1. Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC)
  2. Why is it in News?
  3. Two main outcomes of OIC summit
  4. On Rohingyas
  5. On Syrian Unrest
  6. The pot calling the kettle black
  7. Why India is not a member of OIC?
  8. India and OIC: Problem area
  9. Jammu and Kashmir = Free country

Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC)

  • is an international organization consisting of 57 member states.
  • Established in 1969, to safeguard the interests and ensure the progress and well-being of Muslims.

Why is OIC in News?

  • King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia, called up an emergency summit of OIC in mid-August 2012, in the city  of Mecca.
  • This is only the fourth time in the history of OIC, that an emergency summit has been called.
  • Why? Official reason: to address the urgent agenda of the deepening divisions within and between Muslim majority states.
  • Unofficial reason: put pressure on Syrian Government to stop massacring the people.

Two main outcomes of OIC summit

On Rohingyas

  • OIC condemned the violence against the Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar.
  • OIC also released 14-point resolution to pressurise the Myanmarese government to stop the widespread discrimination and administrative hostility being faced by Rohingya Muslims..
  • King Abdulla ordered assistance of $50 million to the Rohingyas.
  • Although Myanmar Government  maintains that the violence in the Rakhine state has anything to do with race or religion, has avoided a political confrontation with the OIC and other leading Islamic nations.

On Syrian Unrest
OIC Suspends Syria

  • More than 10,000 protestors have been massacred so far, by President Bashar Al-Assad’s troops.
  • OIC has suspended Syria’s membership on 15th August 2012.
  • This was done to send message to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad that OIC members will not accept the regime killing its people.
  • Although Iran (an OIC member) rejected the proposal saying : “suspension of Syria’s membership does not really resolve the issue and is not in line with the OIC charter” but majority of OIC members voted in favor of Syria’s removal.

The pot calling the kettle black

  • While OIC calls for protecting the rights of the Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar, the OIC itself is having trouble securing the rights of Muslim minorities and even majorities within its own member states. For example:
OIC member Ruled by Minority population’s problem
Saudi Arabia Sunnis
  • Shias complain about the lack of access to government jobs and full religious freedoms.
Bahrain Sunnis
  • Shia majority has unhappy with them because of the misrule and underdevelopment.

Why India is not a member of OIC?

  • India has second largest population of Muslims in the world [Indonesia is first], yet we are not a member of OIC, Why?
  • In 1969, the first ever Islamic Summit Conference held Rabat [Capital of Morocco]
  • At that time, Pakistan was the largest Muslim country in the world.
  • And, Pakistani President Gen Yahya Khan had threatened to boycott the summit, if India was allowed membership.
  • For OIC it would have been a diplomatic disaster and death knell to the organization, if the world’s then largest Muslim country walked out.
  • So, King Hassan of Jordan, in his capacity as the chairman of Islamic Conference has decided to withdraw the invitation extended to Indians and bar the Indian delegation from entering Morocco.
  • Thus, India couldn’t get admitted to OIC.
  • Sidenote: India is an Observer state in OIC, while China and USA are not even observer states.

India and OIC: Problem area

  • Over the years, under Pakistani influence, OIC communiqué (a letter issued to press after the summit) used to equate Kashmir issue with Palestine, and refered to Jammu and Kashmir as an “occupied territory”.
  • and Kashmiri separatists were also invited to attend the summits.
  • But now it appears that Pakistan’s influence at the OIC is fading.
  • In this latest OIC summit (Aug-2012), for the first time since 1995, Pakistan could not muster an invitation for All Party Hurriyat Conference. But problem is far from over.

Jammu and Kashmir = Free country

In the Final Communique at OIC Summit 2012, the it was mentioned that
“The Summit affirms its solidarity and full support for Sudan, Somalia, Afghanistan and Jammu and Kashmir, Iraq, Yemen, Ivory Coast, the Union of Comoros and the Republic of Turkish-Cyprus in addressing the challenges facing these countries.”
Indian Government officially opposed this statement and said
This is erroneous and factually incorrect mention about an integral part of India by the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC).