Wearing a Hijab to oppose Trump’s machism ?

22.01.2017 Fiammetta Venner

It was a beautiful March. Especially when the new president was about to cancel Planned parenthood fundings. And it was supposed to be a Feminist March… Except when some tried to convert this beautiful Resistance in a opportunity to legitimate Women’s Oppression in the name of Resisting Machism.The Amplifier Foundation started by proposing to share the poster of a women in Hijab during the march as a symbol of “We the people” and a need for “Social change”… A regressive one ? Hijab Painted Buses were providing leaflets with the picture.*

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Many liberal muslim were very uncomfortable with this action, understanding that their struggle for free bodies were excluded from the march. Mona Eltahawy, an egyptian-american writter published a tweet saying :

“I am an Egyptian-American Muslim woman who fought for 8 yrs to stop wearing hijab & I am not celebrating this Shepard Fairey poster.”

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 Others were very shocked by the invitation made by the Women march to CAIR. An NGO, considered as terrorist by the UAE, and who monitors a political islamism.  Zahra Billoo, the executive director of the San Francisco Bay Area chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) spoke  at the Women’s March on Washington in the nation’s capital. She explains with no shame that it was the same thing when LGBT are harassed, blacks people killed that when “muslims” are investigated by FBI… Even when they planned to kill Gay, Jew or others Muslims ?

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Zahra Billoo wasn’t the only astonishing speaker. Linda Sarsour, the executive director of the Arab American Association of New York (AAANY) was also there. 

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 For Linda Sarsour, Muslim kids are being “executed” in the United States and CIA is behind an Islamist terrorism : “Underwear bomber was the #CIA all along. Why did I already know that?! Shame on us – scaring the American people.”

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In another tweet Linda Sarsour suggested about Ayaan Hirsi Ali to “take her vagina away”. Ayaan Hirsi Ali is a long time opponent to islamism and a survivor of Female Genital Mutilation.

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Not really surprising as Linda Sarsour’s family is linked to Hamas. 

Another proof a terrible “naïve” and depolitised American Left was during the March… When an artistic event consisted on wearing hijab for non muslim women as if it was a game. *

Many Muslim feminist reacted saying this video freaked their heart.

American Left must Awake quick. Exoticism will not help to resist Trump, it just Helps the fanatics… And the Far Right to be in the oval Office for 8 years !

Fiammetta Venner


Request for the Incarceration of Abdelfattah Rahhaoui, CCIF Protege

18.11.2016 Carla Parisi

Since the summer of 2016, the CCIF has launched a support campaign on social networks for Abdelfattah Rahhaoui, Toulouse imam and school principal. The CCIF and Abdelfattah Rahhaoui consider the Academic Inspectorate decision not to open his Al-Badr school in the autumn of 2016 as “Islamophobic”. More information on Abdelfattah Rahhaoui and his links with Sanabil (an association suspected of having links to terrorist organizations) is available here.


Following his refusal to comply with the Academic Inspectorate decision, the subsequent illegal opening of the class (several times since 2010), as well as acts of violence and intimidation on his students, Abdelfattah Rahhaoui appeared before the court on 17 November 2016. The subjects of complaints were as follows: “aggravated and repeated acts violence against minors under 15 years of age by a person in a position of public authority”, “unlawful opening of classes” and “refusal to comply with the notice”.

Abdelfattah Rahhaoui defended himself by claiming he was just tutoring college students and giving them customized classes. But CôtéToulouse reports the questions asked by the president of the hearing at the tribunal: how can one explain 26 hours of classes? and that the concerned students were not enrolled in any other institution? This looked more like a clandestine college, than tutoring classes in parallel with young students’ studies.

Furthermore, teachings have been recognized as “failing” by all the reports of the Academic Inspection. 5 units out of 7 core classes are not properly taught. Only Arabic and Qur’anic language appear to be delivered on a sustained basis (7 hours per week), by 6 out of 13 teachers in the institution.

Teachers, many of whom say they were neither paid nor declared, were even replaced by parents when they went on strike for two weeks. This is what actually triggered inspections by the Academy inspector, then the lodging of a complaint with the Public Prosecutor.

The testimony of a young schoolgirl in the 6th grade is particularly disturbing. During the visit of the Academy inspector, she reported having been obliged to hide with the other students from the secondary school, in order not to be seen. When she asked questions about the obligation to lie to the inspector, she was summoned by Abdelfattah Rahhaoui: “He summoned me to his office and, after shouting at me, he slapped me so strongly that I fell on the floor. The director regularly scolded us, shouted at us, favored his own children and made fun of teachers and students”.

After having been banned from school for 3 days, the schoolgirl moved to another establishment. Just like this other schoolboy, defended at the hearing by his lawyer, Me Doumenc. He reported having been a violence victim on three occasions: “AbdelFattah Rahhaoui allegedly hold him once in his arms until he became completely red, before throwing him on the chairs. Another time, when he did not go fast enough to move tables to the classroom, the director reportedly threw a piece of furniture in his direction. And finally, on another occasion during the recess, he allegedly received a basketball ball from AbdelFattah Rahhaoui at the level of his ear. The young boy reported suffering from headache, which forced him to take pain killers” (CôtéToulouse).

While Abdelfattah Rahhaoui claims to be a victim of “Islamophobia”, the prosecutor requests:

• 3 months of suspended prison sentence for acts of violence,

• 4 months of suspended prison sentence, together with a fine of € 5,000, the prohibition to engage in any education-related activity, and closure of the school group, for failure to comply with the formal notice,

• and € 3,000 for the illegal opening of the college class.

The deliberations are scheduled to be held on Thursday 15 December, at 2 pm.

This post is also available in Français and العربية.


For The Cordoba Foundation, Islamist radicalisation does not exist

16.11.2016 Carla Parisi

“Move along, there is nothing to see” should have been the subtitle of The Cordoba Foundation’s last report (2016, February).

The foundation was created in Great Britain by Anas Al-Tikriti, the son of the official leader of the Muslim Brotherhood in Iraq. In 2009, David Cameron denounced the foundation as a cover of the Muslim brothers in Great Britain. This is why it appeared on a list which was published by United Arab Emirates, to list Muslim organizations supporting terrorism.

Despite this, Anas Al Tikriti and The Cordoba Foundation are regularly invited to deliver their analyzes. Their last report is called “The twin myths of the “Western jihadist threat” and “Islamic radicalisation””. Its author, Alain Gabon, is a French professor at Wesleyan College, an American WASP upper-class institution.

In the introduction, Doctor Abdullah Faliq, coordinator of the European Islamic Forum, explains in an alarmist way that “governments across Europe have started to confiscate and ban Islamic literature; religious observations and conservative Islamic practices are conflated with extremism; mosques, madrasas and even youth centres are being monitored (with powers of closure); and leaders of the community as well as mainstream Islamic organisations are being targeted and tarred with the brush of extremism ». He says that « islamophobic attacks » against muslims are nothing else than a consequence of overvalued jihadist threat. So finally, jihadists would only use « slogans that are (for want a better world) anti-authority », and « This rebellious culture is, however, not specific to Islam – such tendencies can be found in almost all communities ».

Anas Al Tikriti then pays tribute to former mayor of London, Ken Livingstone, for his “model conduct” after the attacks that have hit the capital in 2005. Nevertheless, he recognizes that some racist attacks happen in London, like in any capital in the world. He takes this opportunity to blame the actual government, which is less accommodating with communautarist requests, by suggesting that his fight against jihadism invocks the “horrors of the Spanish Inquisition” and “McCarthysm”. According to the lobbyist, several hundreds children would have been snatched from their parent’s hands “employing the pretext of radicalisation”. Thereafter, he blames the “criminalization of any suggestion that British Foreign Policy and military interventions might have had anything to do with the rise of global terrorism ».

In his study, Alain Gabon wants to prove 3 realities that he describes as myths :

  • a) most terrorists are “Islamist” or “Jihadist” Muslims,
  • b) terrorism in general and its “Jihadist” variety in particular constitute a major and mounting threat to human life in those societies
  • c) there is an alarming “radicalisation” at work among significant segments of the Western Muslim populations

According to Alain Gabon, these 3 myths are spread and strenghtened by political, academical and media speeches, in an almost « Orwellian » context. In France, these myths would lead to the laws against « headscarves and full-face coverings in public space », to the « suveillance of mosques », and finally, « islamo-paranoïa ». Alain Gabon forgets to specify that simple veils are not forbidden in the street, and that the law against religious signs in public schools was decided in 2004, before  the Toulouse, Charlie Hebdo, Paris, or Nice terrorist attacks.

In July 2016, just after the Nice terrorist attack, Alain Gabon didn’t hesitate to publish an article in the Middle East Eye website, to explain that the killer was “neither an islamist, nor a jihadist or a “terrorist”.

To understate islamic terrorist attacks, Alain Gabon explains that only 6% of attacks would be perpetrated by jihadists on US soil. The rest would be carried out by “Latinos, Christians and Jews, the far left, ecological activists, white supremacists, anti-government, anti-abortion, sovereignist, and secessionist groups ». The islamist attacks would be the only ones that the media would cover, although the number of victims would be « statistically negligable », and carried out by « lone wolves ». In France, we sometimes hear the number of 1% to designate the percentage of  terrorist attacks carried out by jihadists. If the number of jihadist attacks is lower than the number of religional-separatists attacks for example, jihadists attacks are by far the bloodiest: 245 people have been killed in France since 2012. Moreover, the international extent of islamic terrorism, islamic networks & budget, are unparalleled compared to those of regional separatists. This does not prevent Alain Gabon from blaming primarily the « quasi apocalyptic rhetoric and “end-of-civilization-as-we-know-it” hysteria » around jihadism.

Alain Gabon gives a list of 6 reasons which would explain the “collective hysteria” :

a) “the enormous traumatic shock of 9/11, and more recently, of the two 2015 Paris attacks. Coupled with a lack of rational distance and perspective ». He explains that « there was nothing even remotely close to 9-11 before that tragic day and there has been nothing remotely close to it after, anywhere in the Western world ». He says that « just like 9-11, it is also unlikely that anything similar to November 13 will happen again anytime soon ». In fact, if we speak about two planes crashing into the Twin Towers that no longer exist, or about the attacks in the same parisian bars… those events are unlikely to happen again. But should we remind Alain Gabon about the Nice attacks that happened after his report ? All the foiled attacks in France ? All the attacks in Iraq, Syria, Indonesia, Bengladesh… ?

b) « the role and responsibility of the media and politicians (namely the two most influential and pervasive type of discourses), which relentlessly cultivate and nurture the memory of 9-11 (and now, in France, of Charlie Hebdo and November 13). These discourses in turn create and perpetuate through this “commemorationism” a distorted perception of terrorism among the general public and these media and political circles themselves, in a sort of self-intoxication »…

c) the fact that « Western media and the political class have for decades focused obsessively, furthermore through exclusively negative reporting [on Iraq, Syria, Yemen, the Iranian revolution] » and that « political conflicts such as the Syrian civil war are usually fallaciously presented as religious problems (like“shiite-sunni » conflict) »…

d) “the vested interest and calculations, including electoral calculations, of governments, who have (…) motivations for keeping their populations focused obsessively on the “Jihadist threat” through a politics of fear and anxiety in the best Orwellian tradition: it allows despotic regimes like Assad’s or al-Sisi’s in Egypt, whose own brand of state terror is even worse than that of Daesh, to present themselves as bulwarks against terrorism ». This would enable « governments to suppress dissent, for example through state of emergency », and to increase their « popularity », as « war-presidents ». In conclusion, « Daesh is proving to emphasizes be extremely useful to all ». In fact Alain Gabon is using the complotist false flag rhetoric, without naming it.

e) “the exclusive obsession with “Islamic” terrorism while the other, far more lethal forms of violence from domestic abuse to gun violence or right-wing terrorism remain largely unaddressed, [which] fits within old and deep racist and Islamophobic anti-Arab and anti-Muslim stereotypes ».

f) the fact that “the political and media treatment of terrorism systematically emphasise terrorism by Muslims while ignoring or at best minimising the other forms of terror, especially when committed by white, Christian, right-wing groups or individuals ». Alain Gabon blames the demonstrations of solidarity following the Charlie Hebdo’s attacks, which he compares with the demonstrations for the nine afro-americans killed by Dylan Roof.

Alain Gabon then presents Bachar Al-Assad or Saddam Hussein as “secular rulers”. He forgets to say that these two dictators never killed their people in the name of secularism, that Syria or Iraq have never been secular, and that there is no secular terrorist movement asking to support these two criminals. Nevertheless, he says that the fact that Al-Assad, Hussein or Al-Sissi, are not nominated as terrorist proves that we are not far from “Negationist Revisionism”.

Alain Gabon says that believing that “terrorism is a major threat to human life in Western societies is another huge fallacy ». It would even be « the smallest and least cause of mortality, violent or non-violent, of all ». The problem is that he compares terrorist attacks with domestic or road accidents, which are by definition, non-predictable… With cynism, he adds that cancer « can be a lot longer and more painful agony than sudden death or homicide ».

Alain Gabon speaks about “myths of islamic radicalisation”, because for him, radicalisation is subjective. He considers that salafist behaviour, such as refusing to shake women’s hands, can’t lead to jihadism. But he doesn’t suggest any word to describe this islamic radicality. He denounces Manuel Valls for his declaration : “the French Republic must combat not just Jihadist terrorism, but “[Islamic] conservatism and fundamentalism”, including « Muslim brotherhood, salafists and UOIF ». The signs of radicalisations described would be « paternalist », and the closing of three salafist mosques would be unjustified.

Finally, according to Alain Gabon, jihadism is a “minuscule phenomena”, and the problem concerns the media and government, working together to convince and frighten populations.

Carla Parisi

This post is also available in Français .


Who are the Benghazi defense brigades that threaten France

15.11.2016 Hala Abdennour

July 17, 2016 two (or three according to French authorities) French soldiers belonging most probably to the General Directorate for Internal Security (DGSE) agents are killed in Libya when the helicopter they were travelling aboard was shot down. A group known as the Benghazi Defense Brigades (BDB) claimed responsibility for the attack and posted images of a dead body it identified as a French soldier and pictures of the downed aircraft.


French president François Hollande confirmed on July 20th that three French soldiers were killed in Libya: “At this moment we are carrying out dangerous intelligence operations [in Libya]… three of our soldiers, who were involved in these operations, have been killed in a helicopter accident [1].

The same day, in retaliation for the death of its troops, France bombed several BDB targets killing a number of their militants and forcing the group to retreat west towards the city of Ajdabiya.  BDB immediately issued a statement that was published on their news agency Boshra News threatening France that Libya will turn into a “graveyard for you as it was for your three soldiers”.

Few days later Al-Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) issued a statement announcing its solidarity with BDB and calling for Libyans to fight against what it called the “oppressors ”[2]. See please Annex.


Most of the French press related the event [3], Le Monde wrote an article about it [4] but none of them explained who the BDB are allied to. Only the English language press gave details of the links between the Benghazi Defense Brigades, Al Qaida and AQIM. The French press qualified them simply as fundamentalists.

According to August 2016 media reports, nearly 30-40 Malian and Algerian AQIM fighters have joined BDB in fighting against the Libyan National Army south of Adjdabiya. Since the establishment of the Benghazi Defense Brigades, dozens of Al-Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb ( AQIM ) fighters have traveled to Libya to fight alongside BDB .

November 5th Saraya Media The official media outlet of Benghazi Revolutionaries Shura Council tweeted “ Two French soldiers killed while Benina Air Base was targeted with a number of grad rockets”

Who are the Benghazi Defense Brigades?

The BDB was established in June 2016 as a militia fighting with Al Qaida associated Benghazi Revolutionaries Shura Council, against the UN-recognized Government of National Accord and the Libyan National Army led by Gen Khalifa Hiftar. The Benghazi Revolutionaries Shura Council is a coalition of jihadist militias in Libya.  One the members of the BRSC is Ansar Al Sharia. They were designated by the US government as a Foreign Terrorist Organization for their ties with Al Qaida and their role in the 2012 attack against the US compound in Benghazi [5]. They are also thought to be ideologically closer to ISIL than Al Qaida [6]. Even though they are allied with Al Qaida in some cities and with ISIS in others according to French jihadism expert David Thomson [7].

A former leader of Ansar Al Sharia Mohammad Al Zahawi was a leading figure in the Benghazi Revolutionaries Shura Council before his death in 2015 [8].

One of the commanders of the Benghazi Revolutionaries Council Ismail Sallabi is a founding member of the Benghazi Defense Brigades.

In an October 2016 interview, BDB commander Mustafa Sharkasi reaffirmed his group’s support for the Benghazi Revolutionaries Shura Council [9].

Qatar support for BDB leaders

Ismail Sallabi, a Benghazi-based militia leader, has been identified as “among the most prominent” BDB leaders[10]. Sallabi was featured in the June 2016 video announcing the official formation of BDB, and has since been named in media reporting as a leader of BDB and other militant groups associated with Al Qaida in Libya[11].

