The Federation of Islamic Organisations in Europe (FIOE) appears again with a pan-European initiative. Who are they? Nobody really knows. They do not exist outside of the news stories about them.
The people mentioned in the article represent organizations that appear only in other news articles, but do not have their own sites and are not listed anywhere.
Shakib Benmakhlouf, the president and speaker of FIOE, supposedly lives in Sweden (KD, Danish). One wonders therefore, why the news story about them come through news sites based in Muslim countries.
For a body claiming to be representative, they did not have even one representative Muslim organization sign their charter.
The only actual reference to this organization that I saw was when the Islamic Council of Norway, turned to the Council for Fatwa and Research (one of the FIOE's main organizations), with a question about what should be the European Muslim attitude towards homosexuals. Needless to say, if they ever got a response, they did not publish it. But it was enough at the time to get the Norwegian news of their backs. (see Norway: Islamic Council turns to European Fatwa Council for ruling on homosexuals).
If European Muslims don't pay this organization any attention, why does the media waste time on them?
Muslims in Europe took another important step Saturday to preserve their identity and to present the correct image of Islam to Europeans.
The European Assembly of Muslim Imams and Spiritual Guides ( Al-Tagammu Al-Urubi Lillaimah val Murshideen) was formed today in the presence of over 100 Imams and preachers from all over Europe following a meeting in a central hotel of Brussels today.
"The Assemblys aim s to provide an organizations that combines and coordinates the efforts of Imam and Spiritual Guides in Europe," Shakib Benmakhlouf, President of the Federation of Islamic Organisations in Europe (FIOE) which established the Assembly told KUNA in an interview.
The goal is to preserve the Muslim identity and prepare Muslims to play a distinguished and civilizing role in there European homelands, he noted.
The Assembly will enhance the Imams and Guides competence and effectiveness, including help for new Imams to conduct their duties in multicultural and multiracial Europe.
Benmakhklouf said participants came from all over Europe including Russia, Albania, Spain, and from other western and eastern European countries.
He noted that the Assembly which is an European non-governmental organsiation will be based in Brussels and have branches in other European countries.
Answering a question on conditions being set by some Europeans governments that Imams in Europe must be educated and living in Europe he said it was difficult to find the Imams with these conditions at the moment.
However, the president of FIOE pointed out that one of the aims of the Assembly is to educate Imams and Guides about Europes history, laws, culture and social and political components.
"We will coordinate our efforts with European institutions," he added. Benmakhklouf noted that about 50 million Muslims are living in Europe including Russia.
On his part, the head of the League of Muslims in Belgium, Dr. Karim Chemlal, told KUNA that the creation of the Assembly was the first fruit of the Muslim Charter of Europe signed by 400 Islamic organizations in Brussels in January.
"We hope that through this Assembly we can transmit the message of peace and the message of dialogue to the European people," said Chemlal who also represents FIOE in Belgium.
He explained that the membership in the Assembly consists of Imams and preachers from both sexes living in European countries and specializing in Dawa and religious guidance among Muslims in Europe.
Source: KUNA (English), h/t Hodja (Danish)
See also: Federation of Islamic Organisation in Europe - Gaza Protest, Muslims to sign 'historic code of conduct'