This year's anniversary comes at a time Israel escalates its aggression against the Palestinian people, affecting different walks of life in the Palestinian occupied territories. Israeli authorities maintain the stifling siege imposed on the Gaza Strip, continue to grab Palestinian land, build and expand settlements together with the Apartheid Wall. -- Dr. Terry Lacey
OIC praises Kuwait''s role in promoting Islamic solidarity: Ambassador Ba said that Kuwait''s contribution lies in many areas especially in the field of building infrastructure and enhancing the social and economic development of several member states. He stressed that Kuwait and the Arab group in Geneva play an important role in enhancing the role of the OIC on the level of the Human Rights Council. – Alwatan
Lavrov to attend OIC meeting during Mideast tour: Russia became a permanent observer at the OIC in 2005, two years after then-president Vladimir Putin had declared at an Islamic Summit in Malaysia that Russia was a "Muslim power" which wanted to play a role as such among Muslim countries. – RIA Novosti
Muslim Modernization and the OIC on its 40th anniversary
By Dr. Terry Lacey
Sept. 30, 2009
On its 40th anniversary the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC), created to build cooperation between member states and help free Palestine from occupation, looks middle aged, lacks credibility and is the victim of Arab divisions , rather than the beneficiary of Muslim unity.(Veeramalla Anjaiah and Ary Hermawan, Jakarta Post, 25.05.09).
To reverse this we need Palestine solved and the end of Arab domination of the OIC, with recognition that over 60 percent of Muslims are not Arab or in the Middle East.
The relationship between the Arab world and the Muslim world is ambiguous.
Indonesians with their multi-religious tradition and a long history of kingdoms, mysticism and cultures have sometimes felt torn between Arab and Western cultural imperialism.
The big Muslim-population countries of Asia: Indonesia, Pakistan, Bangladesh and India, along with Nigeria, Russia and the republics of Central Asia, have to make clear as rising powers in the Muslim world, that the Ummah, the global Muslim community, cannot be seen as an Arab back-yard.
These large Muslim populations and countries espouse their own cultural history, are growing in economic importance globally, and have predominantly opted for political democracy and freedom, leaving the Arab world behind.
There are several reasons why the political and cultural leadership of the OIC should better reflect global Muslim modernization.
First, because political democracy and a free media are growing in the Muslim world, widely supported and not considered as a Western imposition. Indeed the models for political modernization vary.
Iran is more democratic than many Arab or Asian states, so the democratic model can reach varying compromises with Islam, ranging from a modern secular state, to a compromise with theocracy, or a modernizing traditional monarchy, or elements of all three.
Second, because just as Obama has become President of the US when it has already started to slide from the top perch, so Middle East oil is no longer King of the castle, and the power of oil is waning.
The Arab Middle East must soon compete in a new world, where climate change, clean and renewable energy, nuclear power and successfully diversified economies with modern infrastructure, manufacturing, modern services and mass tourism will decide the future of nations and the prosperity of their peoples. So it’s a good time to use petro-dollars wisely to build the future.
Third, because the shift in power is from the West (or rather the North) to the South, and within Islam from the Middle East towards Asia.
Pakistan is culturally and geo-politically pivotal for the successful pursuit of global Muslim modernization, and Palestine is not.
So the OIC faces a rapidly changing world. It’s a good sign that dynamic Turkish secretary-general Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu is there to lead it.
If and when Turkey joins the EU, inch’Allah, led by a democratic Islamic party, then more Turks will be free to wear the hijab. What a contribution Turkey would make to the EU, as it already does to NATO.
Since Ihsanoglu understands these political and cultural wonders he will also understand that Indonesia must play a greater role in the OIC.
It´s time to think out of the box. That means we have to unite to be tough on Israel and their settlements and end the oppressive and unjust blockade of the Gaza Strip.
But Indonesia should also help the OIC and the Arab world to back President Obama to resolve the Palestine-Israel dispute and then accept Israel as a partner in the modernization of the Arab and Muslim world.
This divisive dispute has crippled the OIC and the Arab world for too long.
President Obama you have our support to kick their backsides and make them take their chance, while they still have it. This alibi, diversion and barrier holding back progress in the Arab and Muslim world has to go.
Then we can get on with modernizing the Muslim world, and the global community of which it is part, before it’s too late to save the planet. And the OIC should help lead this.
The author can be reached at: email@example.com
Dr. Terry Lacey is a development economist who writes from Jakarta, Indonesia, on modernization in the Muslim world, investment and trade relations with the EU and Islamic banking.
On its 40th anniversary the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC), created to build cooperation between member states and help free Palestine from occupation, looks middle aged, lacks credibility and is the victim of Arab divisions, rather than the beneficiary of Muslim unity. (Veeramalla Anjaiah and Ary Hermawan, Jakarta Post, 25.05.09).
PDF File: http://www.oicun.org/uploads/files/articles/UNWRA_palestine_poverty.pdf
On the occasion of the heinous arson of the blessed Al-Aqsa mosque – 20-8-2009
This year's 40th poignant anniversary of the heinous attempt to burn the blessed al-Aqsa Mosque occurs while Israel conducts new and dangerous violations, threatening the Mosque's edifice and sanctities due to the excavation works carried out by the Israeli occupation authorities underneath the mosque's foundations and allowing Israeli extremists to access the mosque and violate the sanctity of the destination of the Prophet's (PBUH) Night Journey [Israa], the first of two Qiblahs [Direction of Prayer in Islam] and the Third Holy Sanctuary.