Sallabi is a long time Islamist activist. Arrested and accused by the Qaddafi regime of working to topple the government he was released in 2004 with the help of Qatar. In the 1980s he fought in Afghanistan against Soviet forces and was a leader in the Al Qaida aligned Libyan Islamic Fighting Group (LIFG), which was sanctioned by the UN and the US government[12].

Following the 2011 uprising against the Qaddafi regime, Ismail Sallabi became a leader in the February 17thMartyrs Brigade and the Revolutionaries Companies Gathering. Both militias received Qatari aid and arms during the Libyan Revolution according to media reports[13].

In an interview with Reuters Ismail Sallabi confirmed that his forces received weapons from Qatar at the beginning of the Libyan revolution[14]

At the time they were also supported by western intelligence agencies to topple the Qaddafi regime probably before realizing that these Islamist groups had strong links with Al Qaida and AQIM.

In 2012 Libyan officials asked the US government to stop Qatar from sending money and arms to extremist militias in Libya, according to New York Times reporting. Former US Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton urged the Obama administration to address “the Qatar problem” by arming opposition groups,” hoping that would persuade Qataris to stop sending weapons to extremist rebel factions”[15].


Most of Doha’s aid to the Libyan revolt has been guided by Qatar based cleric Ali Sallabi, brother of Ismail. Ali Sallabi is a key conduit of Qatari arms shipments to Libyan militias after the 2011 uprising. He maintained residence in Qatar where he remains active in coordinating political dialogues. He oversaw a conference in Doha of more than 80 Libyan individuals to discuss national reconciliation and political developments in Libya. According to Qatari media reporting, the government of Qatar hosted the conference [16] [17].

Ali Sallabi is also a member of the Board of Trustees of the International Union of Muslim Scholars a Doha Based organization led by Yusuf Qaradawi.

On July 23 2016 after the French airstrikes against Benghazi Defense Brigades targets, the International Union of Muslim Scholars published an article by the Grand Mufti of Libya, Sadiq Al Ghariani qualifying the attack as “a felony against the homeland in every sense of the word” [18].

Al Ghariani has been identified by BDB as the religious Marja (guide) of the group[19].  He is also praised by AQIM who issued a statement of solidarity with BDB following July 2016 airstrike. AQIM called on Libyan revolutionaries to attack French forces and rally around Ulemas like Al Ghariani who they stated: “has championed knowledge in coming out with the truth in the face of Evil and its cohorts”[20].


In October 2014 Sadiq Al Ghariani was banned from the UK after reports revealed he was providing direct support to Libya Dawn’s takeover of Tripoli [21].  He departed the UK for Qatar, before relocating to Turkey.

In 2012 social media showed a meeting between then Qatari Crown Prince Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani with radical cleric Sadiq Al-Ghariani [22].



Al-Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) statement

Truly, your steadfastness put the flagrant Western campaign and the French military intervention in Libya to shame when the young revolutionaries, the mujahideen of the Benghazi Defense Brigades, killed three French officers, whose death on Libyan soil the French government later recognized. These events have revealed the depths of the treachery of the foreign agent Hiftar, who kills the children of Derna and the elderly of Benghazi, on which he is waging a fierce war to exterminate all those who have anything to do with the revolution… 

We call on the revolutionaries in Libya, and the Libyan people writ large to press on in their revolution against the oppressors. We call on them to rally around their ulema who speak the truth about the campaign of aggression against the identity and faith of the Muslim people. We also appreciate the courageous position of the learned Sheikh  Al­Sadiq al­Ghariani, Allah preserve him, who championed knowledge in coming out with the truth in the face of Evil and its cohorts. We ask Allah to keep him and his brothers on the path of justice, and make them a bulwark for Shariah.”

[1] Reuters – 20.07.2016 – France says soldiers killed in Libya during intelligence operation

[2] L ibyas Channel – 24.07.2016 – “تنظيم قاعدة الجهاد ببلاد المغرب الإسلامي” يعلن تأييده لـ”سرايا الدفاع عن بنغازي”

[3] BFMTV – 21.07.2016 – Libye: le gouvernement d’union nationale accuse Paris de “violation” du territoire

[4] Le Monde – 20.07.2016 – Trois membres de la DGSE tués en Libye, le gouvernement libyen proteste

[5] U.S. Department of State – 02.01.2014 – Terrorist Designations of Three Ansar al-Shari’a Organizations and Leaders

[6] Rfi – 06.10.2014 – Aaron Zelin: en Libye, Ansar al-Charia n’a «pas subi de défaite»

[7] Twitter – 30.11.2015 – David Thomson

[8] Reuters – 23.01.2016 – Leader of Libyan Islamists Ansar al-Sharia dies of wounds

[9] Twitter https://twitter.com/Ghanem3Salem/status/784413510868537344

[10] Al Jazeera – 07.06.2016 – سرايا بنغازي.. لغم جديد بطريق حفتر

[11] YouTube – 02.06.2016 – بيان رقم ( 1 ) لسرايا الدفاع عن بنغازي

[12] Albawabh News – 25.03.2015 – التنظيمات المتربصة ببوابة مصر الغربية

[13] WSJ – 17.10.2011 – Tiny Kingdom’s Huge Role in Libya Draws Concern

[14] Reuters 04.09.2011 – مقابلة- اسلامي ليبي يطالب اللجنة التنفيذية بالاستقالة

[15] New York Times – 27.02.2016 – A New Libya, With ‘Very Little Time Left’

[16] Akhbar Libya – 03.05.2016 – من يقف وراء مؤتمر المصالحة الليبي في الدوحة ؟

[17] Raya – 04.05.2016 – مؤتمر المصالحة الليبي بالدوحة يدعو لنبذ العنف

[18] IUMS – 23.07.2016 – لمن يكتب تاريخ ليبيا.. يومُ العدوان الفرنسي على بنغازي

[19] Libya Herald – 25.06.2016 – PFG vows to fight new Benghazi militants

[20]  L ibyas Channel – 24.07.2016 – “تنظيم قاعدة الجهاد ببلاد المغرب الإسلامي” يعلن تأييده لـ”سرايا الدفاع عن بنغازي”

[21] The Guardian – 30.10.2014 – Libya’s highest spiritual leader banned from UK over support of Islamists

[22] Facebook – 18.07-2012 – الشيخ تميم بن حمد آل ثاني ولي عهد قطر يقبل رأس الشيخ الصادق الغرياني مفتي ليبيا ..


Tareq al-Suwaidan will not enter Italy

07.04.2016 Valentina Colombo

Kuwaiti Muslim Brotherhood member Tareq al-Suwaidan, who had been invited in Italy by the Associazione Islamica Italiana degli imam e delle Guide Religiose in San Giovanni in Lupatoto, “will not be able and will not enter Italy”. This was confirmed on April 6th 2016 during question time at the Italian parliament by Minister of Interiors Angelino Alfano. The Minister recalled that the preacher “has been inserted by Belgium in the Schengen Information System since November 2014 and by virtue of this he has no possibility to enter any country of that area, including of course Italy. Any application for issuing a visa would be automatically rejected. And if the imam will try to cross our borders would be immediately stopped and rejected.”

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However, the most important and significant statement is the one in which Alfano stressed that Suwaidan is a” well-known figure to our police forces and those of other countries of the Schengen area in relation to his previous preaching activities, marked by radical, anti-Western and anti-Semitic contents, and he is known for its proximity to the Muslim Brotherhood.” To denounce the radical, anti-Western and anti-Semitic are thus the Italian Minister of the Interior, the police forces of the Schengen countries, that is people and institutions in charge of Italian and European security.

The official statements are the polar opposite of the statements by Aboulkheir Breigheche, communications officer of the Association and former president of Alleanza Islamica in Italia which is member of FIOE, who had declared that Suwaidan had been invited as a communications expert and that he is an “enlightened, open and moderate person who also knows how to criticize the Western world.”

Valentina Colombo


Islamophobia and Gender at the European Parliament. An example of MB monopolisation.

29.02.2016 Valentina Colombo

MEP Soraya Post is hosting on March 2, 2016 a public hearing on Islamophobia and Gender that confirms the strong link between S&D group and the galaxy of the European Muslim Brotherhood at the European level. It is noteworthy that such a controversial issues such as islamophobia and gender seems, at least in the case of the above-mentioned event, to be almost monopolized by organisations and individuals linked to a single ideological area, namely political Islam, of the immense and variegated universe of Muslims living in Europe. S&D group has already hosted Tariq Ramadan and Malika Hamidi, respectively President and Director of the European Muslim Network based in Brussels, Islamic Relief Belgium, FEMYSO and other actors of European political Islam.

The co-organisers of the upcoming event are the European Forum of Muslim Women (EFOMW), the Forum of European and Muslim Youth Organisations (FEMYSO) and the European Network Against Racism (ENAR). Although they seem to be independent from one another, it will be shown that they have, both in the past and in the present, not only common goals and strategy, but they also belong to the same Islamic context and trend.

