Posted by: Administrator | 22 February, 2005

President Musharraf’s Address to Eminent Persons of OIC

31 May 2005

I would like to start with why is there a need for all that we are doing. Why is the need to restructure the OIC? Why is there a need for a Muslim Ummah to consider what are we doing to our selves that is the biases and in that I feel unless we understand the reality that where we stand I don’t think we can go in the direction of resolution. If we try to put our selves in front of the mirror what do we see, number 1. The socio economic condition of the Muslim world, I think we are may be the worst in the world all social indicators are the worst in the world, we are the poorest out of 36 poorest countries of the world I think 22 happened to be from Muslims. We are the most illiterate uneducated. If you see the health side we are the worst of so from all points of view all the social indicators are the worst in the world. In this economic factor, a well known guide to gage our standard is our GDP. The collective GDP of Muslim Ummah is roughly 1,500-1,600 billion dollars and only single country GDP of Germany is 2500 or more, Japan is nearing 5000, 57 countries of Muslim Ummah are not even equal to one country. If you take the highest GDP in the Muslim Ummah I think it is of Turkey but if you take little countries of Europe who have no natural resources, no mineral resources and no energy resources even they have 300, 350 billion dollars. If we further analyze why is this state? When we hold the 70 per cent of world energy resources, 40 per cent of world natural resources and the raw material resources then why is this the state I think we have been left behind, technologically.

I know that the whole Muslim Ummah has about 600 universities while individual Japan has over 1000. in know that collective PhDs that the Muslim world produces in science subjects is not even 500 while single European country produce about 1000 to 2000 PhDs so we are totally left behind in technology, in the field of education specially science and technology.

Trade and commerce wise we are totally dependant on the west. The trade that we do among our selves is 13 per cent rest we do with the west and when we do that, that much we compromise our sovereignty, that much we become more dependant on them.

Now, within our selves do we assist our selves no I don’t think anyone is, we rush to the west to assist our selves there is no mechanism of helping ourselves in our troubles whether economic, commerce or trade or education or political disputes we do not have any mechanism or forum because number one we are weak, no 2. We are disunited and no 3. We are totally dependant on non-Muslim world players therefore our sovereignty is compromised and we are in the state of absolute deprivation. We have no voice in the world to influence the events where we are suffering Muslims are suffering we have no voice to do any thing. We are again dependant on non-Muslim players to do what ever for us.

Then I may also say which is very important of our understanding. We have divergent views of our great religion of Islam.

At the moment we are, not every where but in many cases we are divorced form the real values or the essence of Islam. We are more into the form of Islam and we are divorced form the values or essence and therefore it is the extremists who are shaping our image abroad and giving the bad name that this is what Islam is probably because nobody studies Islam people see what the Muslims do and when they see what the Muslims do our projection is most terrible and therefore Islam I would say is hostage in the hands of extremists who are projecting and giving a bad name to the religion and giving a bad name to all of us.

So within our selves there is a requirement of understanding the real values and the essence of Islam which is common to every one what ever our ethnic and sectarian linkages but the main essence and values of Islam are common. The word Ilam(Knowledge) in Islam has been repeated 800 times in the Quran and I believe that after ALLAH and Rub Ilam is the one word repeated 800 times the most and Ilam in all its totality, but it is unfortunate that these very so called custodians of Islam are ignoring this they are taking us away from real Ilam which was our custody till the middle ages they are now taking us towards backwardness unfortunately confining the meaning of Ilam only to religious teachings where as Ilam in all its context of enlightenment is being ignored.

It was in 761 to be exact that Muslims acquired the making of paper from the Chinese and when we acquired the making of the paper we projected Ilam because of use of paper all over the world the west was no where near and they don’t know what paper is so our Ilam was then and we know what we did in all spheres of knowledge we projected but then comes an era when printing presses were 2 introduced and for printing presses there were Fatwa against printing presses and even any one using printing presses there was a Fatwa at least in subcontinent of death sentence for 300 years sir we the Muslims denied the use of printing presses.

 Napoleon brought printing press to Egypt in somewhere in 1790s or in the end of the 18th century and when he died after the few years in 1851 or 1861 they were stopped.

In India East India company brought printing presses and the local Ullema here gave a fatwa of death sentence on those who prints, Bibles were being printed and distributed widely here and we said no to printing so unfortunately this kind of state we have gone through and now we also again in a state where the extremist view is prevailing and this is the extremist view that the west is taking of the Muslim world.

Gentlemen seeing the world and meeting the world leadership the world is in turmoil there is no need of repeating that we know what was happened in Bosnia or Kosovo or Chechnya or Kashmir or Palestine or Iraq or Afghanistan the world is in turmoil and it is the Muslim world which is suffering and may I also add every leader of the world the western leader is worried and they are looking for solutions what to do how can the world can be improved?

That is the question every one is asking now I would like to put a question to all of you and the Muslim world of course do we want to do something to the world and to our selves or no we don’t want to do anything just want to continue like that this is the basic question we all need to ask ourselves. Well does Pakistan want to look after it self or do you like we contribute on what ever we can in our capacity for the Muslim world and so also every one of us need to ask this very question the obvious answer the prudent answer is no we must do something about it now how to go about it is the question that arises and may I say this is the basic idea or thought that gave me the idea of enlightened moderation and I gave this idea of enlightened moderation not as a single task to be done by the Muslims I thought it will be a win win situation for the world most of all for the Muslim world. Muslim world must reject externalism and terrorism look at enlightenment acquisition of real Ilam and then go the path of socio economic development.

