Thursday, 20 January 2011 08:00

Liberal Muslims Empowerment Project

This project was launched in the spring of 2010 to empower activists and leaders who are working with Muslim communities in Europe to counter radical extremists and advocate liberal-democratic principles of individual freedom and pluralism.

The goal is to increase the influence of these activists to inside the communities, as well as with policy makers at the EU and national level, by providing them with networking, training, advocacy and fundraising support. In 2010, the programme's major accomplishments were to:
  • Identify and bring together 18 activists from 6 countries who have a shared and clear commitment to combating radical Islam. EFD hosted two workshops at the European Parliament, where the activists expressed their desire to form a pan-European network to collaborates on joint advocacy initiatives, and agreed to develop a joint charter.
  • Facilitate meetings and briefings for these activists with 20 Members of the European Parliament, as well as media, potential donors and politicians in Germany, Sweden and Italy. These included closed-door strategic meetings, round-tables and hearings on issues such as integration and honour crimes.
  • Provide the activists with training on lobbying at the EU level and the use of social networking.

Looking ahead, in 2011 we hope to achieve the following objectives:

  • Finalise and implement plan for a more structured network, by facilitating the activists' development of a common charter and criteria for membership, continuing to engage in specific advocacy activities with policy makers, and helping members to apply for EU funding.
  • Work with the European Parliament to address Honour Crimes.  Following meetings that EFD facilitated between honour crime activists and members of the European Parliament (MEPs)  to discuss concrete steps for EU institutions to address the problem, four MEPs have agreed to convene a cross party Public Hearing in the Parliament on honour violence in early Spring; launch a Written Declaration to put the honour crimes on the EU agenda; seek  EU Commission funding to set up an organisation to work with young Muslim men to change their concept of honour; and give the activists direct input in the Parliament's Women's Rights Committee report on violence against women. EFD will work with the activists and the MEPS to implement these planned activities.
  • Conduct more in-country roundtables with media, politicians and donors around Europe.
You are here: Activities Projects Liberal Muslims Empowerment Project