European Muslim invitations: Reassuring communities in the Muslim world

Brussels – The Citizenship and Public Affairs Department in the Federation of Islamic Organisations in Europe (FIOE) urged the protection of diversity, and reinforcement of human rights and gains of citizenship in countries in the Muslim world, as well as achieving security and peace of mind for Muslims and non-Muslims.

Commenting on the series of developments and events witnessed in some Muslim countries recently, and the feelings of fear provoked regarding the religious freedom of non-Muslim communities, the Citizenship and Public Affairs Department pointed out in a written press release that “Islam elevates the issue of religious freedom, and protects places of worship belonging to religious communities from any vandalism or violation, and rejects coercion in religion, giving Man the right to choose their creed“.

The Department in its press release stated: “needless to say that Islam recognises the principle of diversity and difference existing between people, and is not at all uncomfortable with the reality of religious and cultural diversity existing among them, rather it invites to mutual recognition, cooperation, and complementarity between the constituents of the one society, and the larger human family on the basis of mutual respect“; as asserted.

The Department explained in this regard: “sometimes, reprehensible developments or steps may occur, which cannot represent the teachings of Islam, or the reality existing in the Muslim world in the past and present, in terms of respect for freedom of religious belief and ritual practice, and the preservation of places of worship. In contrast, in some media reports, scattered incidents and unrepresentative statements may be blown out of proportion, which may paint a negative, and unrealistic picture of the conditions of religious communities in Muslim countries“.

The Department, belonging to the Federation of Islamic Organisations in Europe, invited Muslim scholars, intellectuals, media professionals, and decision-makers, to “express the tolerance of Islam, reassure partners in citizenship from religious communities, cooperate to protect places of worship from any vandalism or attack, achieve security in societies, and rectify positions and statements so as to be in harmony with the teachings of Islam, and human and civilisational values“; as mentioned in the statement.

FIOE: Denying the eminent scholar al-Qaradawi permission to enter France is both surprising and offensive to Muslims

The Federation of Islamic Organisations in Europe (FIOE) received with great surprise the announcement by French officials of their intention to refuse to allow the eminent Muslim scholar, Dr Yusuf al-Qaradawi, to enter France to attend the 29th Annual Meeting of France’s Muslims; a step coinciding with a reprehensible smear campaign in the media against this noble scholar, who commands wide respect.

The Federation calls upon the French officials to reverse this step, which sends the wrong message, and offends Muslims in France, Europe, and abroad, as well as Muslim scholars in general. The Federation expresses its concern as to the implications of this step, which throws unfair moral burdens on France’s Muslims following the recent terrible crimes witnessed in Toulouse, whose victims were French citizens from different religious communities, among them Muslims.

The Federation of Islamic Organisations in Europe (FIOE) considers this step not only offensive to the person of Shaykh Dr. Yusuf al-Qaradawi, but to Muslims in France, Europe, and elsewhere, and to Muslim scholars generally, and harms efforts to achieve dialogue and understanding. Dr. al-Qaradawi is one of the most prominent Muslim scholars, and heads the International Union of Muslim Scholars, aside from the special place he enjoys with Europe’s Muslims, as President of the European Council of Fatwa and Research (ECFR), and as a well known advocate of dialogue between religions and cultures.

The Federation of Islamic Organisations in Europe points out that all responsible parties in France and Europe are required to work at winning hearts, building bridges, and reinforcing mutual trust, as well as closing the door on those voices inciting discord and hostility, creating splits within our societies, and damaging relations between cultures.

The Federation indicates that Muslims in France and Europe express extensive feelings of solidarity with Shaykh al-Qaradawi in face of these measures, which are contrary the essentials of common courtesy, given that he is the eminent scholar, renowned as an advocate of dialogue, champion of moderation, opponent of extremism, promoter of mutual understanding, and supporter of the integration and positive participation of Muslims in their European societies.

Brussels, 27 March 2012

The Federation of Islamic Organisations in Europe (FIOE)

FIOE: Denying al-Qaradawi permission to enter France is offensive to Muslims

The Federation of Islamic Organisations in Europe (FIOE) declared that it received with great surprise the announcement by French officials of their intention to refuse to allow the eminent Muslim scholar, Dr Yusuf al-Qaradawi, to enter France to attend the 29th Annual Meeting of France’s Muslims; a step coinciding with a reprehensible smear campaign in the media against this noble scholar, who commands wide respect.

In a response to the declarations by the French presidency office, The Federation called upon the French officials to reverse this step, which sends the wrong message, and offends Muslims in France, Europe, and abroad, as well as Muslim scholars in general. The Federation also expressed its concern as to the implications of this step, which throws unfair moral burdens on France’s Muslims following the recent terrible crimes witnessed in Toulouse, whose victims were French citizens from different religious communities, among them Muslims.

FIOE considered this step not only offensive to the person of Shaykh Dr. Yusuf al-Qaradawi, but to Muslims in France, Europe, and elsewhere, and to Muslim scholars generally, and harms efforts to achieve dialogue and understanding. Dr. al-Qaradawi is one of the most prominent Muslim scholars, and heads the International Union of Muslim Scholars, aside from the special place he enjoys with Europe’s Muslims, as President of the European Council of Fatwa and Research (ECFR), and as a well known advocate of dialogue between religions and cultures.

FIOE pointed out that all responsible parties in France and Europe are required to work at winning hearts, building bridges, and reinforcing mutual trust, as well as closing the door on those voices inciting discord and hostility, creating splits within our societies, and damaging relations between cultures.

