An “International Coalition Against Islamophobia,” consisting of civil society NGOs and groups tied to the Global Muslim Brotherhood, has submitted a legal complaint letter to the President of the European Commission. The letter demands political action against the perceived discrimination of Muslims in France, alleging the country exploited the killing of French history teacher Samuel Paty for “its own racist, discriminative and Islamophobic agenda.” According to the letter:
March 4, 2021 There is a pressing need to combat the severe repercussions on Muslims because of governmental Islamophobic attitudes and recent events in France. (…) We are reaching out to you because there is no real or effective remedy within the French legal system to stop the continuation of structural and systemic Islamophobia by the French government within the meanings established by European case law.
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The letter claimed France was in violation of the European Union’s Charter of Fundamental Rights, objecting to a new “discriminatory” French Charter of Republican Values that forbids foreign interference in Muslim groups. The signatories also accused the French administration of violating UN statutes pertaining to the freedom of religion by advocating caricatures of the Prophet Mohammed and fostering anti-Muslim hatred in the country.
The 22-page document was submitted by a Dutch law firm registered at the same Rotterdam address as the Dutch branch of the Europe Trust, a part of the Council of European Muslims, representing the Global Muslim Brotherhood (GMB), a transnational Islamist influence operation covered by the Global Influence Operations Report (GIOR). The letter was co-signed by a total of 25 international Muslim and civil society NGOs, including the following tied to the GMB:
- CAGE, a UK Islamic advocacy group in the UK Muslim Brotherhood network tied to extremists and whose senior leaders have advocated supporting violent jihad overseas.
- MEND, a UK Islamic NGO close to the UK Muslim Brotherhood.
- Stichting Centrum de Middenweg, a Rotterdam Islamic center that is also located at the same address as Europe Trust Netherlands.
- European Network on Religion and Belief, a European interfaith organization that appears to include only European Muslim Brotherhood groups as Islamic members.
- Islamophobia Studies Center, headed by Hatem Bazian, who is the board chair of the American Muslims for Palestine, a Palestinian advocacy group with strong ties to both the US Muslim Brotherhood and to the Hamas support infrastructure in the US
- Collectif Contre L’islamophobie Aux Pays-Bas, likely in some way tied to the French/Belgian group of the same name and with ties to various GMB groups.
In February 2021, the GIOR reported that a partly congruent coalition of 36 European Islamic and human rights NGOs was taking action against France at the UN Human Rights Council (OHCHR) over its alleged systemic discrimination of Muslims. Other reporting by the GIOR about GMB groups trying to influence European/French politics has included:
- An October 2020 report that a coalition of European civil society organizations and European Muslim Brotherhood groups had called on EU member states and institutions to adopt political action to mitigate the impact of the COVID-19 crisis on Muslim communities.
- An October 2020 report that the European Muslim Brotherhood had criticized the French President for a speech against Islamism.
- An October 2020 report that the US Muslim Brotherhood had warned Muslims against traveling to France, aiding Turkish boycott efforts.
- A November 2020 report that a European Muslim Brotherhood youth group held a virtual anti-Islamophobia event with top EU officials.
- A November 2020 analysis of how foreign and transnational actors, including GMB groups, are influencing Islam in France.
- A November 2020 exclusive report that the daughter of a Dutch Muslim Brotherhood leader ran for the Green Party in the 2021 Dutch Parliamentary Elections.
- A January 2021 report that Turkish AKP and UK Muslim Brotherhood leaders had established a new center in London.
- A January 2021 report that a European Muslim Brotherhood youth group praised a Belgian decision to allow religious clothing in Higher Education that they campaigned for.
- A March 2021 viewing recommendation of a documentary examining how a Qatari charity described as the “religious soft power of Doha” is funding numerous European Islamic Centers.
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