The Seventh 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 14-17 November 2013 (10-13 Muharram 1435H) in 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 concluded the review of Federation performance over the past decade, and the horizons for potential improvement in the coming phase. The Council studied the overall conditions of Europe’s Muslims, and the means to develop work, coordination, and partnership, within European civil society. The Council also deliberated over current issues on the European scene, and the means for addressing them, as well as various questions and matters in different fields.
The Council congratulates Europe’s Muslims and the entire Muslim nation on the Hijri New Year (1435H), and closes proceedings by articulating the following positions and directives:
- • First: the Council urges Muslims in Europe, as collectives, organisations, and individuals, to adhere to the principles and teachings of Islam, embody good citizenship and positive examples in daily life, and provide the best expression of the spirit of positive communication and noble manners, while participating effectively in serving, and striving for the prosperity of their societies. The Council invites Muslims and Islamic organisations in Europe to advance the efforts of cooperation and coordination in diverse spheres, while strengthening serious communication and constructive partnership with the constituents of European societies.
- • Second: the Council notes the effects of the economic crisis on a number of European countries reflected in rising poverty, unemployment, and social unrest. The Council considers it vital to tackle the social dimensions of the economic crisis, and reinforce solidarity and mutual support among the constituents of society in confronting this challenge. In this regard, the Council urges Islamic organisations in Europe to cooperate constructively with their partners in European homelands.
- • Third: the Council closely follows the tragedy of thousands of individuals escaping from desperate circumstances and seeking refuge in Europe, crossing the sea at great risk to their lives, due to the political, social, and economic crises provoked by dictatorial and repressive regimes. The Council emphasises that treatment of the crisis highlights the case for supporting democracy, opposing military coups, and promoting a holistic approach to development, as the key priority of European foreign policy. The Council calls on Europe’s Muslims and their organisations to provide material and moral support to the newcomers, and coordinate efforts with the relevant authorities and humanitarian bodies.
- • Fourth: the Council supports the initiative by European authorities and bodies to offer positive treatments and solutions that take account of the specificities of European Muslim citizens within the wide space of citizenship, and fundamental constitutional principles.
- • Fifth: the Council expresses its shock at the extent of practices of eavesdropping and surveillance, invading individuals’ personal space, and spying on their private life, constituting a trespass on personal rights of all citizens with impunity. The Council considers it important to reject such violations, whose perpetrators have spied undeterred, even on prominent public figures, heads of state and high government officials, as exposed by recent leaks.
- • Sixth: the Council warns of the continuing flagrant violations by the Israeli occupation authorities of the blessed al-Aqsa Mosque, and the city of Jerusalem, razing homes, and demolishing historical and archaeological features, seeking to alter the city’s historical and civilizational identity. The Council also expresses its alarm over the tightening of the suffocating siege of nearly two million Palestinians in the Gaza Strip, the threat of military action against Gaza’s inhabitants, the expansion of illegal settlement on Palestinian land in the West Bank, and the impunity in committing grave violations against the Palestinians.
- • Seventh: the Council condemns in the strongest terms, the attempts to annul the gains made by the Arab peoples’ revolutions, and the unceasing efforts to subvert citizens’ free choice in re-establishing tyranny and repression in the most brutal form. The Council expresses disappointment at the absence of European official resolve, and deplorable silence over the coup against democracy, and the appalling massacres, violations, and persistent injustices.
- • Eighth: the Council condemns the military coup that aborted democracy in Egypt, by annulling the constitution, and deposing the elected president and the legitimate bodies. The Council denounces Egypt’s return to military rule, thus shattering aspirations of democratic transformation and transparent popular participation. The Council expresses its shock at the horrific massacres, violations and campaigns of terror perpetrated by the military coup authorities against the Egyptian people, and peaceful protesters over the past months. The Council warns of the dire consequences of the coup on social peace in Egypt, the safety of citizens, their civil rights, and freedom to express their opinion and persuasion.
- • Ninth: the Council reaffirms its profound concern over the crisis of the Syrian people, after three years of brutal repression by the regime, and horrific crimes committed using conventional and chemical weapons in full view of the entire world. The Council asserts its fraternal solidarity with the Syrian people, and emphasises the necessity to offer help through all legitimate civil means given the terrible tragedy, and to support their just cause on the civil, media, political and humanitarian aid levels. At the same time, the Council points out that volunteers travelling from Europe to fight in Syria does not help the Syrian cause, and has negative consequences on Europe’s Muslims.
- • Tenth: the Council finds reprehensible the escalation of sectarian conflicts in parts of the Muslim world, on the backdrop of political disputes, sometimes resulting in violence and aggression. The Council urges Europe’s Muslims, especially Imams and media professionals, to take the lead in combating sectarian speech, which stirs hatred and fuels division in societies, diverting them from their real priorities.
- • Eleven: the Council shares with the people of the Philippines their feelings of anguish regarding the great number of victims, and the extensive damage and population displacement in the aftermath of Typhoon Haiyan. The Council expresses its concern for the situation of the victims of the floods that swept through parts of Somalia exacerbating the existing suffering as a result of endemic drought and internecine strife. The Council urges Europe’s Muslims, and charitable and medical organisations to help all those affected in the Philippines and Somalia, by providing relief to those affected in these tragedies.
All praise is to Allah, Lord of all creation
The Federation of Islamic Organisations in Europe