the area of Halal meat; it is unacceptable for any restrictions or measures to be imposed that violate the right of Muslims to obtain meat and foodstuffs compliant with the stipulations of the teachings of Islam.

 Twelfth: the Council calls upon Europe's Muslims and their organisations to adopt the recommendations of the symposium, "the Hijri calendar in light of scientific astronomical facts", held in Paris, on the invitation of the Union of Islamic Organisations in France (UOIF), the Federation of Islamic Organisations in Europe (FIOE), and the European Council for Fatwa and Research (ECFR), which endorsed the resolution of the European Council of Fatwa and Research in its 19th Session to employ astronomical calculation to determine the beginning of lunar months, and so help unify Muslims, especially in fasting Ramadan and celebrating Eid.

All praise is to Allah, Lord of all creation

 

 

FIOE-Statement from 06.03.2010

The Federation of Islamic Organisations in Europe warns of the grave nature of the escalating Israeli aggressions against Islamic holy sites in Palestine

The Federation of Islamic Organisations in Europe has followed with great alarm the escalating trend in aggressions and violations committed by the Israeli occupation authorities against Islamic holy sites, and the historic features and heritage of civilisation in Palestine, especially in the cities of Al-Quds—Jerusalem, Alkhalil—Hebron, and Bethlehem, which signals seriously dangerous repercussions.

It is highly apparent that the Israeli occupation forces have continued to desecrate the spaces and environs of the blessed al-Aqsa Mosque, and perpetrated all forms of inhumane treatment on the Palestinian civilians offering their ritual daily prayers there. In the latest developments, these forces attacked the sacred mosque en masse through all its gates on Friday, 5 March 2010; paying no regard to the sanctity of the site, representing the first direction of prayer for Muslims, and the destination of the miraculous night journey, al-Israa, of the Messenger Muhammad, peace be upon him, and one of the three most important mosques in Islam, alongside the Holy Mosque in Makkah and the Prophet's Mosque in Madinah.

These developments come only days after the occupation forces viciously attacked the prayer congregation in al-Aqsa Mosque on Sunday, 28 February 2010, in the aftermath of the wide-scale and fierce confrontations by the occupation forces a few days before in the city of al-Khalil—Hebron, site of the noble Ibrahimi Mosque.

These horrific developments clearly reflect long-term Israeli official policy aimed at taking control of Islamic holy sites in Palestine; in addition to the pressure on Christian places of worship, and obstructing Palestinian Christian congregations from freely accessing their places of worship, even on days of religious celebration, by the Israeli authorities.

What confirms the Israeli government’s inclination towards brute escalation is the latest decision announced by the Israeli government on 21 February 2010, which resolved the addition of the sacred Ibrahimi Mosque in the city of al-Khalil—Hebron, and the Bilal bin Rabah Mosque (called by the Israeli occupation authorities as Rachel’s Tomb) in Bethlehem, both situated in the occupied West Bank, to the list of Israeli historical sites. This step represents an inflammatory violation of religious feelings and a provocation to Muslims everywhere; in addition to its flagrant violation of international law and its rules regarding occupied territories, which is what the Israeli authorities have long done without hesitation.

These developments have swiftly recalled a series of Israeli violations of sacred sites in Palestine, especially as the decision concerning the Ibrahimi and Bilal bin Rabah mosques coincided with the 16th anniversary of the massacre committed by the Israeli settler, Baruch Goldstein, using weapons supplied by the occupation authorities, inside the Ibrahimi Mosque on 25 February 1994, killing 29 Palestinian worshippers as they were performing the dawn prayer there.

The Federation of Islamic Organisations in Europe as it followed with great alarm the rapid succession of developments, and the horrific violations and provocations, expresses its brotherly solidarity with the unarmed Palestinian people suffering under Israeli military occupation, yet

unwilling to abandon sacred sites, cultural heritage, or rightful possessions. The Federation, at the same time, calls on the entire Muslim Ummah to stand up to its responsibilities in protecting its sacred sites, and liberating them from this wicked occupation. The Federation of Islamic Organisations in Europe also calls attention to Europe's responsibility in reining in Israeli extremism fuelled by a notion of power, and in exposing the continuing crimes and violations committed without let by the Israeli authorities and their military forces.

No doubt that neglect in face of these grave practices will only invite the extremist far right Israeli government to go even further in its violation of international law and human rights, and its flagrant disregard for human values, moral standards, and international norms.

 


 

30.11.2009

The Federation of Islamic Organisations in Europe (FIOE): 

 

The referendum in Switzerland on places of worship is a sad setback to the obligations regarding religious freedom

The message of hate directed at Muslims is seriously troubling, and must be renounced and remedied

With great sadness, the Federation of Islamic Organisations in Europe (FIOE) received the results of the referendum carried out in Switzerland on Sunday, 29 November 2009.

The Federation of Islamic Organisations in Europe considers this an unfortunate retreat from the obligations of protecting

religious freedom and human rights, not in keeping with Switzerland's standing and values.

No doubt, that well before that, the mere idea of putting issues related to religious freedom and

human rights to vote is quite unacceptable and unjustifiable. Furthermore, the situation where the

majority votes on issues related to the rights of the minority is fundamentally at odds with the spirit

of democracy, which cannot be allowed to be used as an open door to incitement, and an excuse to

pit citizens against their fellow partners in society.

The Federation of Islamic Organisations in Europe has followed with deep disquiet, the events of the

past months and weeks in Switzerland—the charging of Swiss public opinion against Muslims, and

feeding selective racism and political extremism, in a clear gamble on disturbing the stability of that

society, under the pretext of banning minarets.

These developments are cause for serious worry, and indicate a state of retreat, in some European

countries, in fundamental rights and religious freedoms. This is what requires revision and treatment

at all levels. We consider the inflammatory campaigns that took place, as undermining the values,

which Switzerland and European societies value above all else. It is worth noting that such

campaigns, which feed a culture of extremism and bigotry are a disservice to any country regardless,

or any society that prides itself on upholding human values, and moral obligations.

On this occasion, we invite officials, public opinion leaders, human rights organisations, and civic

society institutions to work towards preserving civil liberties, and confront the results of this vote,

which restricts the rights of Muslims to practise their religion.

We are also confident that Muslims in Switzerland shall remain ever concerned, as do their partners

in society, with reinforcing the foundations of consensus, and pillars of harmony that must not be

eroded, or surrendered under whatever pretext.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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