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On 30 November 2021, the European Network Against Racism (ENAR) published a joint statement by 34 European civil society NGOs defending the European Muslim Brotherhood youth group FEMYSO over accusations of extremist ties by members of the French government. According to the statement:
France is engaging in a full-blown Islamophobic Witch Hunt by targeting racialised communities and organisations in Europe. Over the past months, the French government has launched countless administrative procedures to shut down Muslim-led organisations, mosques, schools, and even Muslim-owned “snack bars”. Despite a complete lack of evidence or judicial process, it did so by claiming “Muslim Brotherhood” affiliations. Following France’s latest attacks against FEMYSO, ENAR and 33 civil society organisations are expressing solidarity with the youth-led Muslim civil rights organisation.
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The statement condemned recent criticism by the French Deputy Minister for Citizenship that came after the Forum of European Muslim Youth and Student Organizations (FEMYSO) had met with the EU Equality Commissioner to discuss the situation of young Muslims in Europe. The coalition also accused France of “silencing the voices that criticise its discriminatory policies” and using “Muslim Brotherhood conspiracy theories as its boogeyman.” The statement’s signatories include ENAR and the following NGOs tied to the Global Muslim Brotherhood:
- Collectif Contre l’Islamophobie en Europe, the successor to a controversial French Islamophobia watchdog and human rights NGO that the French government banned in 2020.
- CAGE is a UK Islamic advocacy group in the UK Muslim Brotherhood network tied to extremists whose senior leaders have advocated supporting violent jihad overseas.
- European Network on Religion and Belief, a European interfaith organization that appears to include only European Muslim Brotherhood groups as Islamic members.
ENAR is an association of over 150 NGOs describing itself as “the voice of the anti-racist movement in Europe” with headquarters in Brussels, Belgium. ENAR Director Michaël Privot, who in 2008 openly acknowledged that he was a member of the Muslim Brotherhood, has served in leading positions in several organizations tied to the GMB, including as a board member of FEMYSO.
FEMYSO is the youth/student arm of the Council of European Muslims, formerly known as the Federation of Islamic Organizations in Europe, 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 also been drawn from the family of important Global Muslim Brotherhood leaders. Almost all 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 levels.
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