Urgent appeal to Europe’s Muslims to donate in favour of the distressed Syrian people

The heavy burdens and harsh living conditions being endured by the Syrian people are all too apparent; conditions that serve to aggravate the escalating killing and mistreatment perpetrated against individuals and families. From the perspective of religious, fraternal, and humane duty, the least that Europe’s Muslims can do is contribute to relieving the ordeal of their brethren in Syria, who have lost their livelihoods, and face worsening deprivation.

The Federation of Islamic Organisations in Europe urges its member organisations, as well as Islamic organisations generally, on the European continent, to allocate both Fridays, the 23rd and 30th of December 2011 (28 Muharram and 5 Safar 1433H respectively), for the collection of donations in favour of the Syrian people, on the basis of fraternal solidarity with them in these dire circumstances of injustice and persecution.

The Federation calls on Europe’s Muslims to respond urgently and positively to this appeal, and to work with trustworthy charitable bodies to this end. We ask Allah, the Almighty, to bless these contributions, and swiftly lift the injustice and repression from the noble and free people of Syria, and to protect their lives and the lives of their children, and to bring about the speedy achievement of their just demands.

Brussels, 20 December 2011

The Federation of Islamic Organisations in Europe

FIOE condemns the horrific attacks on churches in Nigeria

The Federation of Islamic Organisations in Europe condemns in the strongest terms the horrific attacks on a number of churches in Nigeria, and expresses its great pain for the tens of innocent victims, who were celebrating the Christian festival inside.

No doubt that these horrendous attacks, and their bloody outcome, are acts condemned by all conventions, religions, and norms, and cannot be justified in any way. Needless to say, Islam explicitly prohibits the shedding of the blood of innocents, threatening their safety, or violating the sanctity of places of worship, and terrorising the worshippers within.

The Federation of Islamic Organisations in Europe expresses its deep concern for the cycle of bloody violence witnessed in Nigeria recently, which reached new heights in attacks on churches in the celebration season.

The Federation emphasises that concern for Nigeria’s present and future requires supporting the religious and cultural diversity of the people, and collective action by Muslims and Christians against all that threatens the ties of peaceful co-existence in local communities. Dialogue remains the only way to address any problems or complaints, while protecting communal peace, preserving life, and rejecting violence and terror.

These recent developments require action by Nigeria’s scholars, wise people, and religious leaders, as well as politicians, the media, and public opinion leaders in local communities, of all constituencies and sects, to common and persevering efforts to combat the trends of extremism, reinforce mutual understanding, and contribute to spreading peace in society; this is the ideal response to the recent attacks.

Brussels, 26 December 2011

The Federation of Islamic Organisations in Europe

FIOE condemns attacks on churches in Nigeria and expresses its worry for increased violence

FIOE condemned in the strongest terms the horrific attacks on a number of churches in Nigeria, and expressed its great pain for the tens of innocent victims, who were celebrating the Christian festival inside.

In its statement, FIOE said: “No doubt that these horrendous attacks, and their bloody outcome, are acts condemned by all conventions, religions, and norms, and cannot be justified in any way. Needless to say, Islam explicitly prohibits the shedding of the blood of innocents, threatening their safety, or violating the sanctity of places of worship, and terrorising the worshippers within.”

Moreover, FIOE expressed its deep concern for the cycle of bloody violence witnessed in Nigeria recently, which reached new heights in attacks on churches in the celebration season.

FIOE emphasised that concern for Nigeria’s present and future requires supporting the religious and cultural diversity of the people, and collective action by Muslims and Christians against all that threatens the ties of peaceful co-existence in local communities. Dialogue remains the only way to address any problems or complaints, while protecting communal peace, preserving life, and rejecting violence and terror.

FIOE hold the view that these recent developments require action by Nigeria’s scholars, wise people, and religious leaders, as well as politicians, the media, and public opinion leaders in local communities, of all constituencies and sects, to common and persevering efforts to combat the trends of extremism, reinforce mutual understanding, and contribute to spreading peace in society; this is the ideal response to the recent attacks.

Ukraine: ARRAID closes its tenth conference with electing new president

The Association of Social Organizations in Ukraine (ARRAID) held its tenth conference at the end of 2009 – 2011 executive term where the participants discussed the work reports and elected a new president and legislative panel for the federation.

ARRAID tenth general conference was convened in the Ukraine capital city of Kiev in 17th – 18th of December 2011. The leadership of the federation, representatives of specialized institutions, heads of member organizations, diplomatic officials, guests form civil society, leaders of Arab and Islamic communities in the city and members of the federation of Islamic organizations in Europe attended this event.

After the welcome ceremony, ARRAID president Dr. Ismail Qadhi presented a work report of the federation for the 2009-2011 executive term. Dr Qadhi reviewed the main achievements and activities of the central departments of the federation, its committees and specialized institutions. He detailed the main achievements in the administrative, religious, cultural, educational, charity, public relations, media, and civilizational communication fields.

Moreover, Dr Qahdi reviewed the challenges and obstacles that the federation encountered during the last executive term. He expressed his thanks to all member organizations and executive bureaus for their effective role in supporting the federation work in Ukraine.

Dr Basil Marai the president of legislative panel presented the panel report and highlighted the most important policies adopted by the federation in its work including openness to the Ukrainian society, positive interaction with its issues, and policy of spending rationalization and uniqueness of discourse.

