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Belgian Political Party Ecolo Linked to Controversial Islamophobia Watchdog

January 6th, 2021 14:21

Bel­gian media is report­ing on links between the green par­ty Eco­lo and the con­tro­ver­sial Islam­o­pho­bia Watch­dog known as the Col­lec­tif Con­tre l’Is­lam­o­pho­bie en Bel­gique (Col­lec­tive Against Islam­o­pho­bia in Bel­gium) (CCIB), which has received €20,0000 in sub­si­dies from the Bel­gian gov­ern­ment. Accord­ing to the La Libre arti­cle:

In a mes­sage pub­lished on his blog on Decem­ber 31, Theo Franck­en (N‑VA) said he was “shocked” by the € 20,000 in sub­si­dies grant­ed by the fed­er­al gov­ern­ment to the Col­lec­tive against Islam­o­pho­bia in Bel­gium (CCIB). The MP asked for its tem­po­rary sus­pen­sion until a more in-depth inves­ti­ga­tion was car­ried out and State Secu­ri­ty issued a notice. […]

And the rea­son for this pro­longed fund­ing is eas­i­ly found by the Flem­ish nation­al­ist: the Eco­lo par­ty, in the major­i­ty, would be in col­lu­sion with the CCIB. Franck­en under­lines that three of the four pres­i­dents of the CCIB would have a direct link with the Greens: Fari­da Tahar, sen­a­tor, Mustapha Chairi, ex-can­di­date for the city of Brus­sels and in the Cham­ber, and Hajib El Haj­ja­ji, munic­i­pal coun­cilor in Verviers.

[Trans­lat­ed with Google Translate]

Read the rest here.

The Col­lec­tive Against Islam­o­pho­bia in Bel­gium (CCIB) is like­ly the Bel­gian sis­ter orga­ni­za­tion of the Col­lec­tive Against Islam­o­pho­bia in France (CCIF), a French Islam­o­pho­bia Watch­dog that has been recent­ly dis­solved by the gov­ern­ment as part of its crack­down against groups accused of rad­i­cal­ism. While CCIB denies any links to CCIF, the two groups have coop­er­at­ed reg­u­lar­ly, are mem­bers of the same anti-Islam­o­pho­bia umbrel­la group, refer to each oth­er on their web­sites, and have used the same logo.

Both a 2008 report on the Mus­lim Broth­er­hood in Bel­gium authored by the GIOR edi­tor, as well as Bel­gian media, have iden­ti­fied CCIB Pres­i­dent and Eco­lo politi­cian Hajib El Haj­ja­ji as part of the Mus­lim Broth­er­hood net­work in Bel­gium. El Haj­ja­ji was an offi­cer of both the Com­plex édu­catif et Cul­turel Islamique de Verviers (CECIV) and Essalem, two orga­ni­za­tions asso­ci­at­ed with the Mus­lim Broth­er­hood in the coun­try. El Haj­ja­ji has also helped orga­nize at least one event of the Forum of Euro­pean Mus­lim Youth and Stu­dent Orga­ni­za­tions (FEMYSO), the youth/student arm of the Fed­er­a­tion of Islam­ic Orga­ni­za­tions in Europe (FIOE) com­pris­ing the Glob­al Mus­lim Broth­er­hood in Europe. Final­ly, FEMYSO is also reg­is­tered at the same address as the CCIB. El Haj­ja­ji has denied any asso­ci­a­tion with the Mus­lim Brotherhood.

Past Glob­al Influ­ence Oper­a­tions Report (GIOR) report­ing on the CCIF has included:

  • In Octo­ber 2020, we report­ed on the French government’s plans to dis­solve CCIF for its alleged involve­ment in a social media cam­paign against a French his­to­ry teacher who was behead­ed after he had shown car­i­ca­tures of the Prophet Muham­mad in class, con­clud­ing that CCIF is an Islamist influ­ence operation.
  • In Novem­ber 2020, we report­ed that France had dis­solved the CCIF.
  • In Decem­ber 2020, we report­ed that a US Mus­lim Broth­er­hood group had offered DC office space to the CCIF after it was banned in France.

In Novem­ber 2020, the GIOR report­ed on the Mus­lim Broth­er­hood ties of a can­di­date for the Dutch green par­ty Groen­links, iden­ti­fy­ing her as a FEMYSO offi­cer and the daugh­ter of a Dutch Mus­lim Broth­er­hood leader.