OIC: Partners in the fight for a better for a better world

Category: World Affairs Topics: Foreign Policy Views: 2473

The Organization of Islamic Conference summit opens today in Tehran amid expectations by the 55 member states concerning agreement on major resolutions agreed to by the foreign ministers of the countries.

The summit is important because it is the last summit in this century and on it rests the resolve of the member countries to solve some of their problems.

An important aspect of the summit is the avoidance of dispute. This will enhance the possibility of better relations between member states at loggerheads with each other. In this respect both Syria and Turkey are to be commended.

Syria has been rightly worried about Turkey growing military ties with Israel, instigated by the United States, as well as Turkish incursions into Northern Iraq. In addition, a review of cooperation between member states and the Zionist entity is in order.

There are many problems to be reviewed and the foreign ministers worked diligently to clear the 142 resolutions to enable the heads of states to proceed smoothly with the summit.

Inter-Arab problems mar the facade of Islamic unity. In the Maghreb, the Saharan issue is prominent. In the Gulf, the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait has resulted in deep-rooted passions which have yet to subside. Kuwait is harping on the theme of forgotten prisoners of war - mainly civilians kidnapped and taken away by retreating Iraqi soldiers. Other Gulf issues include the Iranian occupation of three small islands.

There are also social and economic problems to be dealt with.

The ordinary man in the street is concerned with safety, security, food and health. On his mind too are respect for the individual and his rights as a human being. For too long it has been assumed that no human rights exist. It is important that people in authority are seen as a guardian of his rights rather as a suppresser of his liberties.

The conference leaders should make it clear to the world that they are a vital part of the global village and are concerned about important issues facing the world, such as survival, food shortages, environment and pollution. They must project an image of themselves as partners in the fight to eradicate hunger and ensure a safer world for future generations.

Islamic solidarity thus becomes a pressing need of the hour.

However, tons of ink on reams of paper will be worthless if there is no resolve beyond the rhetoric echoing from the conference hall. We cannot afford to be bystanders on the international highway.

We have to be part of the movement of humanity as it surges forward to progress. It is therefore important that we stress scientific education to include the transfer and tailoring of technology to suit our needs.

For too long we have been recipients - a consumer society that gulps everything thrown at them. That must change. The place of Islam in the world is strong. Nothing can change that despite well- orchestrated and insidious campaigns conducted by some Muslim leaders should be in the forefront, setting examples of virtue, righteousness and piety, leading not by force but by exemplary qualities. This can be best done by following the Islamic Shariah.

The summit must also look at economics.

Commercial and economic exchanges between OIC members are few and far between. Concerted efforts must be made to break through economic barriers for the benefit of all.

The focus and main theme of the conference must be economic and social.

Poverty breeds many social ills. It leads to extremism. It is important that wealth be distributed fairly to the benefit of all members of the society. A society must be created which is based on the true Shariah where justice is meted equally to all. A society where the good is rewarded and the evil is punished and everyone held accountable for his actions.

A society where people will live freely and move without let or hindrance as long as they obey the law.

That is the society which the message of Islam stands for. It is not a society of rhetoric and haranguers who have an intolerant holier-than-thou attitude. The challenges of the 21st century for Muslims are immense but the biggest challenge is applying the basis of our ideology - the Shariah and implementing it in our countries.

That would be the best catalyst for change and progress.

In the light of all this it is important that Muslim countries base their bilateral and multilateral relations on the Islamic model. They should avoid being influenced by outsiders who seek only to cause confusion and tension.

  Category: World Affairs
  Topics: Foreign Policy
Views: 2473

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