BY ALEXANDER MELEAGROU-HITCHENS
The Federation of Islamic Organisations in Europe (FIOE) has seemingly commissioned superstar jihadist scholar Yousuf al-Qaradawi to compile a report on ‘Nation and Citizenship’.
FIOE presents itself as a coalition of moderate European Muslim organisations, and on its site it claims its vision is to work towards
Maintaining the Islamic presence in Europe, and enhancing and developing that presence to ensure the accurate introduction of Islam, call for its human values and contribute effectively in the different aspects of European life, in addition to focusing on establishing Islamic identity and improving the level of dialogue.
This is just the type of language one should come to expect from Islamist organisations such as FIOE. There is little to fault in the above statement, but a quick look behind the curtains of peace and love, will show a more sinister agenda.
FIOE have very strong links with the Muslim Brotherhood, and their recent involvement with Yusuf al-Qaradawi is only the latest example. Qaradawi is considered one of the unofficial leaders of the Brotherhood, and according to the official Brotherhood website he “is a pure product of the Muslim Brotherhood Movement. His only activist and ideological affiliation is to the Muslim Brotherhood and he has never frankly opposed it”. One of Qaradawi’s organisations, the European Council for Fatwa and Research (ECFR) was founded as an FIOE initiative.
Qaradawi has provided fatwas in the past that have justified Hamas suicide bombings and through another body he heads, the International Union for Muslim Scholars (IUMS), he has supported the jihad in Iraq. The IUMS have quite a record of supporting murderous Islamists, and recently also supported Omar al-Bashir after the warrant for his arrest was issued by the International Criminal Court. In fact, Qaradawi also supports other mass murderers, particularly those who kill Jews. In the days surrounding Holocaust Memorial Day 2009, Qaradawi made the following statements on Al-Jazeera:
Throughout history, Allah has imposed upon the [Jews] people who would punish them for their corruption. The last punishment was carried out by Hitler. By means of all the things he did to them – even though they exaggerated this issue – he managed to put them in their place. This was divine punishment for them. Allah willing, the next time will be at the hand of the believers.
…the only thing I hope for is that as my life approaches its end, Allah will give me an opportunity to go to the land of Jihad and resistance, even if in a wheelchair. I will shoot Allah’s enemies, the Jews, and they will throw a bomb at me, and thus, I will seal my life with martyrdom.
This type of rhetoric speaks for itself, and presumably FIOE have hired Qaradawi (who they laughably refer to as ‘the great scientist’) to help achieve its mission of ensuring an ‘accurate introduction of Islam’ in Europe. The fact that FIOE consider Qaradawi as the best candidate to represent an accurate picture of Islam is a testament to how the organisation itself sees Islam. As a Brotherhood inspired initiative, the FIOE represents Islam not as a religion, but as an all encompassing political ideology; an ideology which bears crucial similarities with that of more openly violent groups like Al-Qaeda and its numerous offshoots. The Brotherhood’s Islam is neither moderate nor does it represent a majority. It is a minority extremist view which is being propagated by very well organised and well funded organisations across the globe, of which FIOE is one of the biggest.
FIOE have strong links in the UK, with the Muslim Association of Britain (MAB) listed on their site as a UK affiliate. The MAB are widely recognised as the UK’s Muslim Brotherhood front group and have been described by Peter Bergen in an article sympathetic to the organisation as a ‘Muslim Brotherhood group’. Many of the MAB’s former leaders have also been FIOE leaders, including Ahmed al-Rawi, who signed a bayyan (declaration) in 2004 which supported jihad against the ‘filth of occupation’ in Iraq. Thankfully, the MAB’s influence has waned in recent years, although the flame has been passed to more advanced and sophisticated organisations, such as the Muslim Welfare House, which, according to IslamOnline, is also a member of FIOE.
Although FIOE and its affiliates represent Islamists, who are a minority amongst Muslims in Europe, their excellent organisational skills and funding allows them to present themselves as representatives of the moderate mainstream. Indeed, their aim is to eventually make their form of Islam the predominant one, and this must be resisted.