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EFOMW, founded in 2006, is the European umbrella organisation of women associations belonging to the Federation of Islamic Organisations in Europe (FIOE), which is the main umbrella organisation of Muslim Brotherhood associations in Europe.

The official goal of FIOE is to broaden the cooperation and coordination of Muslim groups in Europe and to reinforce participation in societal dialogue, emphasizing that extra attention should be “granted to the affairs of youth, women, and the professional segments”. FIOE’s Shura Council, the consultative council chaired by Samir Falah – president of the Islamische Gemeinschaft in Deutschland – has encouraged Muslim participation in the European Parliament elections and has sought to take the lead on certain international political issues such as the situation in Ukraine, “escalating violations of the City of Jerusalem”, opposition to the Assad regime in Syria and Sisi’s government in Egypt, and Islamophobia in Europe.

The fight against Islamophobia and women are declared objectives of FIOE programme. In the Final Statement of the Fifth Shura Council Meeting in the Tenth Term of FIOE (Madrid, 22-25 October 2015) it was highlighted that it “also discussed developing a strategy specifically focused on supporting the values of human rights and equality, and in combating racism, hate, and Islamophobia”. On the other hand, the last paragraph of the Final Statement of the 3rd General Assembly Meeting in the 10th Executive Term of FIOE (Tunis, 21-24 January 2016) “called for greater effort in developing the presence of women and youth in the leadership bodies and councils of Islamic organisations in Europe, and to encourage them to raise their participation in all positive spheres”. Both documents confirm that the upcoming event at the European parliament perfectly fits into FIOE strategy about islamophobia and its tendency to point out women both as the most vulnerable and visible victims of hate against Islam and Muslims and as front-line actors in against Islamophobia.

It is worth pointing out the official link between FIOE and its members and the global Muslim Brotherhood. On July 6, 2009, that is still under Mubarak’s regime, Ibrahim Munir – present deputy Supreme Guide of the Muslim Brotherhood, was interviewed by the Egyptian daily Al-Masry al-Yom and clearly explained the role of the European umbrella organisation:

“Islamic activities [of the MB] in Europe are different, there is a completely independent structure which is called the Federation of Islamic Organisations in Europe (FIOE). It is registered at the European Union; it has an office in Brussels and is known at the European level. On this basis, they cooperate. We must obey the laws of our countries and they must obey the laws of their countries. In all European countries, there are Islamic organizations that convey the thought of the Muslim Brotherhood and others that do not. All of these organizations are working for the benefit of their country and according to the laws of that country.”

FIOE is among other things behind the birth of the European Council for Fatwa and Research (ECFR) in Dublin, headed by the controversial preacher Yusuf Qaradawi. ECFR inaugural meeting took place, as stated in the introduction of its First collection of Fatwas, “in London, UK, on 21-22 Dhul Qi’da 1417AH, 29-30 March 1997. The meeting was attended by more than 15 scholars who responded to the invitation of the Federation of Islamic Organisations in Europe.” It is thus clear that EFOMW vision of women in Europe follows the model presented both by FIOE and ECFR.

When it comes to women both Qaradawi and ECFR hold ambiguous positions. For instance, Qaradawi in his essay The Lawful and Prohibited in Islam explains the reason of the prohibition of marriage between a Muslim woman and a non-Muslim man as follows:

“A marriage between a man and woman of different faiths can be based only on the husband’s respect for his wife’s beliefs; otherwise a good relationship can never develop. Now, the Muslim believes that both Judaism and Christianity originated in divine revelation, although later distortions were introduced into them. He also believes that Allah revealed the Torah to Moses and the Evangel to Jesus, and that both Moses and Jesus – peace be on them – were among the messengers of Allah who were distinguished by their steadfast determination. Accordingly, the Christian or Jewish wife of a Muslim lives under the protection of a man who respects the basic tenets of her faith, her scripture, and her prophets, while in contrast to this the Jew or Christian recognizes neither the divine origin of Islam, its Book, or its Prophet (peace be on him). How then could a Muslim woman live with such a man, while her religion requires of her the observance of certain worships, duties, and obligations, as well as certain prohibitions? It would be impossible for the Muslim woman to retain her respect for her beliefs as well as to practice her religion properly if she were opposed in this regard by the master of the house at every step.”

This position is also confirmed by ECFR fatwa. Although ECFR issues fatawa for Muslims living as minority in Europe and is meant to adapt sharia to a new minoritarian context, ECFR views about women are definitely conservative. For instance, the need of segregation between men and women is confirmed by the following ECFR fatwa regarding the attendance of mixed ceremonies by women:

“Our opinion in this matter is that Islamic Shari’a did not object to men and women being present in one place on condition that three matters are avoided and refrained from:

First: Seclusion, i.e. where a man and woman meet in a position where no one else can see them.

Second: Adornment of women, i.e. where a woman uncovers what Allah (swt) decreed to be covered from her body, perfume or jewellery or walks in such a way which draws attention and raises ill-thoughts and feelings.

Third: Contact, i.e. skin contact.

If these three matters were avoided and refrained from then there remains no legal objection to the congregation, whether it is a marriage ceremony or any other. However, we see that people often do not abide by these conditions in weddings, and thus the presence of men and women in one place becomes unlawful.”

Similarly, in ordinary life ECFR advises a correct form of dialogue between men and women that finally relegates it to greetings and limited intercourse:

“There are many Hadiths which confirm the permissibility of men greeting women and women greeting men, as well as the lawfulness of men visiting sick women and vice versa.

However, this does not imply the lifting of all boundaries, so that women start speaking to all men who come and go or that men start speaking to all women, as this is rejected by logic and good taste before being rejected by Islam. It is permissible for a woman to speak to a male relative, a teacher, a neighbour, a supervisor at work, and others according to the requirements and needs of every day life and complex relations amongst people in our days, as long as trust is established, troubles (fitna) are in restraint and conditions are normal.”

During Session 24, which was held in Istanbul August 16-19, 2014, ECFR issued many fatwas that apparently aimed to appease the West and its standards. For instance Fatwa 24/3 about “the cure for recalcitrance of a woman toward her husband” explains that the Qur’anic verse referring to it as IV, 34 that is “Men are the protectors and maintainers of women, because Allah has given the one more (strength) than the other, and because they support them from their means. Therefore the righteous women are devoutly obedient, and guard in (the husband’s) absence what Allah would have them guard. As to those women on whose part ye fear disloyalty and ill conduct, admonish them (first), (next), refuse to share their beds, (and last) beat them; but if they return to obedience, seek not against them means (of annoyance): For Allah is Most High, great (above you all)”. The key expression is “beat them”.

ECFR states that Muslims have to follow the example of the Prophet who never hit his wives, however, in an interview with the London-based Guardian newspaper, Qaradawi said he accepts wife-beating “as a method of last resort – though only lightly.” He also said that female rape victims should be punished if dressed “immodestly” when assaulted.

ECFR Fatwa 24/4 about khul’ – that is the Islamic divorce at the instance of the wife, who must pay a compensation – is interesting because after stating that in Europe there is no such a divorce, it advises the woman to refer to “Islamic centers or sharia councils if existing, because this is not against the law since the International convention for human rights states that minorities have the right to practice their religion”. The fatwa thus implicitly allows double standards and allows Islamic centers to handle family issues.

ECFR went also so far as issuing a fatwa about the possibility for a woman to ride a bicycle:

“Riding a bicycle or car or any other form of transportation is permissible in itself. The Arab woman during the days of ignorance as well as Islam used to ride camels. The Prophet Mohammed (ppbuh) said: The best of women who rode camels are the women of Qureish; they are the most merciful with their children and the most considerate with their husbands’ wealth” .

However, a woman must abide by Islamic mannerisms when riding a bicycle, such as wearing appropriate Islamic dress and avoiding physical contact with men. As for the possibility of teenage girls losing their hymen; it is important to examine such possibility. If it remains a rare occurring, then Islam has decided that a rule cannot be based upon a rarity.

