The Fourth General Assembly in the Ninth term of the Federation of Islamic Organisations in Europe (FIOE) was held, with the blessing and aid of Allah, from 16-19 May 2013 (6-9 Rajab 1434H) in the city of Istanbul, with the participation of the Federation leadership, and representatives of member organisations in the majority of European countries.
The General Assembly deliberated over the developments in the Federation’s work, and discussed the performance of the Federation, its bodies, and member organisations, seeking to improve performance, develop positive efforts, and overcome difficulties. The General Assembly discussed the situation in Europe, and the affairs of Muslims on the Continent, as well as related issues and concerns. The General Assembly also discussed social issues and a number of questions and matters that are topic of public debate in Europe.
At the close of proceedings, the Assembly articulated the following positions and directives:
- • First: the Assembly urges Muslims in Europe to adhere to the principles and teachings of Islam, embody good citizenship and positive examples in their daily life, and provide the best expression of the spirit of positive communication and noble manners, while participating effectively in the service of their societies, and striving for their prosperity.
- • Second: the Assembly emphasises that support for the family, in its constituents of mother, father, and children, and supporting its harmony and stability, are indispensable fundamental requirements in various societies. The Assembly encourages all relevant authorities to empower families to undertake the social, educational, and psychological role, in a way that serves European societies and the new generations in diverse circumstances.
- • Third: the Assembly follows with concern the negative effects arising from the financial crisis in a number of European countries, such as rising levels of poverty and unemployment, and high levels of emigration to outside the Union. This requires reinforcing solidarity and mutual support among the constituents of society in confronting this situation and reducing its effects. The General Assembly warns that extremist parties in several European countries are seeking to exploit the economic crisis in stirring animosity and harming social peace, by fanning the flames of racism.
- • Fourth: the Assembly notes the positions and voices that work to impede Europe’s Muslims’ participation in public life, seeking to exclude them, and hindering the performance of an effective citizenship role. The Assembly emphasises that there is no option for Europe’s Muslims, but to avoid becoming isolated and introverted, to work with partners on the European scene to engage opportunities for participation, and to continuously monitor adherence to the relevant constitutional and legal principles and thwart any potential violations of the same. The Assembly calls for reinforcing the spirit of openness, partnership, and plurality in the European reality, supporting the balance of moderation, promoting a culture of consensus, and non-violation of human rights, and respect for religious liberty.
- • Fifth: the Assembly expresses its deep distress regarding the escalation in the suffering of the Syrian people, in relation to the horrific crimes perpetrated by the ruling regime and its forces, and the inaction of the international community regarding this continuing tragedy, now in its third year. The General Assembly as it renews its fraternal solidarity with the Syrian people, and its support for their aspirations of democratic change, and end to tyranny, asserts the importance of developing the efforts of solidarity with the Syrian people, as well as providing emergency relief for millions of displaced persons and inhabitants of affected areas, and invites international community to meet its responsibility in halting these crimes.
- • Sixth: the Assembly expresses its deep concern at the situation in the city of Jerusalem given the violations by the Israeli occupation and extremist gangs of the sanctity of the blessed al-Aqsa Mosque, and Muslim and Christian places of worship, and their relentless efforts to impose a status quo in Jerusalem, and change its civilisational identity, by deepening the ethnic and racial divide within it. The Assembly expresses solidarity with the Palestinian people, and prisoners in the jails of the Israeli occupation; it condemns the unjust policies prcatised against them, and invites European governments to adopt positions to pressure the Israeli government and authorities to halt their continued violations.
- • Seventh: the Assembly encourages the democratic trend and emancipation of peoples from tyrannical and corrupt regimes, enabling them to establish the state of law. The Assembly urges support for the Arab peoples to enable them to overcome the crises they face, and to enjoy the opportunity to achieve their aspirations in constructing a state of democracy and law, as well as a society of liberty, justice, and human dignity.
- • Eighth: the Assembly deplores the facts of repression, discrimination and expulsion of the Rohingya Muslims of Myanmar, in violations rising to the level of ethnic cleansing, crimes against humanity, and denial of the right to citizenship and safe life. The Assembly demands that the authorities in Myanmar put an end to these grave violations, which must not be allowed in a civilised world, and that European and international bodies adopt positions to deter any such atrocities or violations.
- • Ninth: the Assembly is shocked by the disaster witnessed in Bangladesh, leading to loss of life of a thousand men and women working in the clothing sector, which makes products for European and multinational corporations. This tragedy, which is not the first of its kind, must catalyse serious moral debate among our partners in European society in order to achieve fairness and justice, and respect for the dignity of those persons, whose hard sweat feeds the consumption of our European societies, under unfair work regimes that are negligent of the rights and safety of male and female workers.
- • Tenth: the Assembly expresses its concern regarding the rising sectarian intolerance in some areas of the Islamic world, which is forewarning of the consequences of fragmentation and communal strife, rather than unity among those who share the values of monotheism and a single prayer direction (Qiblah). No doubt, Europe’s Muslims are able to contribute in embodying a positive model of dialogue, overcoming extremism, proscribing hatred, respecting diversity, and manifesting wisdom in managing difference.
- • Eleventh: the Assembly from the position of concern for dialogue and mutual understanding hopes that civil and religious leaders, as well as pioneers of culture and thought, advance their efforts and contributions towards reinforcing mutual respect and developing understanding in European societies and our one world. The Federation of Islamic Organisations in Europe remains, as always, open to cooperation as a wise response to common challenges in our European societies.
Istanbul, 16-19 May 2013 (6-9 Rajab 1434H)
The Federation of Islamic Organisations in Europe (FIOE)