The sixth Shura Council in the ninth term of the Federation of Islamic Organisations in Europe (FIOE) was held, with the blessing and aid of Allah, from 7-10 February 2013 (26-29 Rabi’ al-Awwal 1434H) in the city of Istanbul. The Council convened this ordinary meeting, chaired by the governing body of the Federation Shura Council, and with the participation of the Federation President, Executive Office members, and representatives of member organisations in the majority of European countries.
The Shura Council deliberated over the developments in the Federation’s work, and the progress in management tasks; it also discussed the performance of the Federation, its bodies, and member organisations, and reviewed the projects, programmes, and campaigns organised by Federation departments and member organisations.
The Council also discussed the situation in Europe, and the affairs of Muslims on the Continent, as well as related issues and concerns. The Council also considered means of reinforcing cooperation and coordination with partners in citizenship in Europe, and developing participation in societal dialogue, as well as continuing to strive to serve Europe’s Muslims, and contributing to assuring the public interest of European societies.
The Shura Council in this session continued the review of Federation performance over the past decade, and the horizons for potential improvement in the coming phase. The Council studied, with the participation of a number of experts, the overall conditions of Europe’s Muslims, the social and economic challenges, and the roles required in dealing with the state of affairs and challenges. The Council also deliberated over the issues, current in this phase on the European scene, and the means of dealing with them, as well as various questions and matters relating to different fields.
The Council, at the close of proceedings, articulates the following positions and directives:
First: the Council urges Islamic organisations to develop the forms of Muslims’ participation in their societies and European countries, and advance the interaction in general societal dialogue regarding the diverse issues. The Council urges greater attention to citizenship affairs through activities, initiatives, and intensified efforts in this area during 2013, as the European year for citizens.
Second: the Council emphasises that support for the family and its constituents—mothers, fathers, and children, attention to its needs, and reinforcing its harmony and stability, are key indispensable requirements in all societies. The Council urges all relevant authorities to empower the family in developing its social, educational, and psychological role, to serve European societies, and new generations under all conditions.
Third: the Council supports those positions demanding further development of guarantees that reinforce the dignity of women and girls in the workplace, social context, and any other area. The Council considers it important to revise the negative stereotypes of women, and their social, employment, and household roles, and to combat the abuse of women’s dignity in some economic activities, and irresponsible media and advertising contexts.
Fourth: the Council follows the recent revelations concerning the violations committed by food producers, through misrepresenting the true ingredients of products, deceiving consumers, and undermining the quality of food products on the market. The Council also voices its concern regarding the trend in some European countries to impose new restrictions and standards that deny Muslims access to Halal meat according to the stipulations of their religion, or discriminating against them in this regard; the Council demands respect for the religious rights of Europe’s Muslims in the specifications of meat and foodstuffs.
Fifth: the Council condemns in the strongest terms the racist trend driven by extremists, especially in Greece, and the violent and fatal attacks committed on the streets, fuelled by hate. The Council considers that the recent escalation in this trend, with fatalities and grievous harm, rings warning bells regarding extremists in a number of European countries working to exploit the economic crises in fomenting hate, undermining social peace, and spreading the disease of racism.
Sixth: the Council warns of the danger in the evil spread of violence, gun use, and drug dealing in some European countries, especially among the youth. The Council considers it important that civil society, including religious bodies, redouble efforts to address these phenomena, and protect society from violent trends, in addition to the various legal and procedural means of combating such behaviour.
- Seventh: the Council expresses its deep distress regarding the escalating suffering of the Syrian people, in the horrific crimes perpetrated by the ruling regime and its forces, and international powerlessness and lack of resolve regarding this tragedy that has continued now for two years. The Council renews its fraternal solidarity with the Syrian people in their revolution for freedom and dignity, and supports their aspirations of democratic change and end to tyranny. The Council calls for further efforts in solidarity with the Syrian people, including providing urgent assistance to millions of inhabitants and displaced Syrians in the affected areas.
- Eighth: the Council warns against the escalating and flagrant attacks by the authorities and military forces of the Israeli occupation against the Palestinian people, including the recent aggression on the Gaza Strip, the illegal expansion of settlements on Palestinian land, the continuing policy of detaining children, and acts of racial discrimination. The Council condemns the blatant attacks on the city of Jerusalem, the razing of homes, and the demolition of historical and archaeological features. Moreover, disseminating official propaganda films depicting the destruction of the blessed al-Aqsa Mosque, and the Dome of the Rock, in order to realise projects for the Juda-isation of the heart of Jerusalem.
- Ninth: the Council calls for support for the Arab Spring, to enable it to overcome the crises it is experiencing, and to allow it the opportunity to achieve the aspirations of its peoples in building the state of democracy, and law, and society of freedom, justice, and human dignity, after many dark decades of tyranny and corruption. The Council notes with surprise the position of some Western politicians regarding the democratic change in the Arab world, which betray a lack of respect for the sovereignty of these peoples and their free choice.
Tenth: the Council expresses its congratulations to the Republic of Albania—people, government, and civil society, on 100 years of independence. The Council hopes that the Albanian people achieve further progress and prosperity in the diverse fields.
All praise is to Allah, Lord of all creation
The Federation of Islamic Organisations in Europe