However, if it is likely that the girl will indeed lose her hymen if she rides a bicycle and no measures can prevent her from doing so, then the Muslim girl ought to be stopped from this, so that people do not think ill of her and that she is not accused of what she has not committed. However, if riding a bicycle is an actual need for the girl, for instance to get to her school or important work, etc., then it remains that necessities make prohibitions permissible. Allah (swt) stated:

“But if one is forced by necessity without wilful disobedience nor transgressing due limits, then there is no sin on him. Truly, Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful” (2:173)” (Fatwa 38)

It is interesting that both Qaradawi and ECFR stand for the veil as a duty for Muslim women, while there are many Islamic theologians saying that it is not a duty, but a free choice. Considering the veil an Islamic duty, any action and/or law against it can be targeted and labelled as islamophobic. This is why not only EFOMW, but also ENAR have been focusing on projects on both gender and islamophobia. Last, but not least it should be noted that Qaradawi also heads the International Union of Muslim Scholars, based in Doha, that on the eve of the 57th session of the UN Commission on the Status of Women which was held between March 4th and 15th 2013 issued an official statement in which IUMS attacked the UN Convention for the Elimination of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) because it contradicted Islamic principles for the following reasons:

“1- Substituting qawwama (male caretaking or responsibility) with partnership and complete sharing of roles inside the family between the man and woman (spending, child care, household issues).

2- Complete equality in marriage laws (cancelling all forms of: polygamy, `idda, guardianship, dowry, a man’s spending commitment toward the family, allowing Muslim women to marry non-Muslims and so on).

3- Equality in inheritance.

4- Withdrawing the power to divorce, referring it to the judiciary, and a sharing of all possessions upon divorce.

5- Giving women the authority to file a complaint against her husband accusing him of rape or harassment. The concerned departments would be obliged to exact a penalty on the husband equal to the penalty specified for a person who commits rape or harassment against a woman of no relation to him.

6- Granting complete sexual freedom to girls in addition to the freedom to choose her sex, and the sex of her partner (i.e. to choose to have natural or homosexual relations) in addition to raising marriage age to 18.

7- Giving teenage girls access to contraceptives, training them to use it, and allowing abortion to dispose of an undesired pregnancy (under claims of sexual and reproductive rights).

8- Equating an adulteress with a wife, equating children from an adulterous relation with legal children completely in all rights.”

IUMS statement eventually clarified its vision of women. Most of IUMS members – such as Qaradawi, Rached al-Ghannouchi, Ali Qaradaghi – are also members of ECFR. It should thus be assumed that ECFR, which is the theological reference for FIOE and EFOMW, shares IUMS views about women. Although EFOMW and FIOE promote women’s activism – which is limited to an élite and a restricted group of leading figures – in society and politics, they consider ordinary women’s role as mainly complementary to men’s role in family and life.


EFOMW partners for the event at the European parliament are FEMYSO and ENAR.

FEMYSO is a transnational umbrella organization, connecting 33 Islamic youth and student organizations in 26 European countries, which can be considered the breeding ground of FIOE.

The first meeting of MB Muslim youth organisations across Europe took place in Sweden in 1995, when the Foreign Ministry of Sweden in co-operation with the Swedish Muslim Youth organization (Sveriges Unga Muslimer), organized an international conference on “Islam in Europe”. The participants expressed the need to establish better communications between the organizations and to undertake steps towards more fruitful and organized cooperation. Jeunes Musulmans de France, Young Muslims UK and Sveriges Unga Muslimer were given the responsibility to further develop this idea. In June 1996 FIOE invited the three organizations in Birmingham to facilitate this process along with the Islamic Foundation based in Leicester. During a successive meeting in the same year FEMYSO was established as a youth offshoot of FIOE, whose Youth & Students section is member of FEMYSO.

FEMYSO is headquartered in Brussels, where it is registered as an international NGO. It adopts a formal administrative structure and communications activities similar to that of other MB EUOs. The organization has tried to maintain its autonomy from the global MB; however, FEMYSO’s composition and ideology represent indelible marks indicating that it is an important component of the MB European network. By operating out of Brussels FEMYSO is well placed to foster contact with EU institutions, allowing it to position itself as the voice of young Muslims in Europe.

FEMYSO Executive Committee confirms the nepotism in its upper ranks, as sons and daughters of senior MB leaders hold its key roles. Many past and current Executive Committee members have remained in power for extended periods, sometimes only switching offices. For instance, FEMYSO former President Intissar Kherigi – Rached Ghannouchi’s daughter – is a former Vice President, just like Huda Himmat – Ali Ghalib Himmat’s daughter – who was replaced by her brother Youssef at the end of her term. Youssef Himmat is now FEMYSO President. At present Intissar Kherigi sits on the Board of Trustees both of FEMYSO and ENAR and acts more behind the scenes.

Founded in October 1998 by grassroots activists on a mission to achieve legal changes at the European level and make decisive progress towards racial equality in all European Union member states and based in Brussels, Belgium, the European Network Against Racism (ENAR) connects local and national anti-racism NGOs throughout Europe and acts as an interface between member organizations and the European institutions. ENAR is a result of the 1997 European Year Against Racism. Between March and September 1998, more than 600 NGOs were involved in national and European roundtable discussions regarding the viability of such a structure. The Constitutive Conference of ENAR brought together more than 200 representatives of these organizations to draw up a common program of action. According to its website, ENAR is the only pan-European anti-racism network that combines advocacy for racial equality and facilitating cooperation among civil society anti-racist actors in Europe.

ENAR states its “mission is to achieve full equality, solidarity and well-being for all in Europe” by fostering a collective voice in civil society and to influence decision-making in the EU. To this end, its main activity is to lobby the European Parliament on behalf of its member organizations, notably by calling on MEPs and political groups to establish a strong cooperative on anti-racism in the European Parliament, to advance a comprehensive anti-racist agenda and to jointly react to manifestations of racism and hate.

ENAR issues an annual Shadow Report on racism in Europe, which is a compilation of information and data collected by member organizations and produced to fill the gaps in the official and academic data while offering an NGO perspective on the realities of racism in the EU.

The Belgian convert Michael Privot, who started as networking and campaigns officer in January 2006, in March 2010 became ENAR director. Besides being an international expert on radicalization processes within Muslim communities, in 2008 the Belgian newspaper Le Soir published an article of his, entitled “Muslim Brotherhood: Time for Coming-Out”, where he declared his belonging the MB. Later he explained that he did not join the Egyptian Brotherhood, but he felt close to the way of understanding Islam of an Islamic organisation close to the ideology of the Muslim Brotherhood.

Policy officer is Julie Pascoet, who joined ENAR in April 2010 after working as communication and advocacy assistant for the NGO Islamic Relief Belgium and converting to Islam.

The presence in ENAR’s board of Intissar Kherigi has strengthened the relation and coordination with FEMYSO.


All the speakers of the public hearing on Islamophobia and Gender at the European Parliament belong to the above-mentioned network:

  • Raghad Al Tikriti represents the Muslim Association of Britain (MAB), which is member of FEMYSO and FIOE. Al Tikriti is the sister of Anas Al Tikriti, one of the key people of the MB network in the UK and president of the Cordoba Foundation;
  • Ilham Skah, presented as researcher on conditions of Muslim women in Norway, is an activist in the Islamiska Forbundet, which is member of FIOE;
  • Julie Pascoet is the responsible of the ENAR project Forgotten Women Project and ENAR policy officer;
  • Nora Rami is presented as an expert on the question of “laïcité” (The March 15th Freedom Committee). As a matter of fact, the March 15th Freedom Committee has been founded to defend the right of women to wear the veil and has been working very closely with the Union des Organisations Islamiques de France (UOIF), member of FIOE;
  • Fatima Doubakil, Swedish Muslim Human Rights Committee. She is very active in Swedish Islamic organisations close to and members of FIOE;
  • Yasser Louati represents the Collectif Contre l’Islamophobie en France (CCIF), which is a partner of FEMYSO in the IMAN Project about Islamophobia, funded by the Directorate of Justice of the European Commission;
  • Assia Oulkadi represents FEMYSO;
  • Lamia Elamri is President of European Forum of Muslim Women (EFOMW) and Vice Chair of the Board of Trustees of Islamic Relief Worldwide.

The above-mentioned list of speakers totally belongs to the same area of influence and to the same ideological background. The event organised at the European Parliament will consequently deal with the issue of Islamophobia and Gender only from one point of view without any questioning and true debate and will empower and strengthen the idea that organised/political Islam is the main representative of Muslims in Europe.

The event thus confirms the monopoly of Muslim Brotherhood linked organisations not only within the S&D group, but also within European institutions. On June 24-25, 2015 S&D group and the Foundation for European Progressive Studies (FEPS), which is headed by former Italian Prime Minister Massimo D’Alema, co-organised a conference in Brussels entitled “Call to Europe V: Islam in Europe”. The conference was attended by some European actors of the ideological galaxy of the MB, notably the Belgian Michael Privot, German Mehmet Celebi, deputy head of the Zentralrat der Muslime in Deutschland (Central Muslim Council of Germany), and Tarafa Baghajati, chairman of the Austrian Muslim Initiative (AMI).

