Dutch Green Party parliamentary candidate Kauthar Bouchallikht has given a first press interview after a recent media storm regarding her position on the board of FEMYSO, a European Muslim youth organization tied to the Muslim Brotherhood. In her interview with a Dutch newspaper, she denied any awareness of the organization’s Brotherhood ties:
November 23, 2020 Bouchallikht has been discredited for something the candidate committee did not mention. Until December 1 this year, she is also vice-president of Femyso, a Brussels-based umbrella organization that covers various Islamic youth movements. Femyso receives a subsidy from the European Union and is a discussion partner of the European Commission. This umbrella organization is also seen by a number of experts as an extension of the controversial Muslim Brotherhood, the conservative political organization that a party like GroenLinks does not like. And that begs the question of what Bouchallikht is doing on the candidate list. “Femyso is a legitimate organization,” she emphasizes. “I stand for radical equality myself. I don’t care what someone’s gender, sexual orientation or color is. I have never noticed any connection with the Muslim Brotherhood myself. I also don’t want to have anything to do with that ideology.
(Translated from Dutch via Google.)
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The interview came after a report by former journalist and Dutch blogger Carel Brendel revealed that Bouchallikht had omitted her vice-presidency of FEMYSO in her official candidate biography. This resulted in a media storm prompting the Dutch Green Party as well as Bouchallikht’s own organization to come out in her defense, calling the allegations “demonizing” and “initiated by the far-right.” According to a recent statement published on the FEMYSO website:
November 25, 2020 The Forum of European Muslim Youth and Student Organizations (FEMYSO) is deeply disappointed by the demonizing coverage of FEMYSO, which is currently circulating in Dutch media. (…) This ongoing attack on FEMYSO and its member associations has been initiated by the far-right spectrum and creates a false narrative about Muslims’ efforts in the wider society. Unfortunately, these sounds have been unjustly adopted by various news organizations, without approaching FEMYSO to allow room for these untruths to be disputed.
(Translated from Dutch via DeepL)
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The Global Influence Operations Report (GIOR) had discovered that Kauthar Bouchallikht is also likely the daughter of Mostapha Bouchallikht, one of the most important leaders of the Global Muslim Brotherhood in the Netherlands, a transnational Islamist influence network covered by the GIOR. As the GIOR reported, the Dutch trade register indicates that her Amsterdam address is the same address used to register a Dutch foundation where Mostapha Bouchallikht serves as Chairman.
FEMYSO is the youth/student arm of the Council of European Muslims, formerly known as the Federation of Islamic Organizations in Europe (FIOE), known to represent the Muslim Brotherhood in Europe. One of the important leaders of FEMYSO over the years has been German Muslim Brotherhood leader Ibrahim El-Zayat, and in recent times, its leadership has been drawn from the family of important Global Muslim Brotherhood leaders. Almost all of the FEMYSO member organizations are also tied to the Muslim Brotherhood in Europe. Over the years, FEMYSO has developed relationships with the Council of Europe, the European Commission, and many other significant organizations at the European and international level.
Recent GIOR reporting on FEMYSO has included:
- In November, the GIOR reported that a group of 28 European Islamic organizations including FEMYSO had published an open letter to French President Emmanuel Macron alleging a “unilateral assault on Muslims, Islam and the Prophet Muhammad.”
- Also in November, the GIOR reported that FEMYSO hosted an anti-Islamophobia event with several top EU officials.
- In October, the GIOR reported that FEMYSO’s President participated in a virtual meeting attended by many key organizations of the Global Muslim Brotherhood.
- In October, the GIOR reported on FEMYSO’s ties to the Collective Against Islamophobia in France (CCIF), which was identified as an Islamist influence operation.
- In October, the GIOR reported that FEMYSO was among a group of civil society organizations with links to the European Muslim Brotherhood calling for the adoption of anti-racist legislation mitigating the impact of Covid-19 on Muslim communities.