FIOE: the crisis of refugees requires urgent and serious treatments

The Federation of Islamic Organisations in Europe follows with great concern the escalating crisis in dealing with asylum seekers in Europe, and expresses its distress for the tragedies that have led to the increasing numbers of victims through drowning or suffocation in the journeys of pursuing safe haven.

It is impossible to ignore the conditions suffered by asylum seekers, especially with the worsening phenomena of living exposed to the elements in the open, sleeping rough on the pavements, and massing of persons at train stations, as well as the shortcomings and overcrowding in refugee shelters. This calls for urgent and serious review of the legal and procedural protocols applied to refugees.

The Federation of Islamic Organisations in Europe demands adherence to humanitarian obligations and human rights stipulations in the reception and processing of asylum seekers, in such a way as to preserve their dignity, while developing the framework of legislation and procedures that assure this. The Federation also urges a improvement in the relief response, and the material and moral support for asylum seekers, to overcome any existing shortcomings in the provision of refuge.

The Federation calls for measures to curtail the activities of greedy human traffickers, who exploit the humanitarian needs of those seeking safe haven, and take reckless risks with the lives of innocents. Fundamentally, this requires improvement in the procedures for seeking asylum and building a general awareness of the dangers inherent in the journeys of illicit entry by sea or land.

The Federation of Islamic Organisations in Europe applauds the recent positive positions and statements by European leaders. On the other hand, the Federation sadly notes some positions and statements that imply derogation from the conventions and obligations stipulated at European and international level regarding refugees, which gives the perception of discrimination towards them on religious or ethnic grounds.

In relation to the language of hate and malice spread by some parties and groups in European societies, the Federation calls for precedence to be given the discourse reflecting human conscience, moral obligations, and human rights rules above any other that may aggravate primitive fears, and foment illogical apprehension of those human beings, who in the first instance, need protection, safety, and help.

The Federation of Islamic Organisations in Europe expresses its support for the continuing efforts by civil society in solidarity with asylum seekers, and the demand to improve the conditions for reception and shelter.

The Federation also salutes the efforts exerted by charitable organisations across Europe in supporting refugees, and reducing their suffering, and invites Islamic centres, mosques, and associations to optimal cooperation with these efforts, as well as cooperating on, and launching effective local initiatives for the refugees.

It is not possible for Europe, at the end of the day, to live in isolation from the world and those tumultuous events occurring in it. No doubt that the extent to which the current refugee crisis has escalated draws attention to the worsening crises in the vicinity of Europe, which require serious effort from Europe and the international community to treat and contain, so as to guarantee liberty, dignity, and security for the tragedy-stricken peoples and communities.

Brussels, 3 September 2015

The Federation of Islamic Organisations in Europe

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