Federica Mogherini, High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and vice president of the European Commission, presented the closing remark suggesting European policy should include not only Islam, but also political Islam:

“I am not afraid to say that political Islam should be part of the picture. Religion plays a role in politics – not always for good, not always for bad. Religion can be part of the process. What makes the difference is whether the process is democratic or not. That is what matters to us, the key point.”

The 2nd March public hearing finally highlights the trend of confusing Islam and political Islam at the European level, of turning the latter in the only representative of Islam and Muslims in Europe which is unfortunately very far from the reality on the ground and discriminating towards the variegated majority of Muslims who live their religion in an apolitical way and do not recognise themselves in the above-mentioned organisations.

Valentina Colombo


Alkhayria Belgica

15.01.2016 La rédaction

Alkhayria Belgica is an NGO which aspires to contribute to the teaching of Islam in Belgium. They give courses of elimination of illiteracy and organize school outputs. Seminars are also organized to initiate the parents with the Islamic debates. Few lecturers are external with the ideology of the Muslim brothers.

Among the speakers:

  • Tareq Oubrou: “Islamic theology at the era of secularization: Is it necessary to reform theology in Islam?”
  • Mohamed Bajrafil: “To point out the past of people”
  • Yahya Michot: “Ibn Taymiyya and the Salafism”
  • Hassan Iquioussen : “Relations Man-Woman”• Tahar Mahdi of the European Council of the Fatwa (formation)
  • Zakaria Seddiqui of the World council of the Moslem Scientists
  • Or Michael Privot, Adnan Ibrahim, Hani Ramadan, Ahmed Jaballah.

In March 2015, in his investigation into Muslim Brotherhood in Belgium, Marie-Cécile Royen includes Alkhayria in the satellite organizations of the Brotherhood. Following this investigation, Marie-Cécile Royen undergoes many intimidations. Ali Oubila, president of CA of Alkhayria requires a right of reply:

“Our ASBL neither is attached or subordinated to the Muslim brothers nor to other organizations whatever they are. This, obviously, prevented us not, within the framework of our activities, to collaborate with intellectual actors of different backgrounds.”

Post scriptum :

On March 21st, 2016, between the arrest of Salah Abdeslam and the attacks of Brussels, Ali Oubila president of Alkhayria Belgica sent a mail to us :

“Nearly 90% of our speaker are not Muslim brothers!

Moreover you published our photographs without our knowledge!

We ask you to withdraw all that you published on us.”

In the paper we had indicated that “few” lecturers were not close to the Brotherhood. We maintain this information, even if the term “few” implies more than one person.

In addition the images will not be withdrawn, they belong to the propaganda of the group and are public.

We had stressed that Marie-Cécile Royen had undergone intimidations following his investigation. We will not yield to the threats and will continue our investigation on this organization and its participants. And will return it public.

This post is also available in العربية and Français .


Al Adl Wal Ihsane and its networks in France

19.12.2015 La rédaction

In France the principal Moroccan Islamist movement, Al Adl Wal Ihsane (Justice and Spirituality) remains fairly marginal. For some time now Nadia Yassine, the movement’s spokesperson, has held a certain attraction for French journalists charmed by the exoticism of an “Islamic feminism”. At present the organization’s main practice is entryism. They also have new spokespeople, particularly within associations such as Participation et Spiritualité Musulmanes (Muslim Participation and Spirituality) (PSM).

As part of its marketing strategy the principal Moroccan Islamist movement Al Adl Wal Ihsane (AWI) seldom appears in France under its real name. Discrete and seemingly hardly represented, AWI is almost unknown in France. In “Islam of France” the lion’s share goes to the Muslim Brotherhood: UOIF, Présence musulmane (Muslim Presence), CMF (1), EMF (2), CCIF (3)… So for AWI the question is how to secure a place inside the enormous Muslim Brotherhood machine, and the countless Salafist, Tabigh and Ahbache groups which are also highly organized…?

And yet the Adlists are definitely there, inside the FNMF (4) for instance, the Moroccan Federation of the CFCM (French Council of the Muslim Faith), at one time infiltrated by the Makhzen (5). This is a result of Morocco’s shameless interference in Islam of France to counter the influence of the UOIF (6), of Algeria, as well as or even as much as the influence of its Islamist fellow Morrocaans of the Justice and Spirituality movement. So Morocco propelled leaders to the head of FNMF, Mohamed Béchari (who ended up in court, but was eventually discharged), and then in 2008 founded the Rassemblement des Musulmans de France (RMF, Assembly of Muslims of France), at that time very close to the Moroccan Ministry for Habous and Islamic Affairs. Morocco also poached former members and leading imams of the UOIF, bribed the RMF for a while, and then finally in September 2013 launched a new association, the Union des mosquées de France (UMF, Union of Mosques of France) provoking new battles between mosques…

Fair enough as the Adlists in turn practise entryism! There appears to be a certain number of them in the FNMF, to the extent that at one particular forum activists began wondering if their association, the PSM Présence musulmane (Muslim Presence), close to the Adlist movement, is not a branch of the FNMF. Other less informed activists are surprised by the overrepresentation of Moroccans within the association.

So for the past twelve years within the CFCM, which is as much a constitutional aberration (law of 1905) as a religious one (there is no clergy in Islam), a war of embassies has been going on, in particular between the Sharifian kingdom and Algeria (RMF, FNMF on one side and the Mosquée de Paris – Paris Mosque – on the other), as well as internal and fratricidal wars. And the victims are the Muslims of France! Only the intelligence services revel in the information hurled against each other, between and even within the various federations.

PSM and its deadly “spirituality” 

Although the association PSM- Participation et Spiritualité Musulmanes – (Muslim Participation and Spirituality) was only mentioned in 2007 in the Journal Officiel (Official Journal), the name had already emerged in France in the early 2000s. Only rarely did the name of the Moroccan movement Al Adl Wal Ihsane appear in reference to the PSM. There was not a single mention of it in the “Who are we” on the PSM website. On the other hand the personality of Abdessalam Yassine is omnipresent in the association: photo, texts, videos… The PSM pays tribute to the Sheikh in their various sections: Paris, Mulhouse.. and regularly invites its militants to rediscover the life and teachings of their guide. The most recent PSM-IDF General Assembly, in October 2015, began with readings from the Kuran and a video presentation of Abdessalam Yassine, who has become a permanent cult figure. The PSM is clearly the “branch” of the Moroccan Islamist movement. Today the PSM is present in the following regions of France: Languedoc-Roussillon, Paca, Centre, Est, Ile-de-France, Nord and Rhône-Alpes.

Although members of the association regularly intervene in public debate, they are seldom referred to as belonging to the PSM. Yet the association has been mentioned in various news items, such as the arrest in Lunel of a jihadist recruiter for Syria and Iraq. Jawad Salih, Al Adl Ihsane’s local recruiter, gave classes every Friday organized by the PSM. He actively advocates a caliphate and rejects violence. Yet more than 20 of his young students have left France for Syria and Iraq. Seven were killed and five were arrested by the RAID at the end of January 2015. The movement’s position on violence, which it professes to reject, remains ambiguous. In Morocco two political assassinations have been attributed to Al Adl Wal Ihsane (7). In France the “spirituality” dispensed by the PSM not only contributes to the radicalization of the young, it kills.

Ismahane Chouder following in the footsteps of Nadia Yassine

The pro Islamic veil activist Ismahane Chouder, member of the PSM, is certainly one of the movement’s most active spokespersons. A former follower of Buddhism and of various Sufi orders, she discovered Sheikh Yassine’s movement in 2000. It was love at first sight and her passion is still going strong: “I am inspired more and more each day by this spiritual guide” she said. Nothing is too much for Ismahane Chouder in her efforts to serve her master. She multiplies interviews… and wears many hats: co-president of the CFPE (Collectif Féministes Pour l’Égalité, the Feminist Collective for Equality), general secretary of the Commission Islam et Laïcité (Commission on Islam and Secularism), member of the Une école pour tou-te-s (A school for all collective), founding member of MTE (Mamans Toutes Égales – All mothers are equal). A tactic similar to entryism which enables her to intervene on a variety of issues: feminism, schools, secularism, the Islamic veil, racism, problems in suburbs.. She is also chief editor of the PSM website.

In 2006 Morocco managed to prevent Nadia Yassine attending a UNESCO conference in Paris on Muslim feminism. But Ismahane Chouder, who has ties with the same movement as Nadia Yassine, arrived wearing the PSM label and was allowed through. Intervening under different labels and different names has its advantages….

