Revival of OIC and the Muslim World


In the last 36 years, since the OIC (Organisation of Islamic Conference) established in 1967, this is perhaps first time when the Muslim leaders, at the Makkah summit addressed, loudly, perceptively and comprehensively, on the basic issues of the Muslim Ummah. In a joint communiqué and a 10-year action plan the Muslim leaders called for better education, faster economic development, more trade, promoting religious moderation, and strengthening rights of Muslim women. This is the first time when head of Muslim states courageously called for joint action against any foreign threats that jeopardise the security of any Muslim nation. They first time openly rejected any unilateral sanctions against OIC member state and this is the first time the resolution on Kashmir, Turkish-Cypriot were demanded through United Nation along with Palestine.

At the same time, Muslim leaders also condemned indiscriminately the extremism and terrorism in any form or manifestation. They stressed on the necessity to criminalize terrorist practices and financing support to terrorist activities. The Muslim leaders pledged to develop educational curriculum to promote tolerance, understanding, dialogue and diversity according to the principle of Islam. They called for joining international efforts to combat the terrorist ideologies and to establish a Centre for International Counter Terrorism.

Addressing the importance of fighting against poverty, unemployment and health maladies the summit members called for the establishment of a specialised fund through the Islamic Bank. They welcomed the creation of Islamic international institution to finance commerce. The summit proposed the establishment of a free trade zone for the member states and stressed the importance of increasing trade among member states. To deal with the development of science and technology the summit emphasised to narrow down the gap between Muslim world and the developed countries and called for reforming the scholar academic forum to make it the main reference source for Muslim nations. On the issue of human rights abuses the summit proposed establishing an independent Islamic human rights institute to monitor human rights in OIC member states.

No doubt, this time the Muslim leaders addressed the issues and demands according to the needs and time and the resolutions are essential for the Muslims to enter in the 21st century with the commitment to become at par with other developed nations. The resolutions on economic and social reforms are very much obligatory to become independent as one global (Muslim) community or as an individual state. However, the reform of any kind cannot be executed at macro level without its successful implementation at micro level.

The educational, social, economical reforms and technological development need free and democratic atmosphere at all levels where there should be the supremacy of justice, freedom of speech and liberty of press. Undisputedly, OIC current resolutions of Makkah summit are wonderful but what about the governmental or ruling system of Muslim states. There is hardly any Muslim state where one could see the true democracy and freedom of basic human rights and speech. The monarchism, tribal system, feudalism and army dictatorship are the part of ruling system in almost every Muslim State. Even if there is a so-called democracy in some countries, the corruption from top to bottom in the establishment is the biggest hurdle in maintaining and promoting equal rights and opportunities to the common people.

The industrial and technological developments relate with financial and economic stability and growth. The economical stability depends on political stability. Political stability depends on the degree of social and democratic values and democratic values depend upon the supremacy of freedom of speech, justice and law & order. These are inter-related and interdependent factors. The bottom line is that one cannot succeed in one area without having the others. You cannot construct a ten-story building starting from the tenth floor to the ground level.

If the Muslim leaders, today, want to stand beside the developed nations then they need to look into their history. Their economic and technological power did not come to them just by resolutions, political announcements and sermons studded with attractive words. These nations have gone through the phases. The social justice, equality, honesty, supremacy of law, respect of civil rights, nationalism etc are the basic principles of a civilized society. One can also find that these basic principles in the developed nations have also rooted through the teachings of Islam.

Any ism or ideology cannot provide better principles in all walks of life than Islam has provided to the Muslims. Islam is the religion that emphasizes deeply on knowledge, literacy, social security, justice, equality and democracy. It is very unfortunate that the followers of Islam, in the era we are witnessing, could not implement these rules in their individual life or in the affairs of the sate except providing lip service for others.

Today, Muslims are facing all sorts of problems socially and economically as an individual or as a nation whereas history shows that the Muslims rulers had become a global power until they followed the golden rules of Islam. There was a time when Muslims produced great educators, scholars, scientists, doctors, chemists, mathematicians and so on. Muslims were the originator of knowledge, civilisation and moderation.

So, most important resolution, above all, for Muslim head of states, is to work with honesty to bring true democracy, social justice and freedom of speech with corruption free environment so that they could successfully achieve their ultimate goals for prosperous status of Muslim Ummah in the world.