Let us help our selves first of all to emancipate socio-economically and also get assistance from the world to assist us in the socio-economic development on the other side the world must be made to resolve our political disputes all of them with justice this is a strategic concept for the world and for the Ummah and for each country to emancipate socio-economically.

Other issues are relevant to various countries smaller tactical issues one country may be modern and other country in Afghanistan may be women move around in Burqas(veil) that is there environment I don’t think we should involve in individual country environment because Islam greatness is that it is relevant you form your views your methods your ideals in accordance with the time and a particular environment in which you are growing so therefore we should not trivialize the strategy but one thing I want to clear I thought it is my personal view gentlemen while we are doing this we cannot repeat “cannot” adopt a confrontationist course we have to adopt a reconciliatory course in the world may

I just talk of the OIC reconstructuring and my personal views these the problems that we face and let us see what is the way we need to restructure and move forward. I believe the first element is socioeconomic development and in that I think trade and commerce plays a very very important role and I personally feel that there ought to be a department of trade and commerce to encourage trade and commerce within our selves to enhance this 13 percent within our selves the other is education.

 I think we are left so far behind and in many cases we are being denied of high technology in the world so we must take recourse to helping each other and therefore I feel there ought to be a department which deals with education specially higher education.

Specially science and technology opening of centers of excellence in countries where ever there is excellence on a particular subject in a particular field and the Ummah come and read and acquire Ilam go back and open similar institutions in their own countries so this was the other.

Then political affairs we are the only ones who are involved all over the world in the political problems which we have face there ought to be a department which can address these issues analyze them and formulate some views some commonalities and if there is disputes within our selves why can we not play a role in resolving that why should we rush to the west to resolve our own problems why can we not do it ourselves so there ought to be some kind of 3 organization or department for that.

Then women affairs yes indeed I think unless we on the women issues there are cultural problems in many countries and I know there are cultural problems in Pakistan. We are confronted with Hudood laws which go against women interest we need to be able to address these so for women issues I think women department.

Then the department of media we are no where in the media I think it is now in the Middle East Al- Jazeera has come up with an influence but we need to have some thing to do with media.

Lastly which is very important I think very very important a department of Islamic thought. Here we have and in many other countries we have this issue of fighting terrorism we have people who are moderate but religious vast majority.

 I think in may of our countries the vast majority is like that religious but moderate but then there are some extremists who are trying to impose their views on others and these extremist then becomes terrorists and all that lets leave that aside but let us understand the real values or the essence of Islam within our selves and then project it to the world real values and real essence if that happens in many countries where there are religious issues which are misunderstood misinterpreted may be a fountain head through a combine view of Islamic scholars within from the OIC who can enlightened and talk on all issues which concerned us that will reinforced our views to our people to take them towards real moderation and understanding of our religion and also telling the world that this is what Islam is.

Two issues I would like to raise one is the membership of OIC. I know there are countries who are members who don’t have a Muslim majority then there are many countries who want to become members I personally believe that the permanent membership should be restricted only to the Muslim countries remaining can come in observer status, we cannot allow every to come that will be counter productive we will become more like NAM and we will lose our focus and then is the issue of funding if there is no money nothing can be done it is the secretariat which is need the money for running more than that I personally feel there are a less developed countries in our selves poorer countries in ourselves the 22 countries poorest of the poor we owe it to help them to grow to stabilize economically and then we are talking of education and centers of excellence how do we manage all this I personally believe that this is my believe that we must make it mandatory to contribute an amount and I did a little bit of mathematics.

If every country contributes 0.01 percent of its GDP it will come to 150 million dollars if our collective GDP is 1500 billion and then I thought let us apply it to Pakistan can we give the money 10 million dollars our GDP is roughly 100 billion dollars then why should Pakistan not give 10 million dollars we will give 10 million dollars what is 10 million dollars for the Ummah I really don’t know why we should not it is not such a big amount we could start with that we could even excuse some countries who cannot afford any thing but at least those ALLAH has given a lot should be prepare to scarifies foe their brothers Europe is being asked or the developed countries are being asked to give 0.7 percent of their GDP towards millennium development goals and that is quit a bit we among our selves if they are giving 0.7 percent because they are big economies so probably they are giving billions.

Islamic development bank which at the moment does play a role but not such a great significant role we should have it as a potent bank which is of world class and this money comes onto the Islamic development Bank and this bank which operates directly under the OIC secretariat on issues of education and health and women affairs in which ever countries and pumps in regulate the fundings in those areas which will then emancipate in the socio-economic development that is what I am seeing the role.

If we manage all this I see that the OIC with its secretary general should be able to give voice to OIC in world affairs in world forums in the United Nations, OAU or EU OIC should be able to or the secretary general should be able to go there and be a representative of the Muslim voice in those forums because the OIC secretariat will be something on the ground which people of the world will see that this is an organize forum and not a forum which meets and does nothing really.

 Pakistan with all our sincerity, with all our keenness we are for contributing whatever we can for the Ummah!

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