This year's anniversary comes at a time Israel escalates its aggression against the Palestinian people, affecting different walks of life in the Palestinian occupied territories. Israeli authorities maintain the stifling siege imposed on the Gaza Strip, continue to grab Palestinian land, build and expand settlements together with the Apartheid Wall.
Similarly, this painful anniversary occurs while the city of al-Quds al-Sharif faces probably the hardest conditions ever as a result the zealous attempts to judaize the holy city by seizing Palestinian homes as part of a systematic operation of ethnic cleansing that seeks to deplete the city of its indigenous population and supplant them with aliens in a flagrant violation of international law.
On this anniversary, the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) reaffirms that the city of al-Quds and the safety of its sacred sites carry special importance for Muslims throughout the world and is intimately associated with security and peace not only at the regional level but also at the global level.
Israel should bear the entire responsibility towards the Muslim world in particular and the international community in general by ensuring that all holy sites under its occupation are protected. Likewise, Israel should abide by international treaties and agreements, particularly the Fourth Geneva Convention, which prohibits any aggression on the part of the occupying state against holy places or denying worshipper’s access to worship sites. The Convention also prohibits changing the demographic character of occupied territories and any aggressions against historical sites.
The OIC, for which the Palestinian cause and al-Quds issue were its raison d'être, and in the face of Israel's unabated aggressions against the blessed al-Aqsa Mosque, appeals to the international community to prompt Israel to protect and respect the Islamic holy sites. The OIC warns that any damage to the blessed al-Aqsa Mosque and the other holy places will bear dire consequences for Muslims and believers around the world.
On this anniversary, the OIC emphatically affirms the unwavering position held by the Muslim Ummah [nation] toward the Arabo-Islamic character of the city of al- Quds. It renews its appeal to the Member States to continue to provide all forms of support and assistance to the Palestinian people in their just struggle to gain self-determination and establish an independent Palestinian state with al-Quds as its capital as well as securing the return of Palestinian the refugees.
OIC praises Kuwait''s role in promoting Islamic solidarity
GENEVA: The permanent representative of the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) Ambassador Babacar Ba commended the State of Kuwait for its strong commitment to being an OIC member. On the occasion of the 40th anniversary of the OIC, Babacar Ba told the Kuwait News Agency (KUNA) that the contribution of the State of Kuwait to the OIC activities and programs is very important especially in promoting Islamic solidarity. He added that Kuwait has a distinct and special role in addressing the huge challenges of fighting poverty in OIC member states.
Ambassador Ba said that Kuwait''s contribution lies in many areas especially in the field of building infrastructure and enhancing the social and economic development of several member states. He stressed that Kuwait and the Arab group in Geneva play an important role in enhancing the role of the OIC on the level of the Human Rights Council. The Ambassador of the OIC in Geneva told KUNA that a new Humanitarian Assistance Department has been created within the OIC to coordinate OIC''s assistance to affected member states. Ambassador Ba noted that the OIC has put in place concrete mechanisms to address poverty alleviation and combating endemic diseases.
"A special fund for development was established to finance, through the Islamic Development Bank, many activities in this area," he added. He explained that fighting polio and malaria are among the objectives of the OIC, noting that this is done in collaboration with the World Health Organization) WHO) and the Roll Back Malaria initiative. Ambassador Ba noted that on the political front, the OIC stands solidly with the Palestinian people, and works with the world to achieve an independent Palestinian state with East Jerusalem as its capital, thus fulfilling the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people. In addition, he said the OIC is committed to contributing all it can to achieve a political solution in conflict regions of the OIC, namely in Iraq, Afghanistan, Somalia and Sudan. He mentioned, "among the many OIC achievements, its engagement in restoring the constitutional order in Mauritania and its commitment to the International Contact Group on Guinea, Conakry." In the extraordinary Makkah Summit of December 2005, he said a 10ـYear Plan of Action was adopted marking the challenges of the 21st Century and ways of addressing them. This, he said, "was with the view of enhancing the OIC role in promoting socioـeconomic development, cooperation between OIC member states, and reinforcing its capacity in peace building, political solidarity, promotion of Human Rights, Islamic values and humanitarian assistance."ـKUNA
Last updated on Saturday 26/9/2009
Lavrov to attend OIC meeting during Mideast tour
MOSCOW, May 21 (RIA Novosti) - Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov will attend an Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) meeting during his Middle East tour on May 23-25, a Foreign Ministry spokesman said on Thursday.
"On May 23-25, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov will attend the 36th session of the Islamic Conference of Foreign Ministers in Damascus as an observer," Andrei Nesterenko said.
On top of the OIC meeting in the Syrian capital, Nesterenko also said Russia's top diplomat would meet with the Syrian leadership and pay a working visit to neighboring Lebanon.
The OIC is an international organization with a permanent delegation at the United Nations. It groups 57 member states, from the Middle East, Africa, Central Asia, the Caucasus region, the Balkans, Southeast Asia, South Asia and South America.
The Islamic Conference of Foreign Ministers meets once a year to examine a progress report on the implementation of its decisions taken within the framework of policy defined by the Islamic Summit.
Russia became a permanent observer at the OIC in 2005, two years after then-president Vladimir Putin had declared at an Islamic Summit in Malaysia that Russia was a "Muslim power" which wanted to play a role as such among Muslim countries.
"We believe that Sergei Lavrov's participation in the work of the 36th session of the Islamic Conference of Foreign Ministers will be a new major step in the development of friendship and cooperation between Russia and the Islamic world," Nesterenko said.
He added that the agenda of Lavrov's working visits to Syria and Lebanon would focus on the overall situation in the Middle East and Palestinian-Israeli peace efforts.