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]
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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.