Enhancing women’s role in EU Muslim Brotherhood (MB) Networks

The female presence in the MB has always been limited and her role has been reduced to family matters and the upbringing of young people. As defined by the group’s founder, Hassan al-Banna. Until gender bias against women became a dominant feature of the group’s literature and organizational framework, when its male took over leadership roles within its various structures, party, organizational, and operational, for decades.

Since the beginning of the new millennium, the MB, especially those residing in European countries, has developed new roles for MB’s women, becoming a front for many networks working for the MB, It’s associate with the MB’s efforts to harmonize with those countries and to portray their group as an organization consistent with Western values.

Real examples

Two of the group’s activists lead two of the most important MB-linked umbrella organizations in Britain.

Raghad al-Tikriti, the daughter of a famous MB’s characters in Iraq, Osama al-Tikriti, and the sister of prominent leader Anas, has been the head of the Shura Council of Muslim Association of Britain (MAB) since February, in a precedent that is the first time as the position has always been monopolized by men. She was also previously the president of the association’s board of directors since 2020, as the first woman to lead MAB since its founding in 1997.

Today, Pakistani activist Zara Mohammed leads the Muslim Council of Britain (MCB), the largest and most important political support organization working on behalf of Muslims in Britain, where she was elected as a youngest and first woman to be the council’s secretary-general in January 2021. The photo of Zara Mohammad is missing

Raghad al-Tikriti in early October in London, during Yusuf al-Qaradawi’s condolences council that was organized by the Islamic Association of Britain in the presence of leaders from the group, including Ali Sadr al-Din al-Bianwi and Mohammed Sawalha.

Iraqi Lana Al-Sumaidai is the President of the Muslim Women’s Association for the Future (MWS) in Britain. The association is a member of the Council of Muslims of EU (formerly the Federation of Islamic Organizations in Europe (FIOE). Missing the photo of Lana al-Sumaidai

In Germany, Syrian doctor Huwayda Tarjee is one of the group’s most prominent leaders there, a member of the German Muslim Community (DMG), an organization whose membership was dropped by the Supreme Council of Muslims in Germany (ZMD) in late January because of its connection with MB.

Tarjee was vice president of the Muslim community in Germany from 2006 to 2010, and according to the Register of Associations of the Cologne District Court between 2015 and 2018, she was a directors board’s member of the association and is also a board member of the Central Council of Muslims.

Heba Tarjee, one of Tarji’s sisters, is also a former board member of the European Forum for Muslim Women, and has also worked at the Frankfurt Centre, co-founded by Ibrahim al-Zayat.

Armen Laschet, leader of the CDU, with Huida Taraji, from the latest Facebook page published on 07.08.2017

There is also the Islamic Centre for the Training and Rehabilitation of Muslim Women” in Cologne, founded in 1996 by Amina Theis (formerly Erica Thysen), one of the most active Muslim women in Germany. She was born in Cologne and converted to Islam in 1987. The Board of Directors of the Centre is currently chaired by Hanim Izdar.

d. Amina Theis (right side) during the reception of the President of the Evangelical Church Dr. Thorsten Latzel in April 2021 Muslim Women’s Meeting and Training Centre in Cologne, with (at the left) Hanim Izdar (current director) and Nelgon Velez (deputy director). According to the Church’s official website presse.ekir.de

In Belgium, we have The Forum of European Muslim Youth and Student Organizations (FEMYSO) it’s the student arm of the Muslims Council in EU (previously the Federation of Islamic Organizations in EU).

FEMYSO was created in 1996, and over the years, the Forum has developed partnership relations with the Council of Europe and the European Commission, and has received three grants between 2010 and 2016, sparking a crisis between France and the European Commission in late 2021 against the backdrop of Paris’ accusation that FEMYSO is inciting hatred and spreading extremist ideology.

On 1 November 2021, the Forum announced that during its twenty-fifth General Assembly, it had elected a new Executive Committee for the period 2021-2023, with Handy Tanner, an Islamic activist from the Netherlands, becoming the Forum’s President.

The current board also included Fatima Halawa, director of internal development, former training director of FEMYSO, and daughter of Ireland MB leader Hussein Halawa.

In addition to Heba Latrach, head of fundraising (France) and former secretary-general of Femisso, she is the daughter of French Islamist activist Mohamed Nasser Latrash, whose assets were frozen by the French government in 2014 after defending jihadist terrorism in Syria.

FEMYSO’s new board members, dominated by women.

The goal of promoting women’s characters

The appointment of women to such senior positions appears to be aimed primarily at polishing the group’s image and immunizing it against social criticism.

Observers believe that the MB women’s leading figures cannot be relied upon to reframe the group’s conservative religious positions on controversial issues affecting Muslim women’s freedom, such as the hijab.

Dr.Hoda Al-Nuaimi believes in a research paper published on the Trends website that the MB does not constitute a “feminist” movement, which is based in thought and behavior on the liberation of women and equality with men.

“The MB women do not constitute a ‘feminist’ movement in the true sense of the word, their activity is based on mobilizing votes for MB candidates, exploiting their organizational skills in managing and organizing political and electoral campaigns, and to win new female members and recruit them.” According to Dr. Huda Al Nuaimi

The women of the group do not work hard to achieve equality or try to change the prevailing culture within the group that views women inferiorly. MB women follow the authority of men and will not be able to believe in the values of civil society.

References:

The Muslim Brotherhood: Sisters in the Shadow – European Eye on Radicalization (eeradicalization.com)