European Forum of Muslim Women (EFOMW), an umbrella organisation of Muslim women’s associations from Europe, held the annual General Assembly (GA) on April 7-9 2017 in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina. Nahla, the Center for Education and Research hosted the event with warm hospitality in beautiful city of Sarajevo.
During the event 17 representatives of EFOMW’s member organizations from several European countries discussed the current issues that Muslim women face in European societies and strategies in tackling Islamophobia. The EFOMW GA agreed that, despite all difficulties, it will continue:
to put its best efforts in fighting violence, bigotry, hate, discrimination, false information and bias;
to promote spirit of living together in peace and harmony in our societies;
to educate Muslim women about their rights and to empower them to prevent and respond to Islamophobia and changing perception of Muslims in Europe.
Member organizations expressed disapproval of all forms of violence and were saddened by the recent violent attacks against civilians around the world, especially the horrible attack in Sweden which happened at the time of EFOMW’s GA. EFOMW members expressed their deep concern about the impact of these events on victims and broader community, i.e. fear and amplified hatred, endangering the integration and peace building that many organisations and individuals, including EFOMW and its member organisations, have been working for tirelessly. Our thoughts remain with all suffering individuals and families.
From the symbolic place as Sarajevo is, so called “Jerusalem of Europe”, the symbol of multi-faith and multi-ethnic coexistence which witnessed the cost of hatred in last century, EFOWM calls for:
Combating intersectional discrimination and all forms of violence against women and girls;
Combating hatred and bigotry in our societies through dialogue and nonviolent initiatives;
Solidarity against extremism and all forms of terrorism in any name or shape.
Bearing in mind that in democratic societies every citizen has a responsibility for the situation and development of the community to which he/she belongs, we invite everyone to recognise his/her own strength and unite efforts to make our living environment just, free and peaceful for all its citizens. EFOMW’s member organizations will return to their local communities fully committed to continue work on promotion of these values and to contribute in raising awareness among Muslims and non-Muslims about the importance of cooperation, dialogue, building partnerships and working together to make real and lasting change for better future.