Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Islamist organizations in Greece, by Ioannis Michaletos

The following passages detail the Islamist organizations present nowdays in Greece, along with brief commentary.

Muslim Brotherhood (MB)

It has attain as of late a sizeable presence in the country and has expanded into local cultural and societal circles.
Its presence can be said to be enacted in 2005 when in the city of Thessaloniki the “Hellenic-Arabic center for culture and civilization”, was established.

The center was financed by the “Europe Trust” a UK-based fund closely related with the Muslim Brotherhood’s umbrella organization “Federation of Islamic Organization in Europe (FIOE)”
In 2008 in Athens the “Arab-Hellenic Center for Culture and Civilization” (AHCCC)” was established by the same circles of Brotherhood adherents and with a donation of around 3.4 million USD. During the opening ceremony the Ambassadors of several Islamic states were present, along with a notable delegation of Imams related to M.B from across Europe and several Islamic NGO’s from all over the world. The center has a 2.000 Sq. meters space and also serves as a prayer establishment, thus Athens has already a Mosque, albeit not officially know as such.

The wider presence and modus operandi of Muslim Brotherhood in Europe

The MB tends to formulate umbrella organizations and create a host of different organizations so as to elude the centrality of its function, a necessity for obvious political reasons. Below the most important ones are presented in selected European countries.

• Forum for European Muslim Youth and Student Organizations (FEMYSO)

This organization is bassed in Brussels and is a lobbying structure that represents 42 national Islamic students associations.

• Federation of Islamic Organizations in Europe (FIOE)

This organization is based in Leicestershire -UK and represents 22 national Islamic groups across Europe

• Union of Islamic Organizations in France (Union des Organisations Islamiques de France) (UOIF)

This organization coordinates the actions of 200 smaller French Islamic groups and 250 Mosques, of which it directly owns 30 of them. It is based in the Saint Denis suburb of Paris and in relaity is a direct subordinate of FIOE.

• Germany’s Central Council of Muslims in Germany (Zentralrat der Muslime in Deutschland -
ZMD) Islamic Society of Germany (Islamische Gemeinschaft Deutschland – IGD) and Milli
Görüş (Islamische Gemeinschaft Milli Görüş).

These three above organizations are an ideal expample of the coordination on behalf of the MD between Arabic Sunni Islam and Turkish one.

ZMD has 20,000 members and is based in Koln. IGD is also based in Koln and several of its members have in the past been implicated in extremist actions. The majority of both members are of Arabic origin.

Milli Görüş is a Turkish Islamic organization, based in the city of Kerpen near Koln, with more than 300,000 members and is related nowadays with the Turkish governing party AKP.

• Italy’s Union of the Islamic Communities and Organizations in Italy (Unione delle Comunita’ ed Organizzazioni Islamiche in Italia)
This organization is based in Rome and has a significant number of Syrians in its membership. It is of interest to note that while the Italian MB branch is related to the Syrian Brotherhood, the UK one is closely related to the Egyptian one, and the German has a significant number of ehtnic Turks.

Other notable MB-related organizations in Europe:

• British Muslim Initiative (BMI), Centre for International Policy Studies, European Council for Fatwa and Research, Federation of Student Islamic Societies (FOSIS), Institute for the Study of Human Sciences, Institute of Islamic Political Thought, Interpal, Libyan Islamic Group, Mashreq Media Services, Muslim Aid, Muslim Welfare Trust, Palestine Return Centre, Palestine Times, Union of Good.

Moreover the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) in London is widely known to have significant bonds with the Pan-European MB structure both  its faculty and student body, and it is  a major receiver of donations by MB related public figures.

Other Islamic organizations in Greece

- Syrian Muslim Brotherhood

A small fractured membership which in the current period has been noted to wage internet campaigns related to the Syrian civil war

- Islamic Forum of Europe

Small cells of this UK-based group, mostly composed by Bangladeshi immigrants are noted in Greece

-Jamaat e-Islami (JI)

This organization numbers around 500 members in Greece, almost all Pakistani and it is related with the Athens-based “Islamic Forum of Greece”.

-Dawat-e Islami

A few hundred members, mostly Pakistani

- Tablighi Jamaat

Another organization with a few hundred people as followers, Pakistani immigrants, who are regularly visited by Imams for Pakistan that conduct religious seminars.

- Islami Jamiat-e-Talaba

A small group of Pakistani followers in Athens

- Tehrik-e-Jafaria

A Shia-Pakistani organization with a few hundred members-linked to the Iranian Embassy in Greece.

- Hezbollah

The Lebanse organization is active in Greece and in 2007 a Congressional research in USA noted its involvement in tobacco contraband as means to raise funds. In the same year the domestic terrorist group “Epanastatikos Agonas” ended its written proclamation after it hit with a rocket launcher the USA Embassy in Athens with “Support to Hezbollah” indicating a nexus between the two groups. In 2009 local media speculated around wider ties between far-Left terrorist groups in the country and Hezbollah.

- Hizb ut-Tahrir

A small number of followers. Uzbekistan’s general Consulate in Athens had in the past presented a study on the perils associated with that organization:

- Anshar Al Islam

This organization was active during 2004-2008 and currently it is estimated it has dozens of members from the Iraqi immigrant community in Athens.

- Hamas

In the past this organization maintained extensive links with the local academic and journalistic world. The Greek-Israeli rapprochement in 2009 and the shift of priorities of Hamas, has decreased its visibility, although a few hundred members are to be found.

- Salafi groups

The only known group is the “El Rachman” one, with a membership composed by Egyptians and converted Greeks, numbering around 50 people in total.

- Islamic Research Foundation

It has indirect links with a Athens-based group.

- Gullen movemnet

It maintains presence in the region of Thrace, Thessaloniki and Athens through the use of several religious seminar “evening schools”

- Fatah al Islam

The organization maintains a loose network of Lebanese nationals which tend to use the country as a transit route towards Italy mostly

Assumed organizations and groups in Greece (No verification)

Al Shabaab

Al Qaeda

Palaistinean Jihad

Ahlus Sunnah wal Jamaah
Hefazate Islam Bangladesh
Bangladesh Khelafat Majlish
Al-Nour Party
Fatah al-Islam
Autonomous Afghani-Taliban groups
Jannat Pakistan Party
Jamaat-e-Islami Hind
Young Muslim Organisation (YMO)

Notable internet presence


A Salafi webpage established in 2011 with also an facebook page:
It also maintians a presence in the following address: where it portrays in video fashion the stories of Greek Salafi converts.


Currently a de-activated webpage that was originally established in 2008 and it maintained links with the Greek network of Muslim Brotherhood.

Same as above for the following pages: & & (This was established in 2010)


It was established in 2010 by the present Al Jazeera correspondent in Athens.


It was originally established in 2010-under reconstruction as of present – Muslim Brotherhood related.

The facebook page created in 2011 of the Muslim Association of Greece

The facebook page created in 2011 for the Thessaloniki “Hellenic-Arabic center for culture and civilization”
The webpage created in 2012 of the Arab-Hellenic Center for Culture and Civilization in Athens.