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**NEWS**

CONTACT GROUP MEETING ON EUROPEAN MUSLIMS - 2017-09-18

 1. The Contact Group on European Muslims of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) held their meeting on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA), under the Chairmanship of His Excellency the Secretary General Dr Yousef A. Al-Othaimeen.

2. Statements were heard from the OIC Secretary General and other members of the OIC Contact Group also addressed the meeting.

3. The Meeting was briefed on the current situation facing Muslims in Europe.

4. The Meeting reviewed the general situation facing Muslims in Europe since the last meeting of the Contact Group and reiterated that support for Muslims in Europe, with full respect of the sovereignty and territorial integrity of European nations, was a charter obligation for all Member States.

5. The Meeting called for the continued interest and support of the OIC and its Member States in the conditions of Muslims in Europe. It called for regular convening of the Contact Group to understand the conditions of Muslims in Europe and identify ways to the OIC support to them.

6. The Meeting expressed concern at the rising anti-Muslim sentiment, Islamophobia, and rightwing extremism in Europe. The meeting also reiterated the principled position of the OIC to condemn extremism, terrorism and all forms of violence, which threatens the peace, security, and stability of countries in Europe.

7. The Meeting commended the Secretary General for engaging in dialogue with the European Union, and other international organizations, political leaders and civil society to underscore the concerns as well as raise awareness over the dangers of Islamophobia.

8. The Meeting took note of the OIC Engagement Strategy for Muslims in Europe in the report of the Secretariat and requested the Member States and the relevant OIC institutions to assist in its implementation as a way of contributing to the welfare of Muslim communities in Europe.

9. The Meeting requested the Member States, OIC financial institutions, particularly the IDB, and other OIC institutions to provide the necessary assistance for the implementation of the OIC engagement strategy and other long term development of programs for Muslims in Europe, particularly for the youth.

10. The Meeting invited Member States within the framework of their bilateral cooperation with European countries to step up their engagement on Muslims in Europe.

11. The Meeting called on the Muslim community leaders in Europe to intensify efforts to engage with Muslim youth and promote positive teaching of the noble Islamic faith and which call for peace, tolerance and inclusivity and harmony.

12. The Meeting welcomed the positive step taken by the Secretary General with OIC offices in Europe and urged all parties to intensify their efforts in this regard.

13. The Meeting called upon institutions such as ISESCO and IRCICA to take necessary measures to identify, preserve and protect the Islamic cultural heritage of Muslims in Europe.

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