Closing Statement of the 2nd General Assembly

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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. 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

General Assembly

Message from the President of FIOE bidding farewell to the great teacher, Counsellor Shaykh Faysal Mawlawi

The Muslim Ummah and the human family, has lost a prominent personality, and a man of grand stature, in the passing of the eminent teacher and knowledgeable scholar, Shaykh Faysal Mawlawi, from our transitory world to the eternal one.

The focus of our great loss, Shaykh Faysal Mawlawi—may Allah shower him with His abundant mercy—has over many decades been one of a rare breed of pioneers, present at the leading edge of many fields; knowledge and thought, invitation to Islam (Dawah), moral and intellectual improvement (Tarbiyyah), guidance and rational direction, in Islamic work and institutions.

Europe’s Muslims came to know him closely, through his effective contribution in sharing the guidance of Islam, highlighting its path of moderation, and sagely offering treatment, grounded in Shariah, to deal with the European reality, and its complex issues. At his hands, a generation of leaders in Islamic work in Europe were raised on the meanings of devotion and perseverance, following the footsteps of the Prophets and the righteous individuals in light of knowledge, striving to reflect the values and teachings of Islam in daily life, and showing a profound concern for the good of people, all people.

His many published works are testimony, as is his inexhaustible stream of research and studies, and a wide spectrum of lectures and lessons spread across time in the West and the East. Our noble Shaykh reflected profoundly on the developing issues relevant to the life of Muslims in European countries, and their expected roles. As such, he was an early participant in Shariah and Fiqh encounters across Europe, continuing his contribution with a group of noble scholars, effectively engaged in the European Council of Fatwa and Research (ECFR), since its inception in 1997.

We, in the Federation of Islamic Organisations in Europe, remember with much gratitude, the guiding role of Shaykh Faysal Mawlawi, supporting the Federation and many European Islamic bodies. He was a leading counsellor, and contributed to guiding and uniting contrasting views, at crucial historical junctures in the progress of Europe’s Muslims. He headed specialised committees, tasked with the heavy responsibility of reflecting upon critical issues, weighing positions, eliciting solutions, and advancing social reform.

Our great scholar and teacher, Shaykh Faysal Mawlawi, left a blessed and indelible impression that can be readily seen in the reality of Europe’s Muslims; he resided on the Continent for many years, during which, he was elder brother, tender teacher, and wise sage. Moreover, he played a tangible role in the rise of effective organisations, especially in France, and in Europe generally, including formation of the Federation of Islamic Organisations in Europe (FIOE), and contributed to formulating visions for Islamic work that evolved from one blessed phase to another.

Pioneers do not depart, but remain among us… alive in our world, in their fragrant biography, their pristine acts, and noble qualities. We will remain faithful to our departed Shaykh Faysal Mawlawi, by continuing the journey, and persevering in performance of our work; we will make sure that many of our fruitful projects, programmes, facilities, and shining beacons across Europe, are named after him; so that the rising generations will come to appreciate the illustrious work in many areas, and generous gifts in diverse fields, legacy of this great man, in gratitude to him, and encouragement to others following on his example.

We ask Allah, Most High, All-Capable, to receive Shaykh Faysal Mawlawi with his abundant Mercy, grant him the Gardens of Paradise, and to re-unite us at the Cradle of His Mercy, in the favoured company of our Noble Messenger, Muhammed, peace be upon him, the Noble Prophets, the truly righteous, and the martyrs. We ask Him, Most Exalted, Most High, to shower Shaykh Faysal Mawlawi with His generous reward for this long journey of rich contribution to knowledge and practice; a journey for which many generations are indebted; reaping the fruits helping them to win the good of this life and the hereafter. In our loss, we are heavy of heart and stricken with sadness… “We are unto Allah, and indeed, to Allah is our return

 

Brussels. Tripoli (Lebanon)

9 May 2011 (6 Jumada al-Thani 1432H)

 

Chakib Benmakhlouf

President of the Federation of Islamic Organisations in Europe (FIOE)