FEMYSO PRESS RELEASE: Only by imposing a moral and economic price on Israel can it be convinced to change its disastrous policies

1st June 2010


For immediate use


The Forum of European Muslim Youth and Student Organisations (FEMYSO) is shocked and dismayed by the killing of civilian activists by Israel and the wounding of dozens of others in the Mediterranean Sea. With this attack, Israel has crossed all boundaries of morality, legality and civilisation.

The flotilla of six boats which was on its way to deliver and distribute humanitarian aid and basic relief goods to the Gaza Strip included many young activists from across Europe who were motivated to join the convoy by a shared sense of humanity with the suffering people of Gaza.


While Israel attempts to point the finger at the activists, it is clearly Israel´s actions which created a desperate need for the international aid convoys to Gaza in the first place. The Gaza Strip has been under a relentless Israeli siege since June 2007, causing widespread misery. A UN fact-finding mission called the blockade "collective punishment", while UN officials have described the situation as "grim", "deteriorating" and a "medieval siege".


Israel has for the past 3 years refused entry for even ordinary household items, at its own whim, including light bulbs, candles, matches, books, crayons, clothing, shoes and mattresses. Even school textbooks and basic stationery have been refused entry or delayed.

This is having a catastrophic effect on the lives of Palestinian children and youth. According to the World Health Organization, a third of children under five are anaemic, while 80% live in poverty. The impact on the education system has been equally devastating.


During the military offensive, at least 280 schools and kindergartens were damaged, and approximately 84% of schools are operating shifts in order to try to accommodate students. The terrible conditions together with the severe trauma caused by Israeli military attacks have caused a continual decline in achievement. Even those students offered the opportunity to study in European universities are barred from travelling abroad by Israel, stifling the intellectual advancement of young Gazans.


Those brave human rights activists who have given their lives represent all those across the world who believe in the right of all people in Gaza to a life of dignity and peace, not humiliation, degradation and misery.


FEMYSO President, Mohammed Adil Rehman, said today: "The deaths of these brave activists must not go to waste. FEMYSO calls on the EU and all member states to ensure that a full, independent, international enquiry is conducted into Israel´s actions. As a major global player and Israel´s biggest importer of goods, the EU has a special responsibility to act. Mere words are insufficient - only by imposing a moral and economic price on Israel can it be convinced to change its disastrous policies."


Thus, FEMYSO calls on the EU to consider suspending the EU-Israel Association Agreement, which gives Israel preferential trading terms. Article 2 of the Agreement states that relations shall be based on "respect for human rights and democratic principles", which Israel has clearly violated through its actions. Lastly, we call on all citizens of Europe to make their voices heard and use their rights to advocate on behalf of those in Gaza who have no rights and no voice.


For any further information, please contact our office:


Rue Archimède 50, 1000 Bruxelles

Tel: +322 280 69 22

Fax: +322 280 69 23




Leadership Training Programme 2009-2010

FEMYSO's Annual Leadership Training Programme is moving to its second stage.


Dates: 8th - 11th April 2010

Location: Koln, Germany


The first stage of FEMYSO's Leadership Training Programme took place in December 2009 at Nottingham University, Nottingham, UK. The participants came from many diffirent European countries and the main tutor was Prof. Rafik Beekun from the United States. It was a resonding success and all participants were eager to absorb what they had learnt and were looking forward to the second stage. The second stage will take place in Koln, Germany with participants arriving on the evening of Wednesday, 7th April 2010 and leaving on the evening of Sunday, 11th April 2010..


Looking forward to seeing you all there...!!






International Women's Day - Press Release


Brussels, 8 March 2010



On the occasion of International Women’s Day 2010, the Forum of European Muslim Youth and Student Organisations (FEMYSO) celebrates the enormous advances made by women across the world, of all faiths, races, nationalities and backgrounds. Women have made great advances in the field of education, employment, innovation, social rights, political participation and many others.


However, many challenges remain. Muslim women in Europe continue to be seen by many as oppressed, downtrodden victims, with little capacity for independent thinking or action. The image of the subjugated Muslim woman is used to justify discrimination and perpetuate prejudice – on the street, in the workplace, political discourse and even in our legislatures. Laws supposedly aimed at liberating Muslim women only succeed in further demonising them and restricting their right to live and participate as equal European citizens. Meanwhile, the voices of Muslim women themselves are curiously absent from these debates – not for any lack of capable Muslim women, but often because of a lack of willingness to listen.


Regressive laws proposed in some European countries restricting the freedom of Muslim women to choose the way they dress will only be yet another obstacle to their participation. We believe that it is time to stop talking “about” European Muslim women and talk “to” and “with” them. European Muslim women must be allowed to tell their own story, voice their own opinions and make their own choices.


In these current times of widespread ignorance and misunderstanding about the position of women in Islam – both by those within Muslim communities and outside - we wish to highlight and revive an egalitarian spirit of Islam, which emphasises the equal value and dignity of women and men. Indeed, the Muslim world produced a large number of outstanding female scholars and custodians of knowledge as early as the 7th century, on whose work much of the edifice of Islam was built. Indeed, as the Prophet Muhammad said, "Seeking knowledge is mandatory for every Muslim", both women and men.