In March 2015 at the Bourse du Travail (Trade Unions Centre) of Saint-Denis Ismahane Chouder represented the PSM at a conference “against Islamophobia and the security war climate”, alongside the French Communist Party, the Nouveau parti anticapitaliste (NPA), the Muslim Brotherhood (from the UOIF to Présence Musulmane)… However the conference didn’t go down well with left wing groups. The Parti de Gauche didn’t take part, nor EELV (Europe Ecology – The Greens) which was more divided over the issue but in the end withdrew. Ismahane Chouder is a regular speaker at debates with post-colonial racialist groups: Les Indigènes de la République (the indigenous peoples of the Republic), Rokhaya Diallo’s Indivisibles, Pierre Tévanian and Malika Latrèche (with whom she co-published Les Filles voilées parlent – The veiled girls have their say), as well as with Emmanuel Todd in St Denis on 26 June 2015 and all the other “anti Charlies”.

Hand in hand with Alliance Vita

Ismahane Chouder has even joined up with the Catholic fundamentalist association Alliance Vita which in fact has much in common with her association: abortion, gender, euthanasia, embryo research… Both groups are in perfect harmony on all these issues! So much so that PSM took part in Alliance Vita’s summer university (8) from 30 August to 1 September 2013 in Ecully, near Lyon. During a general assembly PSM presented their educational project, their organization and the “point of view of Muslims on the subject of defence of life”, but in reality it was the point of view of CERTAIN Muslims that the association claimed to represent. Both sides were delighted with the meeting. Tugdual Derville, co-founder of Alliance Vita, even qualified it as “historic”. That year PSM again joined up with the fundamentalist association at the homophobic demonstrations denouncing the “dangers of marriage for all”.

Few prominent members of the association appear in public. Even Ahmed Rahmani, founding member of PSM and very active on the European level, keeps a low profile in France. Probably because the association realises it is in their interest to put forward a woman who speaks perfect French.

Ismahane Chouder is following in the footsteps of Nadia Yassine, with less brio perhaps. But as she wears more than one hat she is often in the spotlight. Besides, she is well aware that promoting her caliphate project is not the best way of putting her message across in France. So, just like Yassine, she speaks the language of modernity, denouncing injustice, discrimination.. She is also much more aggressive on secularism, which has won her the support of the entire multiculturalist and identitarian left, which holds only contempt for secularism and universalism. In June 2015 she addressed a meeting on “Is secularism in danger?” at Science-Po Paris. A rather strange choice: secularists calling advocates of an Islamic republic to the rescue?

In October 2015 she was a spokesperson for the Marche de la Dignité (Demonstration for Dignity), supported by all the racialist, post-colonial identitarians, from the Parti des Indigènes de la République to the Afro feminists of Mwasi. One of the slogans was: the race struggle! PSM actively took up the call for this demonstration. Ismahane Chouder was one of the four speakers at the press conference of the “anti-racist” March, alongside Amal Bentousi, Françoise Vergès and Fania Noël. Like Chouder, Fania Noël defends identitarian feminism. Convinced that “any association integrated in the system is incompetent” she says she has broken away from “the laundry” (i.e. white people). “Non-mixity is the only hope for racialized people”, she declared in a video on Mrs Roots’ blog. There was not a single comment in the press about the Islamist Ismahane Chouder. They consider her simply as an anti-racist feminist, a victim of an “anti Islamic veil war waged by secularists”. In fact, the media coverage of the march revealed a disturbing blindness to the facts on the part of a considerable section of the press regarding these religious and identitarian groups. And only a rare few in the media questioned the absence of the principal established anti-racist associations.

Solidarity of the Brotherhood network

Oumma, Saphir News… in the main, the Muslim Brotherhood inspired or related websites support the Adlist proselytism. In fact the movement is linked to several of these websites. It has succeeded in establishing links with the Islamist worldwide network. Forced into clandestinity during long periods, the organization soon learned how to make use of new technologies, exchanges over the web, videoconferencing sermons… Since 2003 Oumma has been posting PSM’s communiqués, in particular the texts of Abdessalam Yassine, indulgent interviews with Nadia Yassine and Ismahane Chouder, an article on the repression of the AWI movement in Morocco, a tribute to Sheikh Yassine “an eminent man among Muslim scholars”, “a huge intellectual figure”… The choice of words on the Islamist websites when referring to the movement is rather flattering. In fact when Sheikh Abdessalam Yassine died the obituaries were blatantly euphoric. Not to be outdone, Tariq Ramadan posted on his site an account of his last visit to the Sheikh: “He remained loyal to his vision, to his principles, his positions and his hopes. He commanded respect and radiated kindness, sitting modestly, thoughtful and smiling. I shall never forget him, may he rest in peace, profoundly”. The Islamist preacher praised the Sheikh’s calls for “a reform of the country”, “the rejection of the colonization of our minds”, “issues which are as important today as ever”. Carried away by his lyrical outburst Ramadan even posted on his website a translation of the name of the movement Al Adl Wal Ihsane as “Justice and Excellence”.

In addition, Tariq Ramadan and PSM are in the habit of returning courtesies. For example on its Facebook page as well on its national and regional websites, PSM regularly posts quotes and texts by Tariq Ramadan, for instance (as in the following article) explaining the necessity to say “we or us”: “We can only become “us” or “we”, as a community or a society, when we have determined a common and collective project”. It is clear from this that the Adlist association considers it shares a “common and collective project” with this preacher. In November 2015 the spokesman for the CCIF (Collective against Islamophobia), Marwan Muhammad, made a short list of a dozen or so people he would like to see most often in the media, among them Ismahane Chouder, Nabil Ennasri and Imam Chakil Omarjee.

Journalists, researchers…

Each visit to France of the Islamist passionaria Nadia Yassine has provided the press with an opportunity to present her ideas. The tone of the interviews is friendly and the questions are inoffensive. The complacency of the press towards the movement is even more astonishing on the part of more informed journalists or researchers specializing on Morocco.

When Mohammed VI came to the throne the press began to show an interest in the movement, and in September 2000 the journalist Jean-Pierre Tuquoi organized a meetring between the daily newspaper Le Monde readers and Nadia Yassine, where he presented Al Ald Wal Ihsane as a “charity group”.

In 2002, however, he already seemed much less categorical. Questioned by El Mundo on the use of violence inside the movement he replied “in reality, we don’t really know what they want”.

In his 2011 book Renaissances arabes (Arab renaissances), co-written with Michaël Béchir Ayari, Vincent Geisser, (IREMAM) took offense at Al Adl Wal Ihsane being referred to as “radical Islam”. According to this researcher, who acted as moderator in May 2015 at a conference hosting Omar Icherchane of Al Adl Wal Ihsane (“The left – Islamists: why such hatred?”), both PJD and AWI “can be considered part of the reformist and conservative Islamic galaxy, having renounced many years ago the use of violence and clandestine action”.

Nicolas Beau discovered the AWI movement during his investigations for the book “Quand le Maroc sera islamiste” (When Morocco becomes Islamist), published in 2006 with Catherine Graciet. He also seems to have discovered the Islamist practices of infiltrating social and associative networks. In a video interview on Oumma.com he expressed his surprise at the “capacity of the members of Justice et Bienveillance (Justice and Spirituality) and Nadia Yassine to monopolize the practical and social activities in the neighbourhoods, the activities which touch people’s lives most closely”, far from the stereotypes, he said, that people imagine (that he imagines?) about Islamism. He took offense at the idea of a necessarily anti democratic Islamism, given that “there is a culture, if not of democracy but at least of majority consent, for instance among the political circles the movement has created there is a process for electing the leaders. (…) There are senior officials who reflect on how to adapt their theories on the consent of the Oumma, on the caliphate which they still proclaim as their ultimate goal… They try to see how these values could be integrated into more classic democratic processes, as they can be perceived here in France”.

Yet Sheikh Yassine never ceased to explain how democracy “disrupts the Islamic absolute”, how “relativism” which is inherent to democracy “destroys religion”. The founder of the movement is not far from qualifying democracy as the very enemy of Islam. “Shura is the name of our ‘democracy’” he wrote in “Islamizing modernity”. For the Sheikh it is a matter of “putting Divine Law into practice and which men are forbidden to change”. Even if it were chosen by the majority, can the incontestable application of the Sharia in the Sheikh’s dream world be in any way related to the concept of democracy? The journalist would like to think so. However, this movement described as “extremely rich” by Nicolas Beau has never made a secret in its texts of its hatred for democracy. We have to assume that certain Islamist movements have such power of fascination that their interviewers lose their capacity to judge.

