On March 19, 2021, the European Commission co-organized a virtual anti-racism summit that featured appearances by top-level EU officials and two leaders of Belgian civil society NGOs close to the Global Muslim Brotherhood (GMB). According to the summit website:
The fight against racism needs strong joint commitment at EU and national level. This is why on 18 September 2020, the European Commission adopted an ambitious EU anti-racism action plan that sets out a series of measures for the next 5 years. (…) This summit (…) will address the implementation of the European Anti-Racism Action Plan at various levels with the involvement of EU Institutions, Member States, civil society, equality bodies and grassroots organisations.
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The event was co-hosted by the Portuguese Presidency of the Council of the European Union and the ARDI Intergroup of the European Parliament. It featured several top-level EU officials, including the European Commission President, the Vice-President of the European Parliament, and the EU Commissioner for Equality, but also included speaking appearances by two leaders of Belgian civil society NGOs with ties to the European GMB network:
- Layla Azzouzi, Co-founder and Advocacy Officer of the Collectif Contre l’Islamophobie en Belgique (CCIB).
- Karen Taylor, Chair of the anti-discrimination NGO European Network Against Racism (ENAR).
CCIB is likely the Belgian sister organization of the Collective Against Islamophobia in France (CCIF), a controversial Islamophobia watchdog that in 2020 was dissolved by the French government as part of its crackdown against groups accused of radicalism. While CCIB denies any links to CCIF, the two groups have cooperated regularly, refer to each other on their websites, have overlapping membership, and have used the same logo. A January 2021 report by the Global Influence Operations Report (GIOR) Ecolo identified CCIB President and Ecolo politician Hajib El Hajjaji as part of the GMB network in Belgium and reported he has cooperated with the Forum of European Muslim Youth and Student Organizations (FEMYSO), the youth/student arm of the Global Muslim Brotherhood in Europe. FEMYSO is also registered at the same Brussels address as the CCIB, and Layla Azzouzi, who has participated in FEMYSO events, is the Belgium National Coordinator for FEMYSO’s “Green Up” campaign.
ENAR, where CCIF has been listed as a member, is an association of over 150 NGOs describing itself as “the voice of the anti-racist movement in Europe” and has met with high-level EU officials, including the European Commission Coordinator on Combating Anti-Muslim Hatred. ENAR Director Michaël Privot has served in leading positions in several organizations tied to the GMB in Europe, including as a FEMYSO board member and in 2008, Privot openly acknowledged that he was a member of the Muslim Brotherhood. In 2019, ENAR was one of 21 signatories to an open letter published by a self-described “informal European coalition against Islamophobia,” which, according to the Global Muslim Brotherhood Daily Watch, was comprised mainly of organizations and one individual tied to the GMB in Europe. Prior GIOR reporting on CCIF has included:
- An October 2020 analysis that concluded CCIF was an Islamist influence operation, describing in detail its campaigning efforts against secularism and its ties to organizations part of the GMB in Europe.
- A November 2020 report that the French government had dissolved the group.
- A February 2021 report that CCIF had been part of a coalition of 36 NGOs taking action against France at the UN Human Rights Council (UNHCR) over its alleged systemic discrimination of Muslims.
- A February 2021 report that CCIF had reconstituted in Belgium under a new name.
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