What is The Council of European Jamaats?
The Council of European Jamaats (CoEJ) is an umbrella body for Khoja Shia Ithna-Asheri Muslim Communities in Europe.
The aims and objects of CoEJ are:
- To promote the Shia Ithna-Asheri faith;
- To relieve poverty;
- To promote the advancement of education;
- relief for those in need by reason of youth, age, ill-health, disability, financial hardship or other disadvantage;
- To do all such other things anywhere in the world that may benefit the community in a way recognised as charitable.
CoEJ seeks to add value to its member jamaats through the provision of services for its members across Europe. This is achieved through the work of its various boards, financial aid and advice on issues of concern.
How did CoEJ come about?
The foundations for CoEJ were first established in 1983 when Al Haj Mustafa Chandoo and Al Haj Ahmed Dungersi first wrote to all European jamaats proposing the formation of a Federation. The response was extremely enthusiastic and consequently, the first meeting of the Council was held at Hujjat, Stanmore on 26th of September 1987
It was between 1993/1994 that CoEJ was formalised as a regional Federation. Since its establishment, the Council of European Jamaats has endeavoured to tackle issues of common concern such as:
- Appointment and contracting of Aalims;
- Civil registrations at local Jamaats;
- Facilitating smaller jamaats to benefit from religious programmes through modern technology;
- Fund Raising for various projects and initiatives.
How is it organised?
CoEJ is currently made up of 16 member institutions representing approximately 15000 individuals across Europe. The Executive Council manages and administers the body. This consists of Office Bearers (President & Vice President along with the Secretary General & Treasurer and their assistants), 6 Elected Councillors, Nominated Councillors from each member institution and 2 Appointed Councillors.
The Executive Council holds term for a period of 3 years and meets every 12 weeks to determine the direction of CoEJ.
At the end of each term, the President is elected by the individual members of CoEJ’s member institutions. The remainder of the Executive Council (bar those nominated or appointed) are then elected at Conference by Jamaats.
Who are the Boards and what do they do?
CoEJ consists of several boards, each with their own target demographic. Below is but a snapshot of the services that each board provides. Visit www.coej.org for further information on the boards and their activities.
Capacity Building: Projects include the Leadership Development Programme, Facilitators training and facilitating events throughout CoEJ
Education: Seek to help develop the community in regards to academia. Flagship projects include Revision Camp, UCAS/Careers Fair and children’s summer camp.
Health Improvement: Provide resources for regular health screenings across Jamaats, raise awareness of specific health issues, organise an annual charitable trip to East Africa and have developed a young healthcare professional’s network.
Islamic Cultural Affairs: Projects include the Ma’rifa spiritual retreat, information and background on significant Islamic events and John Muslim Mission which seeks to engage and support reverts. The Alim Grant team under ICA assists and supports jamaats to make sure they have Alims in place.
Khawateen: Seeks to support and develop females through women’s retreats, buloogh camps and summer camps for both boys and girls.
Matrimonial: A relatively new board with an ambitious agenda. Past projects include pre engagement and pre marriage training, and the board hopes to develop a reconciliation team and establish a matchmaking network. European Committee of Islamic Divorce(ECID) is in place and assists when required.
Media: To promote engagement with the wider world (eg politics) and support the brotherhood of Muslims.
Relief: Raise funds for relief projects such as floods and earthquakes, Ramadhan relief, Ali Asghar Water Appeal and also work in collaboration with The world Federation.
Seniors: Organise regular functions which facilitates networking amongst the seniors. Past projects include international trips, annual Eid gatherings, Hussain and Zainabiyya days.
Sports: Seek to enhance community spirit through effective networking between individuals and Jamaats, encouraging fair play and sportsmanship. This is achieved by organising the annual Mulla Asghar Memorial Tournament for men, women and children.
Youth: Aim to encourage, support and develop the youth across Europe. Deliver projects such as youth conferences which facilitate networking and promote development, Careers/UCAS fairs, competitions for young members and support AbSocs across England. They also actively encourage the youth to volunteer and provide opportunities to do so.
Along with the boards, there are other teams which provide valuable services. The Hilal Advisory Team provides clarity on Islamic dates and the sighting of the moon within Europe, and European Hajj Mission organises all aspects of Hajj, making the experience easier for the Hujjaj.
How does CoEJ deliver these projects?
Each board has a team of volunteers who work tirelessly to ensure that projects are delivered throughout the year. However, much of this would not be possible without the invaluable support of the Secretariat staff. Their duties include:
- Supporting boards with organising events
- CRB checks
- Facilitate World Federation initiatives e.g. Iran Camp, CPD Courses
- Facilitate communications/correspondence
- Internal within CoEJ Executive Council, Boards, Jamaats and Individuals.
- External with World Federation and other federations/organisations.
- Treasury work
- Meetings support
- Website updates, answer queries
- Welfare support.
How is CoEJ funded?
Through membership fees, donations, gift aid and grants from the World Federation.
To donate to CoEJ please do visit: www.coej.org/donate
How can I get involved?
CoEJ is always looking for bright and enthusiastic individuals to donate their time. If you would be interested in volunteering please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 44 (0)845 330 6012.
To find out more, become part of CoEJ or assist us with your time and donations, visit: www.coej.org