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Madam President,

The Secretary General of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) told the Council last week that the OIC will adopt the Cairo Declaration on Human Rights in Islam (CDHRI) after it is revised in accordance with international human-rights standards. This would have been reassuring if individual member states had shown any renewed commitment to Human Rights. That, however, doesn’t seem to be the case. Only a couple of examples can be cited here. Turkey is bringing a law that would allow child rapists to walk free if they marry their victims, thus legitimising rape.  Hundreds of Hindu, Sikh and Christians girls are subjected to forcible conversions and rapes in Pakistan every year. Equally frequent are continuing practices of harassment and murder of religious minorities through misuse of blasphemy law, religious persecution against Shias, Ahmadiyas, Ismailis and Hazaras in Pakistan.  Children are still recruited for terror activities including suicide bombing in Pakistan and other Islamic nations.

Madam President,

OIC secretary-general also notes that the organization continues to condemn the ideological rhetoric adopted by terrorist groups. But mere condemnation of Jihadi rhetoric has not and is not going to help.  Jihadis do not merely apply rhetoric. They have worked out a very coherent, internally consistent theology of violence and exclusion.

This theology is effective because it’s based on the consensus of all traditional schools of Islamic thought. It cannot be countered by the platitudes that our scholars deploy. A new theology of peace and pluralism needs to be evolved. This should be equally coherent and internally consistent. OIC seems to be making no effort to evolve such a theology yet.

Considered the intellectual branch of the OIC Sawt Al-Hikma Center or Voice of Wisdom is merely recounting the positive virtues of Islamic tolerance based on early Quranic verses that have been declared abrogated by the traditional ulema. It’s not taking into account doctrines in which the real strength of the Jihadi ideology lies. For instance, the Uncreatedness of Quran, which is the basis for universal and eternal applicability of all Quranic verses including the contextual war-time verses;  Doctrine of Abrogation, that says that war-time instructions that were revealed later in Madina have abrogated the peacetime pluralistic verses that were revealed earlier in Makkah; Takfirism, that declares Muslims as Kafir, Mushrik and Munafiq and thus liable to be killed; Millennarian end-of-the-world theories like Ghazwa-e-Hind that made ISIS so attractive to our youth; the Doctrine of offensive Jihad to help expand Islamic territories; the Doctrine of Global Khilafat that considers modern democracy as un-Islamic; the Doctrine of al-Wala wal-Bara (loyalty and disavowal, loving and hating, only for the sake of God) that asks Muslims to have good relations only with Muslims and avoid interaction with non-Muslims; the forcible application of the Doctrine Al-amr bil-maʿrūf wan-nahi ʿanil-munkar (Enjoining what is right and Forbidding what is wrong) in which Islam is considered right and all non-Islamic religions are considered wrong; the argument that Muslims who are helpless, facing persecution, and do not have any other weapon, can use their own bodies as weapons of war for the so-called martyrdom operations; and so on….