Mogherini, d'Alema and European political Islam

Mogherini, d'Alema and European political Islam

Mogherini, d’Alema and European political Islam

On June 24-25, 2015, the Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats in the European Parliament (S&D) and the Foundation for European Progressive Studies (FEPS), which is headed by former Italian Prime Minister Massimo d'Alema, organized in Brussels the conference "Call to Europe V: Islam in Europe".

The conference has been attended by some European actors linked with the ideological galaxy of the Muslim Brotherhood, notably the Belgian Michael Privot - who is director of the European Network Against Racism (ENAR), vice president of the Belgian movement EmBem and who in 2008 declared to a Belgian newspaper to be part of the new generation of the European Brotherhood – the German Mehmet Celebi, deputy head of the Zentralrat der Muslime in Deutschland (ZMD, Central Muslim Council of Germany) – that is the umbrella organization that includes most of the mosques, cultural and Islamic centers ideologically linked with the Brotherhood- , and Tarafa Baghajati, a key Austrian actor and 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 remarks on June 24 suggesting not only that “Islam holds a place in our Western societies. Islam belongs in Europe. It holds a place in Europe's history, in our culture, in our food and – what matters most – in Europe's present and future. Like it or not, this is the reality”, but she went further and declared that European policy include 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.”

Mogherini thus mixed up Islam as a religion with political Islam, which is represented by any kind of Islamic ideology aiming at establishing an Islamic government. It is well known that the Muslim Brotherhood is one main expression of political Islam. Yusuf al-Qaradawi stated many times in his speeches and books that Islam is politics otherwise is not Islam.

Such discourse from a high ranked European official clearly marks a victory in the European MB agenda of political integration and infiltration. It is no secret that Tariq Ramadan has held training courses on Islam in Europe at the European External Action Service (EEAS), that the Socialists & Democrats – which co-organized the conference in Brussels - group at the European Parliament is one the main partners of FEMYSO, Ramadan’s European Muslim Network and ENAR.

Last December 2015, Massimo D’Alema and Tariq Ramadan took part to a debate about refugees at the Université Catholique in Louvain and apparently proposed different solutions to the emergency. However, on February 26, 2016 Le Soir published an article, signed by both D’Alema and Ramadan, which ends with the following remarks that remind Mogherini’s speech:

“We need a European Islam, an Islam of European citizens and not an Islam that consists of the sum of the communities under the influence of their country of origin”.

European Islam and European Muslims are Ramadan’s leit motiv that has been adopted by D’Alema and Mogherini. Last March, 24 Massimo D’Alema declared that “a significant part of the Muslim world in Europe is not integrated, which means that (Islamist) terrorism is surrounded by an area, if not of solidarity, of non-hostility. "I would like these people to feel they are full-blown European citizens," he continued. "It would be preferable if they could build their mosques the same way churches are built, that is, with public funds. Italy has a 0.8% (tax program) for the Catholic church, but there are 1.5 million Muslims who are not recognized and with whom we don't have an understanding".

He concluded by saying that a European Islam "could be more open and modern than the fundamentalist kind that comes from some countries of origin," which is definitely true if Islam is not confused with political Islam and political Islamists who have a precise agenda and are keeping a foot in both camps just like Tariq Ramadan who teaches both in Oxford and in Doha, who is President of the European Muslim Network in Brussels and member of the International Union of Muslim Scholars in Doha.

 

Valentin Colombo

 

Valentina Colombo

Valentina Colombo’s research focuses on democratisation in the Middle East and North Africa. She is particularly focused on liberal intellectuals in the region and the role of women in politics. Valentina teaches geopolitics in the Islamic world at the European University in Rome. Valentina has a PhD in islamic Studies and has previously taught Islamic Studies and Arabic language and literature at Bologna University. She regularly appears in Italian media as well as in international press. She has published books including “Christianity in the Arab World” (2013), “Forbidden in the name of Allah” (2010) and “Islam: Instructions for use” (2009).

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