FIOE General Assembly discussing state of Muslim affairs and rights in Europe



The Third General Assembly in the Ninth Executive Term of the Federation of Islamic Organisations in Europe (FIOE) was held in the period 17-20 May 2012 in Istanbul, with the participation of the Federation leadership, and representatives from member organisations in the majority of European States.

The General Assembly studied the developments in the work of the Federation for the 2010-2014 Executive Term, and discussed the performance of the Federation, and its bodies and institutions. The Assembly expressed its hope that the accomplishments achieved would provide momentum, driving further developments in positive efforts and initiatives. The Assembly also deliberated on the European situation, and the state of affairs of Muslims on this Continent, along with other related concerns and issues, including developments in European affairs, and the present state of fundamental rights, and religious and civil liberties.

The General Assembly also discussed the means to widen the area of cooperation and coordination in Europe, while reinforcing participation in societal dialogue. The Assembly emphasised the importance of developing the human resources and capacities of the Federation and its institutions, corresponding to its aspirations of supporting social peace and mutual understanding.

The Assembly called for the advancement of cooperation in noble undertakings and piety between Europe’s Muslims, as groupings, organisations, and individuals, in a way that aids improving their reality, and fulfilling the responsibilities they carry, by virtue of citizenship, and in serving the public good of European countries and societies. The Assembly stressed the importance of redoubling efforts in caring for the needs of younger Muslim generations, with the required projects, programmes, and initiatives

The Assembly warned against the phenomenon of incitement against Muslims in the heat of election competition, through campaigns, postures, and statements that fan hatred and lack responsibility. Moreover, the Assembly pointed to the obligations falling on the shoulders of officials and political leaders in European states, in confronting this phenomenon, respecting cultural and religious diversity, and encouraging the culture of harmony. The constituents of society must reinforce cohesion and mutual understanding, in protecting human values and constitutional principles, showing the required courage in confronting incitement, which is divisive of society’s ranks for cheap aims. The Assembly considered that the increasing interest shown by Europe’s Muslims in social and political participation, and in satisfying the duties and rights of citizenship, is the ideal response to those voices that incite against them, or seek to isolate them from their societies.

It also valued the publication of an extensive report by Amnesty International, exposing the discrimination suffered by Muslims in some European countries, in the areas of personal and religious freedom, and in fulfilling religious obligations. The report documents the many difficulties and harassment faced by Muslims in the spheres of daily life. The Assembly called for these tangible facts to be addressed, whereby human rights and fundamental freedoms are guaranteed for all, in a way that ensures equality and equal opportunities, and prevents any form of discrimination or exclusion.

The General Assembly followed with great concern the outcomes of the sovereign debt crisis, as well as the Eurozone crisis, and the challenges imposed by the current economic crisis, which calls for reinforcing solidarity and mutual support among constituents of society to both confront, and reduce the negative effects of poverty and unemployment. The Assembly invites cooperation and redoubled efforts to address the economic and social dilemmas and difficulties faced by European societies, and contribute to responding to the variety of common social challenges.

In addition to other several issues tackled in the closing statement of the General Assembly including solidarity with Syrain people and Palestinians,  the Assembly encouraged Europe’s Muslims to adhere to the principles and teachings of Islam, promote noble manners and positive communication, and offer the spirit of mutual compassion and tolerance, good citizenship and positive role models. The Assembly invites Muslims to engage in more acts of worship and good deeds given the proximity to the blessed month of Ramadan.