OIC summits held amid regional conflicts deepening people’s suffering

KUWAIT, The 14th summit of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) will be held in the holy city of Makkah, Saudi Arabia, while the region is witnessing conflicts and wars that deepen suffering of people.

The Palestinian cause dominated previous OIC summits. However, other conflicts like the ones in Syria, Yemen, Iraq, Libya, Sudan and Myanmar as well as islamophobia have been among issues troubling Muslim leaders in recent years.

Muslim leaders will gather in Makkah and are expected to adopt decisive decisions regarding all issues of mutual concern.

The 13th summit was held in Turkey in April 2016, during which Muslim leaders adopted OIC’s 2025 plan of action, Jerusalem resolution and Istanbul Declaration, which tackled major problems facing Islamic world.

His Highness the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, addressing the 13th summit, said, “Our battle against terrorism is long but tough. Our rejection to extremism and violence is firm and is on top of our priorities.” His Highness the Amir called on importance of defending Islam, correcting many claims “that tarnished reputation of the blessed sharia.

“How many terrorist acts committed under the name of Islam? And how many seditions caused under pretext of defending Islam? How many actions destroyed unity of our societies, killed our sons and even slain the innocent over this earth under a fake claim calling itself Islam?” wondered His Highness the Amir.

His Highness the Amir called for addressing false claims about Islam in order to present to the whole world the true Sharia, which was based on tolerance, accepting the other and respecting the right of a human being to live free.

The Kuwaiti leader was reacting to a spate of violent actions committed by extremist groups in Islamic and Arab countries, using Islam as a cover for their deeds.

The Egyptian capital, Cairo, hosted OIC’s 12 summit in February 2013, the first following so-called Arab Spring. Summiteers discussed developments in some Arab countries, and reaffirmed respect of Syria’s unity, supported political settlement in Libya, commended Bahrain’s call for a comprehensive dialogue and asserted importance of fighting terrorism.

The 11th summit was held in the capital of Senegal, Dakar, in March 2008 and Muslim leaders voiced solidarity with Sudan and its people, voiced relief over the situation in Darfur, as well as supported Turkey’s mediation between Pakistan and Afghanistan over the disputed Kashmir issue.

The 10th summit, held in October 2003 in Malaysia, urged the international community to force Israel stop construction of the separation wall that sliced the Palestinian territories, and established a fund for development of areas devastated by the war in Sudan.

Muslim leaders held their ninth summit in Doha, Qatar, on November 12 2000, and expressed solidarity with Sudan against foreign plans targeting its security, supported rights of Rohingya Muslim minority in Myanmar morally and politically, as well as forming an entity to counter challenges posed by globalization.

Tehran, Iran’s capital, hosted the 8th OIC summit in December 1997, and summiteers called for further expansion of cooperation among member countries, called for establishment of a common market, rejected US military attack on Libya in 1986 and backed Tripoli’s rights for compensations.

The 7th summit, held in Casablanca, Morocco, in December 1994. OIC leaders supported Bosnia-Herzegovina’s sovereignty, called for a peaceful settlement for Jammu and Kashmir, condemned Armenia’s offensive against Azerbaijan and considered its attacks against civilian Azeris crimes against humanity.

Dakar hosted the 6th OIC summit in December 1991, which condemned the illegal and illegitimate Iraqi invasion and occupation of the State of Kuwait, in addition to approving the capital increase of the Islamic Development Bank (IDB).

Kuwait hosted the 5th OIC summit in January 1987. The summit focused on the Palestinian cause, condemned Israel’s occupation of Lebanese territories and affirmed commitment to Lebanon’s independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity.

The Kuwait summit also rejected Israel’s possession and production of nuclear weapons, in addition to approving bylaw of the Islamic International Court of Justice.

The Moroccan city of Casablanca hosted the 4th OIC summit in January 1984, and the leaders adopted the Arab peace plan, and considered Israel’s control of the Syrian Golan Heights a hostile and illegal act.

The OIC leaders, in their 3rd summit in Makkah in January 1981, established a center for the development of trade, announced “holy jihad (struggle)” to salvage Al-Quds and support the Palestinian people, as well as supporting all settlement efforts for the conflict between Iran and Iraq.

The 2nd summit was held in Pakistan city of Lahore in February 1974. The high-level meeting extended full support for Egypt, Syria, Jordan and Palestinian people to regain their territories occupied by Israel. The leaders called on Israel to withdraw immediately and unconditionally from all Arab territories it occupied in 1967, and restored Arab sovereignty over Al-Quds.

The first summit of Islamic countries was held in Rabat, capital of Morocco, in September 1969 in the wake of the burning of Al-Aqsa Mosque. The summit established a permanent secretariat, which resulted in the establishment of OIC.

The regular summits saw the Palestinian cause, Somalia, Djibouti and poor Muslim minorities as major items on their agendas.

OIC held seven extraordinary summits: Islamabad in 1977, Qatar in 2003, Saudi Arabia in 2005 and 2012, Indonesia in 2016, in addition to Istanbul in 2017 and 2018.

Source: Kuwait News Agency