FEMYSO is working to ensure there is more education and awareness-raising among Muslims themselves to enable European Muslim women to be active and full participants in public, social, economic and political life. We extend out hands to our wider European communities to work together to make this year’s theme “Equal Rights, Equal Participation” more of a reality for all women in Europe.






Rue Archimède 50

1000 Bruxelles


tel : +32 2 2806921

fax : +32 2 2806923


20/10 2010

“Finding Our Voice: How to Engage with the Media”

We are very happy to inform you that FEMYSO has launched a new exciting training seminar called “Finding Our Voice: How to Engage with the Media”, which will take place from the 14th to the 19th of April 2010, in La Chaux-de-Fonds,Switzerland. This training course will give participants in-depth training by media experts and professionals from across Europe on how to engage with the mainstream media, empowering you and your organisation to know how to engage effectively with the media, actively confront

media stereotypes, utilise all mainstream media more effectively, and make the voice of Muslim youth heard.


The deadline to apply is Wednesday 10th March 2010. This course is expected to be very popular and since we only have 30 spaces we encourage you to complete and submit your applications as soon as



If you are interested in applying please fill in the online application form at the following link:



There is a small participation fee for the seminar, which is only €40. This fee covers all accommodation and meals.

We look forward to receiving your applications and hope you will join

us to produce the future faces of European Muslim youth.


For any more information please contact mtp@femyso.org , +32 22806922

(Belgium) or +447887853455 (UK).














Marwa al Sherbini, a pharmacist of Egyptian origin, was brutally stabbed 18 times in a Dresden court room as she gave testimony against a German man who had been accused of a constant stream of hate and xenophobic behaviour towards her and her family that had been going on for some time. Alexander W, Marwa’s 28-year-old neighbour, had been harassing her for months, calling her a “terrorist”, an “Islamist whore” and forcefully removing her headscarf on several occasions. He had been found guilty and fined a mere 700 Euros. During the appeal, his reaction was to pull a knife and to stab her 18 times while her 3-year-old son Mustafa looked on; Marwa died on the spot. Her husband who rushed to save her was both stabbed by the man and shot by the police, who reportedly believed he was the assailant.




Citizenship - A user's guide for European Muslim Youth

27/03 2009

Brussels talks - Ethics in Economics




The Tool Kit is targeting faith-based youth organisations working on local, national, regional or European levels, encouraging them to engage in the promotion of IRD. The Tool Kit also aims to encourage youth platforms such as National Youth Councils, to explore possibilities for IRD within their work. Finally the Tool Kit also aims to provide trainers with practical information on specific considerations they need to make in the organisation of events that involve religiously diverse groups.


The Tool Kit can be used as a reference for activities, as an information background on the specificities of the monotheistic religions, as a tool for learning about the concept of IRD, and as a way of exploring the similarities between the different religions.

What do the chapters include?


The first chapter of this Tool Kit aims to serve as an information point which you may want to refer to as a source of inspiration before developing your own IRD activities. This chapter is mainly gathering theoretical information on IRD, its history and objectives in Europe. It is not intended to replace a more academic research, but will however provide you with useful information on the motives and objectives of IRD and its current state of development. Reading this part, you will also understand how important it is for youth organisations to get involved in developing and improving the current reality of IRD. This chapter also deals with stereotypes and prejudices related to religions, to provide you with ideas on how to deconstruct and overcome those through youth work and non-formal education.


If you and/or the youth organisation you are active in are considering engagement in IRD activities but don’t know how to start such dialogue, the second and third chapters aim to give you hints, tools and examples on how to get started.


Chapter two will give you tips on some preconditions that you and your organisation should usefully keep in mind and implement in order to develop fruitful dialogue activity.


Building upon that, chapter three will gather a comprehensive overview of the tools that have been developed by several youth organisations and international institutions already active in the field of IRD.


The tool Kit is published thanks to the support of the European Youth Forum (YFJ) and is the work of the members of the European Youth Forum's Faith-Based Expert Group (Ecumenical Youth Council in Europe (EYCE), European Union of Jewish Students (EUJS), the International Young Catholic Students – International Movement of Catholic Students European Coordination (JECI-MIEC), Pax Christi International, World Student Christian Federation – Europe (WSCF-E) and FEMYSO). Further contributions to the Tool Kit came from the European Peer Training Organisation (EPTO) and the International Federation of Catholic Parochial Youth Movements (FIMCAP).


FEMYSO training course on "Interreligious Dialogue : Yesterday - Today - Tomorrow, A European Muslim Perspective", from the 4th to the 9th of March 2009 in Spain

The deadline to apply is 24 January 2009. If you are interested to apply contact our office in Brussels (info@femyso.org)

Call for EVS application

As a part of the Youth Programme of the European Commission, the European Voluntary Service (EVS) programme promotes the mobility of young people through international activities.

FEMYSO offers:

a fascinating experience and work made of multiple challenges;

the opportunity to meet and  to know young people from all over Europe;

an implication in the heart of the international youth work;

an extraordinary opportunity to live for several months in Brussels, the heart of the European Institutions;

a unique chance to discover a country of rich historical and cultural heritage, well-known for its mixing of populations, cultures and religions;

the possibility to acquire more experience and, thus, to enhance the chances to find a future job;

and the possibility to attend language courses.

Upcoming Events



Brussels Talk, soon

Call for application: European Volunteer Service (EVS)

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Summary: 2006 Events

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