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European Muslim Brotherhood Groups Defend European Muslim Brotherhood Youth Group; Accuse France Of “Witch Hunt”

December 13th, 2021 14:54

CORRECTION: This arti­cle has been cor­rect­ed. Go here for the correction.

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.