From the Editor-in-Chief: The task before the OIC

Enayetullah Khan
Saturday, August 27th, 2016
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The Secretary General of the OIC has appreciated Bangladesh’s determination to combat terrorism in the name of religion. During his recent visit to Dhaka, Iyad Ameen Madani met some leading religious figures of the country and was apprised of the dangers of religious militancy in Bangladesh and why such militancy was against the principles of Islam. In fact, the steps which Bangladesh’s Islamic scholars have been taking in recent times to educate people on the dangers attendant on religion-based terrorism are certainly commendable. The efforts expended by the government have gained the widespread support of citizens and we hope there will be no drawing back from the drive to root out the elements engaged in creating social disorder through their perverted view of faith.

 

While we welcome the OIC Secretary General’s view on Bangladesh’s efforts in combating religious militancy, we also feel that it is time for the OIC to adopt a more clearly articulated stand against the terrorism perpetrated in various regions of the globe in the name of Islam. To our regret, we have not in recent times seen Islamic scholars and governments coming forward with a compelling denunciation of the violence perpetrated by ISIS and other medieval groups. It ought to have been the responsibility of all governments in Muslim and Muslim-majority countries to adopt a unified stand through shaping a strategy to combat these violent militant elements and emerge with clear statements condemning the misuse and abuse of Islam by the forces of bigotry. Unfortunately, that does not appear to have happened and the impression which has been growing is that most governments in Muslim countries have demonstrated a rather tepid, even timid response to the crisis.

 

There is hardly any question that the activities of the so-called ISIS have pushed Muslims around the world into a state of vulnerability. Not even politicians, particularly in the West, have desisted from the urge to strike out at Muslims in general over the violence of these scandal-peddling Muslims. Donald Trump in the United States and Marine Le Pen in France as also the extreme right in countries like Holland have taken advantage of the violence of the extremists to look upon Islam as a religion espousing violence. Nothing could be further from the truth. It is such happenings, coming as they do from militant Muslims and rightwing western politicians, that the OIC must confront head-on. An extraordinary summit of OIC heads of state and government can serve a useful purpose. We think there is time yet for such a summit to be convened and for leaders of the Muslim world to adopt clearly defined positions on terrorism inspired by faith.

 

It is important that the OIC be reactivated as an organization and not sink into increasing irrelevance, in the way so many global and regional bodies in the past rose, glittered briefly and then collapsed.

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