FIOE held celebration in Brussels on the occasion of Hajj and blessed Eid-ul-Adha

The Federation of Islamic Organizations in Europe held a celebration in Brussels on the occasion of Hajj and Eid-ul-Adha. The celebration held on Monday evening (21st) was attended by a group of public figures. This high level celebration was also attended by more than one hundred European diplomats, parliament members, officials, religious leaders and representatives of the civil society and cultural life.

In His welcome speech, the FIOE president Chakib Ben Makhlouf said: “With the word of peace, with which Islam directs us; with this marvellous word, I am pleased to welcome you most graciously, and thank you from deep in my heart, for accepting our invitation to this celebration, occasioned by Eid-ul-Adha, in this wonderful city of Brussels, capital of European unity.” “Indeed, Muslims have celebrated Eid in Europe, and some have been able to observe the fifth pillar of Islam, by performing the Hajj or pilgrimage, obligatory once in a lifetime for Muslims, men and women, if they are able” he added.

The FIOE president said: “A few days ago, I returned from the Hajj, where I witnessed tens of thousands of Europe’s Muslims embark on this journey of faith—the journey of a lifetime, where they contributed to the composition of a wonderful portrait of peace and human harmony among diverse colours, cultures, and languages.”

Mr Makhlouf confirmed that there are many noble meanings attached to the Hajj, and also Eid-ul-Adha, which Muslims would be wise to express in their social surroundings, in the form of virtuous values, and positive guidance inspired by this season of every year, embodying the message of Islam that seeks good for people—all people; a message of mercy to all creation.

In his speech on this occasion, His Excellency Arif Havas Oegroseno the ambassador of Indonesia, called for developing mutual understanding. He shed light on the experience of his country with Muslim majority in achieving a positive state of religious variety and cohabitation among different cultural sectors.

His Excellency Jonathan Brenton, the Ambassador of United Kingdom stated in his speech that it was the first time for him to participate in celebratory occasion of Muslim Eid and he intends to participate whenever it is possible. Mr Brenton indicated that thousands of British Muslims performed pilgrimage this year and actually this represents a great opportunity of communication with the Islamic world.

The celebration witnessed some guest’s speeches including the speech by Father Joe Vella Gauci, the manager of COMECE where he confirmed the importance of promoting inter-faith dialogue. There was also Mrs. Mag. Elizabeta Kitanovic of CEC-KEK (Church and Society Commission) who stressed the necessity of developing collaboration in the field of civil society and human rights. Similarly Mr. Semsettin Ugurlu the President of the Exécutif des Musulmans de Belgique and Mr. Franck-Amine Hensch the President of the Ligue des Musulmans de Belgique stressed on the importance of those values.

Moreover, Mr Abdirizak Waberi, FIOE’s vice president and head of citizenship and PR Department, reviewed the efforts of the federation in building bridges of mutual understanding in Europe and among different cultures. He added that: “If there are some problems and issues, then we should be a part of the solution.”

The program of this celebratory event included some artistic performances and short film produced by the Federation of Islamic Organizations in Europe about Muslim childhood in the continent on the occasion of universal Children’s Day.

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