The conference appreciated the efforts of ARRAID associations, bureaus, and specialized institutions for their effective role in unifying ranks and positive interaction to make the strategic five-year plan successful during this executive term and to support the institutional development on the basis of brotherhood, collaboration and love.

The conference witnessed the general elections of the federation which resulted in electing Dr. Basil Marai for the presidency office and Mr. Siran Arifov as a president of the legislative panel.

General Conference Recommendations

After presentations and election the conference concluded its work by some recommendations that included “highlighting the importance of unity among the Ukrainian Muslims on the basis of Islamic brotherhood and European and Ukrainian citizenship; the necessity of establishing effective channels of collaboration, communication, integration and dismissing any causes of disunity.”

The final statement of the conference stressed on the importance of communication and correlation between the institutions, member associations in cities and the central bureaus of ARRAID federation. It also reminded of the necessity of developing institutional work for the member associations and adopting the principle of planning, evaluating and performance follow-up.

The conference also emphasized on the importance of holding various events and programs for the youth and paying special attention to the file of Muslim family as important stesp in assimilating and attracting the second and third generations of Muslim children in Ukraine.

It also confirmed the importance of promoting the right understanding of moderate Islam and spreading this among Muslim children and directing efforts and potentials to serve the public interest.

The conference also warned against some tendencies that want to confine Muslims in Ukraine to a very narrow regional belonging. It also reminded the Ukrainian Muslims of their responsibilities for unifying ranks and unity and their responsibility for avoiding conflict and rift which endanger their efficiency in responding to the challenges and needs of society.

Moreover, the conference urged the Islamic institutions and social organizations in Ukraine to work for unity and unifying the timing of fasting and Islamic festivals. It also urged them to cooperate in the optimal way to meet the cultural and religious needs of the Ukrainian Muslims.

The conference also condemned the violence and oppression in Syria and Yemen and expressed its solidarity with the Islamic and Arab people in their legitimate rights to equity and equality without any differentiation on the basis of ugly sectarianism.

Finally the conference highlighted the necessity of activating the role of ARRAID federation as a communication bridge between Ukraine and the Islamic world in a way that serves the public interest. It also urged the Ukrainian Muslims and different sectors of society to contribute actively to the renaissance and development of the Ukrainian society.

Young Skills of European Muslims Launch “Media Action Network”

“Euro Media Days” bringing together specialized competencies and young energies

Brussels – A great event was held in Brussels and continued for many days where it brought together a great number of media persons from the European Muslims. The event resulted in the formation of media action network all over the European continent.

The event of “Euro Media Days” was held for consecutive four days in Brussels with the participation of more than 130 persons from 16 European countries namely: Belgium, Britain, Denmark, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Macedonia, Netherlands, Norway, Romania, Spain, Sweden, and Switzerland. The event was held in 8th – 11thDecember 2011 and the participants formed a coordinating framework under the name of “Media Action Network”.

The “Euro Media Days” represent the central event for the “Media Action Network” suggested by the Media Division in the Federation of Islamic Organizations in Europe.Actually the event of “Euro Media Days” allows encouraging the competencies from multiple generations and various countries in the European continent, sponsoring them, developing innovative programs and projects and creating opportunities of collaboration and effective initiatives in the media field.

A group of academic persons, professors, consultants, experts, media persons, managers of media institutions, and professionals participated in this event.

Knowledge, Training and Experience Exchange

Mr. Hossam Shaker, the media advisor and the coordinator of this unprecedented event mentioned that: “Euro Media Days represent a focused event that brings together a large number of specialists and interested parties, as well as rising stars in the media, especially from among the younger generation, who meet over the space of several days, and are divided into specialised groups.’ “This significant event draws together specialist knowledge, practical training, team application, experiment and critique, as well as mutual consultation and exchange of experiences,” he added.

“Euro Media Days”, held in multiple languages, included high-level, specialised media training, meetings with prominent experts and media professionals, and extended study circles and workshops. Among the works of the “Euro Media Days” there were certain specialized media groups divided into journalism, TV & film, photo & video, new media, and public relations workgroups. The event also witnessed development of some innovative media projects at the European level in addition to reviewing, evaluating and exchanging experiences.

In his speech Federation of Islamic Organizations in Europe (FIOE) President Mr. Chakib Ben Makhlouf encouraged the European Muslims to pay more attention to media fields and expressed his sadness for the steady increase in the negative coverage of Islamic affairs in the European media which ignored the professional criteria.  The president of the FIOE, which has a variety of institutions all over the European continent, drew attention to the responsibilities of new media personnel among the European Muslims and their expected roles. He also confirmed that the federation will support and contribute to creating opportunities in order to enable them to succeed and innovate in this vital field.

“Euro Media Days”.. Concentrated Contents

The subjects covered by “Euro Media Days” included the experiences of journalism work and reportages, skills of successful journalists in addition to the reality of media arena in a group of the European countries. The contents included the concept of modern public relations and its application, institutions of information, communication with mass media, organization of media campaigns in the European reality.

The “Euro Media Days” included some events covering success stories in TV channels, talk shows and interviews, scenario writing, and ironic animated cartoon that deal with social and political issues. The event “Euro Media Days” also included specialized sessions dealing with the language of photo, visual culture, the professional media shooting in various fields and practical interaction with TV camera.

Some special sessions were held to deal with the topic of new media. This included a lecture on social networks and social responsibility. There was also a critical review of propaganda and some practical experiences in video clips. The event also tackled the phenomenon of Islam-phobia in video clips and reviewed some case studies.