This Thursday, the European Parliament hosted a conference dedicated to the fight against Islamophobia, on the occasion of a “European day of action against Islamophobia”. During a round table devoted to the situation of people of Muslim faith on the continent, a French student activist within 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 specifying that wearing the abaya falls under the 2004 law prohibiting ostentatious religious symbols at school.
Brussels journalist Shada Islam, known in particular for her involvement in the “Brussels So White” movement which campaigns against the over-representation of whites within European institutions, responded by encouraging Muslim students to “use all democratic and legal means” to “be heard and defend their cause” in the face of a representation of Islam “very strongly marked by a colonialist and white supremacist mentality” in France.
This exchange reflects all of the speeches this day in the European Parliament, at the initiative of Femyso, the Forum of European Muslim Youth and Students. This association, regularly invited or supported by the Council of Europe and the European Union, has long irritated the French authorities, who criticize it for its bias against France's secular and universalist policy.
In November 2021, several controversies (notably a campaign to promote the hijab launched by the Council of Europe and relayed by the European Union) led the French government to sharply call Brussels to order regarding its partnerships with Muslim associations considered as relays of influence for the Muslim Brotherhood in Europe.
Concerning FEMYSO in particular, which the European Parliament therefore continues to officially put in the spotlight, Marlène Schiappa was particularly moved on November 22, 2021 on Europe 1 that the association was received by the European Commissioner for Equality Helena Dalli. “This strongly concerns me,” declared the Minister Delegate in charge of Citizenship, describing FEMYSO as a “false nose of Islamism”. “A quick look at the social networks of this organization allows us to see to what extent they make aggressive remarks towards France, and not only the government but also French culture, by blaming France and the overwhelming with all evils,” noted Marlène Schiappa.
“I wonder about seeing organizations that we want to see dissolved in France and which are dissolved,” she added. She then decided with Clément Beaune, the Secretary of State for European Affairs, to contact the European Commissioner “so that she can provide us with information on what led her to receive this organization”. “In France we have taken our responsibilities, saying not one 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 the actions of FEMYSO. This association is an organization funded by the European Union (€210,000 since 2007). It is in reality the transnational emanation of the UOIF, the Union of Islamic Organizations of France created by members of the Muslim Brotherhood in the 1980s (which has since become Muslims of France), as revealed in particular by a Marianne's investigation.
FEMYSO in turn houses a panel of organizations directly or indirectly linked to the Muslim Brotherhood. There we find pell-mell 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, and the League of Muslims of Belgium, Belgian equivalent of the UOIF. FEMYSO's action in Europe consists of lobbying aimed in particular at publishing communication and poster campaigns in favor of the freedom to wear the veil, research projects, or even the organization of seminars for young Europeans to learn to denounce in the media any speech 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 France, notably for the vote on the laws of 2004 (restricting the wearing of conspicuous religious symbols at school) and 2010 (prohibiting the wearing of the full veil in space). audience).
The firmness displayed by the French government, and the repeated admonitions towards the European institutions which give them an audience, seem not to have borne fruit for the moment.