On 27th and 28th September 2021, the European Forum of Muslim Women (EFOMW) took part in an online workshop on anti-Muslim hate speech co-organized by the Council of Europe’s Inclusion and Anti-Discrimination Division. According to a post on the EFOMW website:
The “WE CAN for human rights speech” workshop aimed to help activists from a variety of religious and ethnic backgrounds to develop positive messages to push back against anti-Muslim rhetoric. The workshop consisted of crafting a human rights-based message to create visuals with the help of a professional designer to communicate such messages.
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The workshop was organized by the Council of Europe in cooperation with the Forum of European Muslim Youth and Student Organizations, the youth/student arm of the Council of European Muslims, one of the main umbrella organizations representing the Global Muslim Brotherhood (GMB) in Europe. The event also received funding from the European Union’s Rights, Equality, and Citizenship Program (2014–2020).
As a result of the collaborative effort in the Council of Europe workshop, on 25 October 2021, EFOMW launched a social media campaign named “#LetMeChoose.” The campaign visuals presented a paper doll with a variety of outfit choices, a metaphor for freedom of choice of dress according to one’s identity. On its website, EFOMW stated that they had received hate comments and threatening messages after launching the campaign, saying they served as examples of the “continuum of violent extremism and hate speech and hateful narratives.”
The workshop was part of the “WE CAN for human rights speech” project, which organizes civil society training sessions and is implemented by a consortium of European human rights organizations. One consortium member, German media diversity NGO Neue Deutsche Medienmacher*, has been co-headed by Daniel Bax, an expert committee member of German Muslim advocacy network CLAIM, which brings under its wings some of the country’s most important GMB organizations. In early November 2021, the Global Influence Operations Report (GIOR) reported that a controversial pro-hijab campaign organized by FEMYSO was also part of this same project.
The current leadership of the EFOMW, also affiliated with CEM, continues to show many links to the European Muslim Brotherhood. Several of EFOMW’s current and former officers are the wives or relatives of leading CEM officers, such as former EFOMW President Noura Jaballah (wife of Ahmed Jaballah), Nadia Karmous (wife of Mohamed Karmous), and Hiba Taraji (sister of Houaida Taraji).