The 2nd General Assembly in the Ninth Executive Term of the Federation of Islamic Organisations in Europe was held—by the grace and blessing of Allah—in the period 19-22 May 2011 (16-19 Jumada al-Thani 1432AH) in Istanbul. This ordinary meeting of the General Assembly was convened with the participation of the Federation leadership, representatives from member organisations in most European States, and a number of esteemed guests, who enriched the meeting sessions with their contribution.
The General Assembly deliberated over the horizons of Federation work for the Executive Term, spanning 2010 to 2014, and discussed the performance of the Federation its bodies and institutions, hopeful that the achievements secured would provide impetus to greater progress in the efforts and positive initiatives. The General Assembly also reflected on the current state of affairs in Europe, and that of Muslims on the Continent, as well as other related matters and concerns. The General Assembly also discussed the means to widening the area of cooperation and coordination with partners in citizenship in Europe, while strengthening participation in societal dialogue and continuing to strive to serve Europe’s Muslims, and the pubic interest of societies and countries on the Continent. In addition, the General Assembly emphasised the importance of the development of human resources and capacities of the Federation and its institutions.
The General Assembly noted the absence of a number of pioneering figures in European Islamic work, who recently passed away from this transitory world to the eternal one, leaving behind a conspicuous and positive mark in many noble areas—Allah grant them reward for the best of their deeds, and increase them of His bounty. The General Assembly, with particular appreciation, remembers the founding and guiding role of His Eminence, Shaykh Faysal Mawlawi, who alongside the Federation and a number of European Islamic organisations, played a leading counselling role, and contributed effectively to promulgating the guidance of Islam, highlighting its path of moderation, and sagely offering solutions, grounded in Shariah, to deal with the European reality, and reinforce positive interaction and citizenship.
At the close of proceedings, the General Assembly concluded with the following resolutions and recommendations:
- The Assembly calls upon Muslims in Europe to uphold the principles and teachings of Islam, to embody good citizenship and positive role models in their daily life, and to eloquently articulate the spirit of positive outreach and noble manners, with effective contribution to the service and prosperity of their societies. Furthermore, the Assembly invites Europe’s Muslims—communities, organisations, and individuals—to continue the collective good efforts, and development of performance in its various aspects, so as to improve their status quo, and serve the public interest of European societies and States; at the same time, pooling efforts to embody the principle of cooperation in noble acts and with a righteous disposition. The Assembly also stresses the importance of directing European Islamic organisations to integrate the youth, males and females, in the various fields and levels of work, including leadership. The Assembly encourages the opening up of opportunities for the youth, and ample care for the needs of the younger generations, in the form of projects, programmes, and concentrated efforts.
- The General Assembly expresses its pride in the value of diversity existing in European reality, of which Muslims are one of its pluralistic constituents. The Assembly encourages the development of joint action with partners in society, and strengthening solidarity and mutual understanding, to preserve the human values of European societies and constitutional principles; at the same time, ignoring the voices of extremism and divisive positions.
- The General Assembly expresses its deep concern regarding some laws and measures that limit the freedom of religious practice for Muslims, especially relating to women and girls. The Assembly demands a review of such legislation and measures; errors must be remedied, and proposals, in this area, checked constantly to prevent violation of human rights and basic liberties, in addition to assuring equality, equal opportunities, and combating discrimination.
- The Assembly has followed with great concern, the rising trend in voices of political extremism in a number of European states. Such voices, typically in election season, actively incite hatred, distort facts, and stoke fear against fellow Muslim citizens, in a discourse of hate that creates animosity among constituents, and is divisive of societies. The Assembly calls for this phenomenon to be addressed, and solidarity and mutual understanding to be reinforced, with the objective of protecting human values and constitutional principles.
- The Assembly congratulates the Arab peoples, which have advanced to close the page on tyranny, and displaying courage, worthy of emulation, in demanding freedom, democracy, justice, equality, respect for the will of the people, and their dignity. The Assembly expresses its fraternal solidarity with those peoples confronting oppression and tyranny, and condemn the violations and killings perpetrated against unarmed citizens in Yemen, Libya, and Syria, merely for demanding freedom, reform, and essential rights.
- The Assembly calls attention to the dangers of injustice, and absence of good governance, as well as the state of deprivation and inequitable distribution of resources, which requires a comprehensive solution that achieves reform and prosperity, while halting the oppression of people. The Assembly hopes that Arab and Muslim peoples, and all humanity, achieve peace and security, in stopping the bloodshed, and ensuring the pages of tyranny are turned forever, where everyone stands for internal unity, respect for plurality, and the participation by all segments in forming the nation’s present and future renaissance, in a climate of freedom, justice, and equality.
- The Assembly expresses its deep concern regarding the state of affairs in the city of al-Quds (Jerusalem), and the violation of the sanctity of the Blessed Al-Aqsa Mosque by the Israeli occupation and extremist groups; moreover, it declares its solidarity with the Palestinian people, and the demand that they be empowered to regain stolen rights, and achieve their legitimate demands. The Assembly welcomes the accord ending division between the Palestinian factions, and calls upon European and international parties to support this trend, and respect the will of the Palestinian people.
- The Assembly notes the continuing negative interactions of the economic crisis in some European countries, with the consequent burden upon citizens. The Assembly considers that this requires redoubled efforts in the areas of welfare and social solidarity. Containing the crisis must not be at the cost of greater economic, social, and psychological burdens on families, or at the expense of vulnerable segments or diminishing the opportunities for the new generations in welfare, education, and employment.
- The Assembly calls upon all Islamic centres and organisations in Europe, in this year (2011), to intensify their efforts, and develop voluntary services in many noble areas, on the occasion of the European Year for Voluntary Work, by embodying the Islamic and human values that encourage this, and to enshrine these in practice.
Finally, all praise and blessings are to Allah, Lord of all creation.
Istanbul, 22 May 2011 (19 Jumada al-Thani 1431AH)
The Federation of Islamic Organisations in Europe