- Islamic MovementsPolitical Islam Studies
- August 23, 2008
- 10 minutes read
Europe’s Muslim Brotherhood, Long Path that Needs Review
We speak here about reviews which are required not only on the level of Islamic work in Britain but in the European arena in general. This is because the Islamic work in Europe- which has expanded- is representing one single entity whose targets and methodology are imposed on all member states. This entity is the Federation of Islamic Organizations in Europe . I call on everyone to redefine this federation on the Internet. I reiterate that there is a very important group of reviews which we hpe brothers concerned will take into consideration. These reviews include:
First: Reviews on level of the Central Idea
The central idea is according to Dr. Jasem Sultan:” the group of general principles adopted by a message or gathering or the principle adopted by the state that organizes its life affairs according to its teachings. If a certain movement or state adopted a specific central idea, the role of this idea is to formulate all aspects of life according to it and it becomes pivotal for its supporters or the state that adopts it”. According to this meaning, the central idea is very useful in knowing how far is compatible and down to earth. The more the work is down to earth, the more the missionary work is successful in achieving the aim of its presence. Thus, the central idea upon which the Muslim Brotherhood was based since it was founded is reviving and resuming Islamic life in Islamic counties and reaching the stage of Tamkeen (Implementation), i.e. that Islam is back to rule again in all aspects of life in this region. This idea is the axis around which the Muslim Brotherhood Movement is revolving and under whose light all methodical, missionary and organizational bases were established, dominating all the group”s literature. When the Muslim Brotherhood”s idea moved to Europe , changes were introduced to all its bases, concepts, methodology and writings. Change was introduced to many ideas and concepts that may be incompatible with the Western reality. However, the central idea remained- at the Muslim Brotherhood in the West- as it is despite all previously mentioned reviews.
We hope that the movement”s scholars and intellectuals in the West reconsider the content of the central idea- of reviving life in light of Islam and that Islam rules as it was -which emerged when the group was first founded. This is because every one knows that targets of the Islamic mission in the West doesn”t include that Islam rules in it or that life is maintained in the light of Islam. Because these societies have never been ruled by Islam and majorities are none Muslims, and Muslims are a minority whose utmost demand is to be given their rights as citizens and not to be dealt with as a minority, to be dealt with on the basis of citizenship.
If the central idea isn”t reformulated to be in line with this reality, so that its content is revolving around the meaning of the mission and spreading Islam among none Muslim societies and preserving the presence of Islam in Europe , there will be not real reviews on all levels that emerged from this central idea. If this central idea is well established according to this meaning, all components of the movement will be based on its features and characteristics. At this moment, the movement in Europe revolves around spreading Islam among a none-Muslim majority- taking into consideration preserving the existence of Muslims as a means through which Islam can be spread. If this happens, methodic, missionary, movement and intellectual interests will be altered to be in line with the required central idea.
Second: Reviews on level of juristic and intellectual understanding
In spite of reaching the stage of final relocation and positive merging, but unfortunately we are still lacking a juristic and intellectual basis for many of the components of this relocation. This relocation- first discussed in late 1980s and approved in early 1990s, lacks any literature in the movement”s missionary bookshelf in Europe to fully study all relocation components. That”s, thee is no one single book to discuss relocation in jurisprudence, movement, mission and organization levels. The one can only find a few researches and studies which are still unpopular.
The Federation of Islamic Organization in Europe should take into consideration this issue and start to take serious steps to reach an academic understanding that includes an understanding of both the text and the European reality to the issue of relocation, including ideological, ethical or missionary components. I have to mention effort exerted by the European Council for Fatwa and Research to discuss some issues related to Muslims presence and relocation in the West. But the problem is still lying in turning these studies into leaflets to be available in European languages and easy to get among European societies.
Third: Reviews on educational method level
The educational method in the Muslim Brotherhood is one the most important elements that preserve the group and its containing others. The more the group”s members understand terms of this method, the more the group advances towards its goals and purposes. Look into the approved method in Europe , we will find the huge impact of the central idea. That”s, terms of the method address needs of reviving Islamic as if we are in a Muslim society and a Muslim state and don”t mostly address the mission, spreading Islam, and preserving Islamic presence which should be the domineering idea over all other aspects of work.