In France, like everywhere else

In France like elsewhere in Europe, the USA, and Canada the Adlists use the same methods of persuasion towards the media, at the same time infiltrating the principal Islamic organizations. Here in France and in Spain they have been hugely successful in gaining footholds in the National Federation of Muslims of France (for instance in the region of Murcie where 50 000 Moroccans are considered to have already fallen for the Sheikh’s siren   calls). The Adlists approach students and mosques under different names, but always as a peaceful “school of thought”: in France as PSM; in Italy as CSM (Citoyenneté et spiritualité musulmane – Muslim Citizenship and Spirituality); in Belgium as Fraternité, or in Spain as ONDA (National Organization for Dialogue and Participation). To cover their tracks they even adopt names, such as in Canada, which have nothing to do with their religious movement, for instance the Canadian Observatory of Human Rights!. Outside Morocco it is probably in Spain that the movement is most firmly established. Mounir Benjelloun, who is close to the movement, is at the head of the FEERI (a federation comprising nearly 1000 mosques in Spain). Since November 2012, thanks to the indulgence of the Ministry of the Interior, he has been at the head of the highest Muslim authority in Spain: the Comisión Islámica de España (CIE, equivalent in France of the CFCM – French Council for the Muslim Faith).

For the Jamâa, their objectives are: reinforce their presence everywhere, attract international supporters, recruit, collect funds and be ready in the event of confrontation with the State of Morocco. Not only is the Al Adl Wal Ihsane the principal organized political force in Morocco, it has also weaved its way into all countries where there is a strong Moroccan community. Over the past ten years they have built up devoted relays in France.

Yann Barte

(1) Collectif des Musulmans de France (CMF, Muslim Collective of France) directed by Nabil Ennasri

(2) Étudiants Musulmans de France (EMF, Muslim Students of France), French student association founded in 1989 (ex Union islamique des étudiants de France – Union of Islamic Students of France)

(3) Collectif contre l’islamophobie en France (CCIF – Collective against Islamophobia in France), French association founded in 2003. Close to the Muslim Brotherhood, the CCIF, via their spokesman Marwan Muhammad, also takes part in conferences on “Islamophobia” with Salafist imams. Nader Abou Anas or Rachid Abou Houdeyfa are also the star guests at CCIF dinners. However, the CCIF does not present itself as Salafist, Tablighi or Ikhwan, “just Muslim”. Fédération nationale des musulmans de France (FNMF, National Muslim Federation of France)
(5) Popular expression for the Royal power in Morocco and its institutions (justice, administration, armies, police…). Formerly, the government of the Sultan.

(6) Union des Organisations Islamiques de France (Union of Islamic Organizations of France)
(7) Followers of Abdessalam Yassine were involved in the assassination of two far-left students and activists of the UNEM (Union Nationale des Étudiants du Maroc) – National Student Union of Morocco: Maâti Boumli  in November 1991 in Oujda and Mohamed Aït Ljid Benaïssa in March 1993 in Fès.
(8) Originally “Alliance pour les droits de la vie” (Alliance for Human Life) founded by Christine Boutin.


Party of Justice and development (Morocco)

05.12.2015 La rédaction

Justice and development party exists since 1998, but its structure exist under another name since the middle of the 1960s.

The ancestor of the justice and Development Party was created before 1967 by Abdelkrim El Khatib: the constitutional democratic popular movement. For a long time its activities are not known, but the party wants to be the respectable showcase of the movement unity and reform, a conglomerate of individuals having more or less abandoned the armed struggle of Chabiba Islamiya.

Abdelkrim El Khatib, founder of the group is Muslim brother and made many references to Hassan Al Banna, but he is also close to the Palace. Its members are not bothered by the police.

Yet, as recalls Mohamed Louizi, in the aftermath of his death in 2008, the office of the supreme guidance of the Brotherhood in Egypt rushed one tribute. The supreme leader of the time, Mohamed Mahdi Akef, lamented the death of the founder of the branch of the ‘brothers’ in the Kingdom.

The Party was born in reality of the constitutional democratic popular movement activists protest.

In the legislative elections of 1997, the constitutional democratic popular movement won nine seats. Protesting against electoral fraud, the activists of the movement refuse to participate in the Government and change of name. This was the birth of ‘Party of justice and development”which peaked with at the outset as an opposition party. The PJD is as follows: “national political party which works from the Islamic reference, under the constitutional monarchy established on the commandery of believers.

The change of title does not decrease ideological links with the Egyptian mother house.Bazzi El Ouggouti co-founder of the MPCD in 1967, is very clear with the new members.

“Dear brothers, you are the heirs of the Salafist movement, which was born of the nationalist movement that had founded the fouqahas (Muslim jurists) in all regions of Morocco […]. What was hoped for behind the battle of the liberation of the country, it was the establishment of an Islamic State. Nevertheless, the seed which the colonizer had left behind him – speaking perhaps the left forces – had prevented this construction. Today,we have a new opportunity before us to try again, again, the realization of this dream,through the political commitment of many sons of the Islamic revival movement, you are. You are now inside the political ring. A team of you succeeded in getting a place inParliament. Responsibility is extended to you, I wish you success in what you do”

The Justice and Development Party becomes the first opposition party in the legislative elections of 2002. (42 seats).
In the speech of the party as Mohamed Yatim and Saadeddine El Othmani intellectualsbegan to emerge the fact that the Islamic State is not necessarily the goal of political action.
In the 2007 elections, the party came in second place with 46 seats.
April 28, 2011 in Marrakesh attack highlights the existence of terrorist cells organized in the territory. In the media, the activists of the Party of justice and development appear as balanced. Since the 2003 bombings, the party has rounded off its speech sought to gain respectability.

In November 2011, the Justice and Development Party wins the parliamentary elections. He obtained in addition to 11 portfolios on 31.

Abdel-Ilah Benkiran, head of the Government.
Saadeddine El Othmani, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation.
El Mostafa Radhika, Minister of Justice and freedom.
Lahcen Daoudi, Minister of education superior, scientific research and the training of managers.
Abdelaziz Rabbah, Minister of equipment and Transport.
Mustapha El Khalfi, Communication Minister and Government spokesman.
Abdelkader Amara, Minister of industry, trade and new technologies.
Bassima Hakkaoui, Minister of solidarity, women, the family and social development.
El Habib Choubani, Minister in charge of Relations with Parliament and civil society.
Mohamed Najib Boulif, Minister delegate to the head of the Government, in charge of General Affairs and governance.
Idriss Azami Al Idrissi, Minister delegate to the head of the Government, in charge of the Budget.

October 10, 2013, the Benkiran II Government is appointed following the departure of the Istiqlal Party of the Coalition.
Most of the PJD Ministers remain, except Saadeddine El Othmani, Minister for ForeignAffairs.
Since the ouster of Mohamed Morsi in Egypt, the party activists insist that they are moreMoroccan than Muslim Brotherhood in order to avoid being mistaken for members of theorganization. At a meeting, on 15 November with members of the youth of the PJD, thePrime Minister Abdelilah Benkirane insists that the ideology of the Muslim Brotherhoodevening rejected and “to establish a barrier between the methodology of the Muslim Brotherhood and the PJD and the oneness Movement and reform (MUR). (TelQuel , November 17, 2015 *)

See in particular:

Mohamed Louizi, “Pourquoi j’ai quitté les Frères musulmans, Michalon.” (à paraître en janvier 2016)This post is also available in العربية and Français


US congressmen tried to designate the Muslim Brotherhood as terrorist

04.11.2015 La rédaction

Ted Cruz (R., Texas) for the Senate, and Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart (R., Fla.) are handling a bill requiring the Secretary of State to submit a report to Congress on the designation of the Muslim Brotherhood as a foreign terrorist organization.

One of the argument is that “Multiple countries have declared the Society of the Muslim Brothers (commonly known as the ‘‘Muslim Brotherhood’’) a terrorist organization or proscribed the group from operating in their coun- tries.”

Follows, in the bill, the multiple act of violence ordered by members of the Muslim Brotherhood. Since August 2013, attacks included 70 churches and more than 1,000 homes and businesses of Coptic Christian families torched in the ensuing violence.

On January 27, 2015, the Muslim Broth erhood published on their official Ikhwanonline.com website an announcement that the organization was entering a ‘‘new phase’’ and calling its followers to prepare for a ‘‘long, uncompromising jihad’’ against the Egyptian government.

On May 27, 2015, a group of 159 Muslim Brotherhood-associated scholars from 35 nations announced the publication of a document endorsing violence in Egypt in response to a ‘‘war against Islam’s principles”.

A senior Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood leader, Ashraf Abdel Ghaffar, gave a July 3, 2015 interview in which he defended the sabotage of  power stations and high voltage pylons targeting  Egyptian citizens by the Muslim Brotherhood as punishment for support of the Egyptian government.

On these regards, for the Congressmen the Muslim Brotherhood meets the criteria for designation as a foreign terrorist organization under section 219 of the Immigration and Nationality Act (8 U.S.C. 1189)