The Future of the OIC

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					The Future of the OIC
                                                   Brig Gen (Retd) Jahangir Kabir, ndc, psc

    Mr. Ekmeleddin Ihasanoglu, the Turkish Secretary General of OIC, in the resent foreign
ministers conference at Sana’a, the capital of Yemen declared “I want to push for real reform in
the organization” …Development and reform are the real guarantees for the community of our
nation, and to bridge the gap between us and the advanced world.”. He also asked for a
permanent seat for the Muslim countries in the UN Security Council. But his intention is reform
in the Islamic societies that need encouragement from the OIC.

    Coming from most advanced of Islamic societies the Secretary General aptly realizes that the
real strength of Muslim countries can come only from within; that points the finger at the
weakness within the inert looking attitude of the societies. Oppression, subjugation or
occupations that provoke Muslim minds today are more due to the falling behind, that some see
as a civilizational breach. He has also hinted that the OIC, once hurriedly formed to protect Al
Aqsa mosque from the Jews Zealots 36 years ago, is increasingly becoming redundant in its
name and purpose. After so many years if it has to represent Muslims it must have a greater
purpose of its existence.

    Muslim mind is outraged due to the injustices from within and outside that are working as
vision blind today. The right of the people can only be guaranteed by democracy. Turkey, a
Republic based on secular and democratic values, has made her strong and powerful. That she is
on the doorstep of entering Europe as EU member should open the eyes of those who are
adamantly unwilling or incapable of drawing inference from the advanced societies. Time has
come to ask the vital question as to why it should be the unique misfortune of the Muslims in
spite of the manpower and resources. They are underperforming in science and technology,
which in turn is deceiving quality to their work to add value to their societies. World will not fall
back to where Muslims are, they have to move forward as a strategic goal with confidence and
determination. Science and technology- the vehicle of modern civilization, is the cumulative
achievement of mankind. The creativity of humans is not a challenge but appreciation of the
greatest gift of the Creator. Venture stands as the apostle of vision. The Quran that we see today
was compiled in writing after the Prophet (SM) was no more. That was a step forward with
vision towards preserving the Holy Book. Just imagine the confusion today, if followers of
Prophet Mohammed(SM) had refused to see the Quran in writing just because it was not done
during his time. Those are the days when Muslims marched forward with reason and innovation.
Muslim capitals became the center of learning and inquiry. Today’s dilapidated Baghdad was
cultural capital of the world during Abbasids. Muslims broadened the foundation of Physics,
chemistry, astrology, medicine at their glorious time. But there is hardly any name that one can
quote with confidence that made substantial contribution in the contemporary developments.
Logically so, a backbencher can not be a frontrunner of a civilization.

    Time has come to redeem glory over the emotion and humiliation through search of
knowledge and hard work. No way is a total surrender suggested, but a search for different
strategy to win this uneven war which will leave no victor or vanquished but an all win situation.
Before the First World War the Ottoman Empire was on deathbed. The quick disintegration
during the war sprouted many independent states as a long term strategy of the colonial victors.
Effort for consolidation by the rulers in the newly emerged states and restlessness among the
people is understandable. But asking for basic education and minimum needs like drinking
water and health care nearly a century after First World War and half a century after colonial
masters are gone is sure acceptance of the failure. Not putting the blame entirely on others but
accepting the collective failure to find a way out is seen today that can invigorate the Muslims
out of the despair and frustration. A vision with minimum agenda is possible to unhinge morass
into an impetus for marching forward. Like democracies Muslim societies with variable climate
and cultural background can moderate under local conditions. The wide gap that exists between
Muslims and the advanced societies is the single most factor of sufferings; that has reached an
alarming proportion today.

    The humans are always a free society of competition; rules however, vary. The secretary
General rightly realizes, with present level of knowledge and application, nights could be darker
ahead. Striving for adding value to the societies through education and democratization is an all
win situation: the only course open that could dwarf today’s misery into an embarrassment of
history. After three and half decades the secretary General points out that the OIC needs a long
term strategy as the august body of 57 Muslim countries. It’s a conciliatory body of
heterogeneous societies, must work on a minimum agenda to avoid controversies that may
paralyze much desired initiative for a renewed vision. Universal education could be an
immediate minimum agenda that will eradicate much of unhappiness in a slow but sure process;
adding flesh quietly to values like healthcare, sanitation, emancipation of women. Many of the
rights and obligations are organic where strength of one will add vitality to others. It may not
be possible to wage war in every front that will deny consensus and drag the initiatives into the
ongoing controversies. Sir Syed Ahamed once realized for the downtrodden Muslims of the
subcontinent that education is the key to salvation. If his message was read universally, after one
and half century the OIC, not the EU, could have been the largest economic power house on
earth. Universal education can unlash a renaissance on the Muslim societies. If one is willing to
wait for twenty years for a newly born in the family to grow, waiting that much to reclaim a
civilization may not be judged long. Time has come for the OIC to have an assertive role.*