To further illustrate it, let”s see the method modified in 1994- applied in most European countries till now- to know that the development is related to general ideas not to details according to which members of the group can be educated and haven”t reached the level of literature that overwhelms the educational state of all members of the group. We reiterate that reviewing the method developed in its latest version in 1994 clearly reflects the scarcity of books related to European reality and those taking into consideration the specialty of the European environment. What raises eyebrows is even maintaining targets and bases governing the educational method which have no relation with the reality of Muslims in Europe .
To show an example, targets of the most important educational stage in the group- the Educational Stage included thirteen educational targets which have no clear target about educating the European Islamic character in a way that considers European specialty. The target related to mission was mentioned in general in the ninth target, stipulating 🙁 Qualifying the brother to carry out the message of Islamic mission and call).
With reference to the section of bases and principles of the method in the same document, we will find that it was formulated without any change that may be appropriate for the educational and missionary situation on the European arena. These unaltered bases include the fifth that stipulates (taking conditions into consideration): We are supporters of an issue. Rules of Islam are suspended, many Muslims are ignorant of Islamic rules, their countries aren”t under Sharia rule, and some of these countries are occupied by enemies. Therefore, the method must concentrates on necessarily working for applying Islamic Sharia in real life, overcoming obstacles in the way and the ordeals facing supporters of the message.
Fourth: Reviews on level of organizational loyalty
I said in the introduction that the missionary work was founded by people who came from Islamic East either as guest students or emigrants, and effect of this emergence has had its impact on the movement and the mission in Europe till nowadays. Work in the East can be considered the main source of people working in Europe . This outsourcing has taken place without any premeditated choice or planning. It takes place only when an offshoot of the Muslim Brotherhood in Islamic countries faces an ordeal and some of its members migrate seeking humanitarian or political asylum in European countries. These members, mostly leading figures- join missionary work in Europe in an organizational way and according to specific regulations, and they constitute an important source of this call. It isn”t to prove that this claim is true. Most missionary leaders in the European arena originally belong to Iraqi, Tunisian, Libyan and Syrian organizations in exile in Europe, followed by leading figures originally from Egyptian, Yemeni and Palestinian and others organizations in exile.
The main target is that most human resources of the Islamic work in most European countries are extensions of Middle East organizations. Most of them belong to organizations in their original countries and most of them submitted humanitarian or political asylum due to these affiliations, i.e. affiliation to the Muslim Brotherhood which a a peaceful group that denounces violence, and believes in a phased democratic option but is fought by dictatorial regimes. For all these reasons, these figures sought asylum because their lives were threatened because of this affiliation.
We can realize- through this- how far organizational loyalty is multiple for most members of the call in Europe, although the regulation clearly stipulates that the organizational affiliation is mainly to the legally registered Federation of Islamic Organizations in Europe which is working according to laws applied in Europe . However, there are- realistically speaking- two affiliations: The affiliation to work in Europe and the affiliation to work in the native country, not a sham affiliation but it is a real affiliation which has a group of organizational and other commitments.
This multiplicity in affiliation spawned a clear duality in performance and devotion to the European work, spawned a duality in targets and views. Reviewing meeting agendas from the mid 1980s till now, the one can spot complaints of those responsible for European work against members who care more for problems and issues in their native countries than their concern for the mission in Europe . What raises eyebrows is that there is some kind of clear compliment in handling this serious issue which may negatively affect the future of the mission in Europe . We hope that organizational loyalty should be seriously reviewed in the Federation of Islamic Organizations in Europe so that members choose loyalty to one organization: choosing either working for their mother countries or working for the mission in Europe . What we suggest in this regard- because it is difficult to choose- is to do this in two stages:
The First Stage: A transitional stage in which decisions are taken that all leading positions including consultation, executive, sectors, and regions are assumed by those who are fully committed to work in Europe .
The Second Stage: A decisive stage in which all members are given the options between belonging to work in their mother countries or belonging to missionary work in Europe.
*A member of the European Council for Fatwa and Researches