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EU Anti-Racism Summit Features Belgian NGOs Close To Global Muslim Brotherhood

March 30th, 2021 11:59

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.

Read the rest here.

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.