The European Parliament hosted a colloquium on Thursday on the fight against Islamophobia, on the occasion of a "European Day of Action against Islamophobia". During a round table on the situation of people of the Muslim faith on the continent, a French student activist in the Muslim Students of France (EMF) took the floor, questioning the speaker about the situation of Muslims in France, alluding to Gabriel Attal's circular stating that the wearing of abaya falls under the 2004 law prohibiting conspicuous religious symbols in schools.
Brussels journalist Shada Islam, known in particular for her involvement in the "Brussels So White" movement, which campaigns against the over-representation of whites in European institutions, responded by encouraging Muslim students to "use all democratic and legal means" to "make themselves heard and defend their cause" in the face of a representation of Islam.very strongly marked by a colonialist, white supremacist mentality" in France.
This exchange is in the image of all the speeches of this day at the European Parliament, at the initiative of Femyso, the Forum of European Muslim Youth and Students. This association, which is regularly invited or supported by the Council of Europe and the European Union, has long irritated the French authorities, who accuse it of its bias against the secular and universalist policy of the France.
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The France's remonstrances were ignored
In November 2021, several controversies (including a campaign to promote the hijab launched by the Council of Europe and relayed by the European Union) led the French government to dryly call Brussels to order about its partnerships with Muslim associations considered as relays of influence for the Muslim Brotherhood in Europe.
Regarding FEMYSO in particular, which the European Parliament continues to officially honour, Marlène Schiappa was particularly moved on 22 November 2021 on Europe 1 that the association was received by the European Commissioner for Equality Helena Dalli. "It challenges me strongly," said the Minister Delegate for Citizenship, describing FEMYSO as a "false nose of Islamism". "A little tour on the social networks of this organization allows to see how they make aggressive remarks vis-à-vis the France, and not only the government but also the French culture, blaming the France and the overwhelming of all evils," said Marlène Schiappa.
I wonder to see organizations that we want to see dissolved in France and that are dissolved," she added. She then decided with Clément Beaune, the Secretary of State for European Affairs, to refer the matter to the European Commissioner "so that she can provide us with information on what led her to receive this organization". "In France we have assumed our responsibilities, saying not a euro of public money for the enemies of the Republic (...) Now Europe must do this work."
Gérald Darmanin had also written to the European Commission to denounce FEMYSO's actions. This association is an organization funded by the European Union (210,000 € since 2007). It is actually the transnational emanation of the UOIF, the Union of Islamic Organizations of France created by members of the Muslim Brotherhood in the 1980s (now Muslims of France), as revealed in particular by an investigation by Marianne.
FEMYSO in turn hosts a panel of organizations linked directly or indirectly to the Muslim Brotherhood. There is a jumble of the Islamic Community Millî Görüs, relay of Recep Erdogan's propaganda in Europe, the Muslim Students of France, an association created by Fouad Alaoui, future president of the Brotherhood UOIF, or the League of Muslims of Belgium, the Belgian equivalent of the UOIF. FEMYSO's action in Europe consists of lobbying aimed in particular at publishing communication and poster campaigns in favour of the freedom to wear the veil, research projects, or the organisation of seminars for young Europeans to learn how to denounce in the media any discourse questioning the presence of Islam in Europe as responsible for the wave of Islamist attacks that has occurred in recent years.
In particular, FEMYSO has regularly attacked the France, notably for the adoption of the laws of 2004 (restricting the wearing of conspicuous religious symbols in schools) and 2010 (prohibiting the wearing of the full-face veil in public spaces).
The firmness displayed by the French government, and the repeated remonstrances towards the European institutions that give them an audience, do not seem to have borne fruit for the time being.