On 14 April / 2 Ramadan, for the first time, there was held General Assembly of the European Muslim Forum (EMF), an organization established in a less than 2 years ago and which unified for the first time in history Muslim leaders in Europe from the Atlantic to the Ural. Muslims leaders from 36 (!) European countries participated in the General Assembly. The organizers emphasize that such format is conducted for the first time. Although the event was generally held online, some members of the European Muslim Forum were able to gather offline via casting live air from two locations: The Centre of Russian Muslim Religious Board in Moscow and the ICYF (Islamic Cooperation Youth Forum) office in Istanbul.
Moderator of the Knowledge Board of the EMF, Chairman of the Religious Board of Muslims of the Russia Mufti Sheikh Ravil Gaynutdin and a prominent political figure of Malaysia, moderator of the Honorary Board of the EMF Dato’ Seri Anwar bin Ibrahim, welcomed the participants of the event. Also, from among the political leaders of Muslims, the Prime Minister of Pakistan Imran Khan addressed the EMF with Ramadan greetings.
In addition to discussing the Statute of the Forum and regulations of its organizational structure, the participants discussed the issue of protecting the rights of Muslim minorities in the world. In particular, one of the most painful topics is undoubtedly the issue of the Uyghur minority in China, which was addressed by the President of the World Uyghur Congress, Dr. Dolkun Isa from Munich, and Lord Nazir Ahmed, member of the EMF Council, ex-member of the House of Lords of the UK Parliament spoke on behalf of the EMF.
The participants in the General Assembly could not ignore the issue of Islamophobia, which is manifested worst of all in France. European Muslim leaders have supported the necessity to take legal action against the office of president Macron for undermining the rights of the largest Muslim community in Western Europe, its state Muslim citizens. The participants of the General Assembly unanimously supported Morad El Hattab, an expert in geopolitics, writer and winner of the Literary Prize for Peace and Tolerance, who announced his candidacy to run for the presidency of France. President of the European Muslim Forum Abdul-Vakhed Niyazov stressed that Muslims can and should actively participate in the political process, social and cultural life of France in the face of rising discrimination and Islamophobia.
In addition, the leaders of the EMF agreed that the Muslims of Europe should make the peacekeeping mission in the Muslim part of the world as a priority, especially in building relations between Muslim countries in the Middle East, for restoring of peace and stability in this key region for the entire Ummah.
The participants of the European Muslim Forum General Assembly welcomed the resumption of relations between the Kingdom of the Saudi Arabia and Qatar, and also outlined the importance of improvement of relations between Egypt and Turkey, and expressed their hopes for a further development towards the normalization of relations between the countries of the region.
A very important issue raised for discussion by the EMF General Assembly was the Interreligious Dialogue, since the dialogue between the Abrahamic religions is the guarantee of harmony and stability for the European continent. The speakers emphasized that building this dialogue should be based on the preservation of traditional family values, which is more than relevant nowadays.
As for the EMF structural changes, the composing chart of organization’s leadership was expanded. There was made a decision to hold the next General Assembly of the EMF already offline in Brussels in 2022. The next expanded meeting of the EMF Board to be convened also offline and is scheduled for June 8-9 in Lithuania, and the next one on June 10-11 in Belarus with the participation of state leaders.