The Federation of Islamic Organizations in Europe is the umbrella organization for the Muslim Brotherhood in Europe, founded in 1989, with its headquarters in the Belgian capital, Brussels. Initially named the Federation of Islamic Organizations in Europe, it changed its name in 2020 to the Muslim Council of Europe.
According to its founding documents, the Council works on “serving Muslims within the framework of European laws and systems to achieve social harmony and solidarity in Europe.” Its mission is summarized in “introducing Islam, encouraging European Muslims, and assisting them in practicing their religious rituals and contributing actively to various aspects of life within a framework of moderate understanding and within a reformist approach,” according to the Arab Center for Extremism Studies.
It dominates a wide number of mosques in France and is closely associated with the ideology of the Muslim Brotherhood. Former French Prime Minister Manuel Valls accused it of carrying “extremist ideas” and sought to ban it. The Council organizes an annual forum in the spring, attracting Islamic groups from across European countries, as defined by the European Center for Terrorism Studies and Intelligence.
In general, the Council defines its strategic goals as helping European Muslims preserve their religious and cultural identity, taking care of their social affairs, establishing institutions, projects, and programs to ensure that. It also aims to promote understanding and collaboration with official Islamic institutions at both the European and global levels, within the framework of common interests.
In line with its declared objectives, the Council works to break the fear barrier of Islamic presence in the West, supports efforts to promote Islam and its values according to the requirements and specificities of the European reality, and contributes to efforts to protect freedoms and defend human rights and dignity, rejecting all forms of bias and discrimination, especially against Islam and Muslims.
Organizationally, the Council consists of three central bodies: the General Assembly, the Shura Council, and the Executive Bureau, which itself comprises several departments, including the Call and Introduction to Islam Department, the Rights and Freedoms Department, the Social Affairs Department, and the External Relations Department.
Additionally, since the 1990s, the Council has been establishing numerous specialized institutions distributed across various European countries. The most important ones include the European Institute for Human Sciences, the European Council for Fatwa and Research, the European Islamic Forum for Youth and Students, the European Forum for Muslim Women, the European Endowment, the European Council for Imams, and the European Center for Research and Leadership Development.
In January 2008, the “Charter of European Muslims” was issued, a framework document that defines the rules and principles on which the Council is based, in accordance with the general Islamic understanding and the specificities of the European reality. Abdullah bin Mansour currently heads the Council, and Samir Falah, its former president, serves as the Secretary-General.