In its statement issued in this regard, the Federation indicated that Muslims in France and Europe express extensive feelings of solidarity with Shaykh al-Qaradawi in face of these measures, which are contrary the essentials of common courtesy, given that he is the eminent scholar, renowned as an advocate of dialogue, champion of moderation, opponent of extremism, promoter of mutual understanding, and supporter of the integration and positive participation of Muslims in their European societies.

FIOE condemns the horrific attack on the Jewish school in France

Reports have informed of an attack today, Monday 19 March, on a Jewish school in the French city of Toulouse, leading to a number of innocent victims falling, dead and injured, among them children.

The Federation of Islamic Organisations in Europe (FIOE) expresses its strong condemnation for this horrific attack, which targeted children while being taught in their classrooms, in an appalling incident that represents a despicable and shocking act.

The Federation of Islamic Organisations in Europe (FIOE) offers its heartfelt condolences to the families of the victims and the school, in this painful incident, wishing a speedy recovery for those injured, and expressing the solidarity of Europe’s Muslims with all of them at this painful time.

Brussels, 19 March 2012

The Federation of Islamic Organisations in Europe (FIOE)

FIOE calls for intensive action in support of al-Aqsa Mosque and participation in the ‘Global March to Jerusalem’

The Federation of Islamic Organisations in Europe (FIOE) invites Muslims, and the management bodies of organisations, Islamic centres, and mosques across the European Continent to dedicate the last week in March 2012 to intensive activities in support of the city of Jerusalem (al-Quds) and the blessed al-Aqsa Mosque, given the escalating Israeli threats to the city, its holy sites, and the Palestinian inhabitants.

This initiative comes as part of worldwide efforts to support the just cause of Jerusalem, including the ’Global March to Jerusalem’ on 30 March 2012 in opposition to Israeli occupation and prevailing for the values of truth, justice, liberties of peoples, and human dignity.

The Federation of Islamic Organisations in Europe (FIOE) voices its deep concern regarding the situation in the city of Jerusalem, and the violations of the sanctity of the blessed al-Aqsa Mosque, and Muslim and Christian holy sites by the Israeli Occupation and its extremist groups. Furthermore, the Federation affirms its solidarity with the Palestinian people, demanding they be allowed to regain their stolen rights, and realise their legitimate demands. The Federation emphasises the importance of universal, concerted effort and cooperation to confront the arrogance of the Israeli occupation persisting in its unrestrained and aggressive policies against the city of Jerusalem and its inhabitants, as well as engaging in effective action to bring an end to these flagrant violations.

The Federation of Islamic Organisations in Europe (FIOE) urges organisations, groupings, Islamic centres, and mosques across the continent to undertake a number of activities and initiatives in this regard, among them, for example:

  • Dedicating the sermon (Khutbah) on Friday, 30 March 2012 to reflect on the situation in Jerusalem, the merits of al-Aqsa Mosque, and the threat posed by the Israeli occupation to Jerusalem, its holy sites, and inhabitants, and the necessity of supporting this just cause, and showing solidarity with the Jerusalemites.
  • Effective participation in the ‘Global March to Jerusalem’ on Friday and Saturday, 30 and 31 March 2012 respectively, through marches and protests organised locally in European capitals and cities, with the purpose of highlighting the issue of Jerusalem, and working with civil society organisations in this respect.
  • Holding diverse cultural and media activities for the public, such as exhibitions, seminars, and lectures, as well as issuing press releases, while highlighting the issue of Jerusalem on websites and through social media, and informing of the reality faced by the inhabitants of the city and their suffering.
  • Collecting donations for Jerusalem and projects that strengthen the determination to resist of the city’s Palestinian inhabitants under occupation, through trusted charitable and development bodies.

Brussels, 22 March 2012

The Federation of Islamic Organisations in Europe (FIOE)

FIOE strongly condemns the attack on a mosque in Brussels, with the death of its Imam

The Federation of Islamic Organisations in Europe expresses its strongest condemnation of the attack targeting a mosque in the Belgian capital, Brussels, which led to the death of the mosque’s Imam.
The Federation received with great sadness the news of a crime of arson committed by setting fire to a mosque in Brussels, with the death of its Imam, on Monday evening, 12 March 2012. The Federation of Islamic Organisations in Europe (FIOE) expresses its solidarity with the congregation of the mosque targeted in this attack, and shares their grief in the death of the Imam.
It is quite painful that mosques are targeted in attacks motivated by hate, while it is imperative to preserve the sanctity of places of worship, and reject attacks of all forms.
Brussels, 13 March 2012
The Federation of Islamic Organisations in Europe (FIOE)

FIOE condemns the despicable violation of a British cemetery and a religious monument in Libya

The Federation of Islamic Organisations in Europe expresses its condemnation of the violations and abuses that took place in a British cemetery in Libya, and a religious monument on the site. The scenes transmitted by the media portray shocking behaviour targeting headstones marking graves in the British Cemetery in Benghazi, and show a barbaric attack on a Christian religious monument.

The Federation deplores such despicable behaviour targeting graves, and religious and historical monuments. Such an attack blatantly contravenes the teachings of Islam, which safeguard the sanctity of the dead, and uphold respect for human dignity, in life and death, regardless of the deceased’s religion or country of origin. Without doubt, this type of abuse is not representative of the noble Libyan people, who have protected both the sanctity of the dead, from different religions, and these religious monuments, over a long period in time.

The Federation of Islamic Organisations in Europe calls upon the responsible authorities in Libya to take all necessary measures and actions to bring security, stop vandalism, and prevent the recurrence of such acts of damage and abuse. The Federation urges Muslim scholars, Imams, educators, and the media in Libya, to intensify their efforts in raising awareness, and elucidating the true teachings of Islam.

Brussels, 6 March 2012

The Federation of Islamic Organisations in Europe