European Forum of Muslim Women (EFOMW) held the annual General Assembly in Brussels on 7-8 May, following the training on advocacy and Islamophobia (5-6 May). EFOMW’s member organisations, from several European countries, came together to discuss the strategy and ongoing projects. This includes ‘Women against Islamophobia’ project, aiming to address the increasing issue of Islamophobia in Europe. Meeting in our headquarters, in the heart of Europe, made us remember the recent terrorist attacks. We strongly condemn these horrific crimes against humanity and Islam. We pray to bring those responsible to justice.

EFOMW memorial place

On the 8th of May 2016, EFOMW visited De La Bourse, in the memorial of the horrendous events. We would like to express our solidarity with the victims of the attacks and those seriously injured and their families. We are saddened and deeply concerned about the impact of these events on victims and the broader community, which led to fear and amplified hatred, endangering the integration between the nations, the ideas that we all have been working for tirelessly. We call the international community to stand together against hatred and division of citizenship. We call for solidarity against extremism and all forms of terrorism in any name or shape.  We call to cooperate against any murders of innocent civilians anywhere in the world.

As the representatives of a number of Muslim women, we also call the communities on various levels, EU officials and member states to not let these attacks to divide us, manipulate us and drive to hate speech, hate crime, stigma and discrimination against Muslims. In particular, we are concerned about the protection of Muslim women, the visible targets of the Islamophobic attacks and often the first victims of the disgraceful acts.

We stand in solidarity with all women, men and their families in defence and peaceful coexistence. Our prayers and thoughts remain with all suffering individuals and families.

EFOMW is an umbrella organisation of women’s organisation from Europe, committed to tackling Islamophobia and advancing women’s rights.