OIC: Back in Form

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Terming the situation as alarming, the OIC countries, on Thursday, urged the United States to drop its support for a so-called Israeli peace plan. An emergency meeting of the organization regretted American President George Bush’s support to the Israeli plan terming it detrimental to the peace process.

It is after a long time that the 57-member Organization of Islamic Conference (OIC), the biggest grouping of the Muslim States, has mustered courage to tell the United States and its illegitimate child -” Israel that their policies were unacceptable. Apart from the situation in the Middle East which is dangerously alarming, Muslims elsewhere in the world are facing worst kind of discrimination and suppression because of one-sided approach of the United States and the West to the global and regional issues.

The OIC was formed to safeguard interests of the Ummah and it did contribute towards the goal in the initial years but with the passage of time the organization lost its strength and credibility because of lack of unity and individual interests of the member States.

The Muslim world is facing serious challenges in the wake of incidents of 9/11 that were used as an excuse to enslave Muslims politically and economically. However, it is unfortunate that despite its great potential to resist exploitation, the OIC could not come up to the expectations of the people in the Muslim world. Lack of courage and commitment on the part of OIC, emboldened the United States and the Jewish State to impose their will. It was this deep slumber that encouraged Ariel Sharon to physically eliminate the Palestinian leadership and come out with a plan to permanently get hold of the occupied Arab territories.

It is a pity that while Sharon was busy butchering Palestinians daily with full backing of President Bush, Muslim State could not react to the situation in an effective manner. The holding of the emergency session of the OIC Foreign Ministers in Kuala Lumpur is a welcome step but even this is unlikely to yield any tangible result as Washington and Tel Aviv are unlikely to pay heed to mere statements.

The realization of the peril is there as is reflected in the assessment made by Malaysian Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi that the latest developments are threatening the stability and integrity of the region, as well as the peace and security of its neighboring countries.

Nevertheless, there is no indication that the OIC countries have in mind any concrete proposal or strategy to deal with the situation. It would have been worthwhile if a Committee of Foreign Ministers was formed and assigned the task of visiting important countries to convey anguish of the Muslim world over such ominous developments. There is considerable support for the Middle East roadmap for peace amongst the international community and a lot of pressure can be built to persuade President Bush to stick to the original plan.

Likewise, there is a need for convening of the OIC summit to discuss the situation in more details and formulate a comprehensive plan of action to safeguard interests of Palestinians.