Reconsidering the role of OIC


Dr Nasreen Akhtar

MUSLIM world comprises 57 coun
tries with 1.8 billion devotee popula
tion in the world. They have one Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC). This organization was established on 25 September 1969 following the incident of Al-Aqsa Mosque in occupied Jerusalem. The main objective of the OIC is to galvanize the Ummah into a unified body and represent the Muslims by promoting all grounds of the Muslims in the conflictual world. Interestingly, the Organization has consultative and cooperative relations with the United Nations and “other inter-governmental organizations to protect the vital interests of the Muslims and to work for the settlement of conflicts and disputes involving Member States. In safeguarding the true values of Islam and the Muslims, the Organization has taken various steps to remove misperceptions and has strongly advocated elimination of discrimination against Muslims in all forms and manifestations”.
Several Muslim countries are rich and advance in technology; for instance, Pakistan is the only Muslim country which has nuclear capability. Saudi Arabia, Pakistan Iran-Turkey, Malaysia, and Indonesia are the strong members of OIC and they have a powerful say in international politics as well. Muslims are being discriminated by the non-Muslim states. Why has Muslim world or OIC failed to protect the Muslims of Palestine, Kashmir and India? Are they not considered the part of “Ummah”? Will the powerful Muslim countries act?
Because verbal sympathy is not enough – it cannot provide security and protection. Since the OIC has its cooperative relations with the United Nations, it may compel the international organization to take action in accordance with its Charter which says, “Every individual has freedom of belief and religion “This is the time to perform to protect Muslims from Hindus’ oppression in Kashmir and India. The RSS, a ruthless anti-Muslim Organization led by Prime Minister Modi, believes in Muslims ethnic cleansing. If it is not stopped, the entire world may suffer. The Muslim countries are polarized and divided, therefore, their division and conflicts encourage the fascist forces and they target Muslims. Pakistan expects the OIC should raise its effective voice for the Muslims of Kashmir and Indian-Kashmiri Muslims have been living like prisoners since August 2019. Whereas, Indian Muslims are being victimized in the name of NRC bill (National Register Citizen). Will any Muslim country be ready to provide them shelter? I think “No”. Because all Muslim states have limited resources and are grappling with their own internal issues.
In my view the OIC should reconsider its Charter and it should ensure the safety and security of the Muslims even those are living in non-OIC member states. Why India is invited as observer state in the OIC? Does it respect Muslim community in India and Kashmir? Modi’s India is not ready to listen to the world and international organizations. Modi and his four comrades – Amit Shah, Rajnath, Jaishnakar and Ajit Doval – have taken India back in the 16th Century and denied the concept of modern state. Bishop (Pope), the US and the United Nations always come forward to rescue minority if targeted in a Muslim country – but they seem ineffective to stop Modi’s government which has adopted anti-Muslim policies. The silence of Muslim and non-Muslim world is not serving the humanity
“The new programme of OIC-2025 includes issues of Peace and Security, Palestine and Al-Quds, Poverty Alleviation, Counter-terrorism, Investment and Finance, Food Security, Science and Technology, Climate Change and Sustainability, Moderation, Culture and peaceful co-existence, Empowerment of Women, Joint Islamic Humanitarian Action, Human Rights and Good Governance, among others”. All programmes are fantastic. But the question is – would the member states accomplish their target without protecting millions of Muslims in South Asia? The OIC is responsible to defend all of its Muslim brothers and sisters regardless of their nationality. At the time of acute crisis all Muslim countries should help the helpless Muslim communities and ignore their fundamental differences else their claim to be Muslim, without owning the oppressed Muslim community, would remain mirage. Pakistani Prime Minister, Imran Khan, has cautioned the world that Modi’s genocide plan against Muslims would leave grave repercussions so the all international organizations including the OIC must realize the consequences – tyrants’ methods against Muslims (in Kashmir-India) may instigate extremism and radicalization in the world.
—The writer is Assistant Professor, IIUI, Islamabad.