Posted by: Administrator | 30 July, 2006

President at 3rd Extraordinary Session of OIC Summit 2005

PRESIDENT GENERAL PERVEZ MUSHARRAF AT THE THIRD EXTRAORDINARY SESSION OF THE OIC SUMMIT

Makkah Al-Mukarramah – Kingdom Of Saudi Arabia

5-6 Dhul Quida 1426h – (7-8 December 2005)

 Your Majesty, Khadimul Harmain Al-SharifaIn King Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz, Chairman of the Extraordinary Islamic Summit, Mr. Abdullah Badawi, Chairman of the Tenth Islamic Summit, Excellencies, Dear Brothers and Sisters,

 It is Almighty Allah’s great blessing that we, the leaders of the Muslim world are congregated here at the Holy precincts of Makkah-Al-Mukaramah to put life into the Ummah. Your Majesty’s invitation to your brothers and sisters to meet at the Qibla of Islam not only reflects your sagacity and hospitality, it also symbolizes the unity and integrity of the Muslim Ummah. May Almighty Allah guide us to our noble, collective endeavor towards the emancipation of the World of Islam. I also wish to express on behalf of the Pakistani nation, our profound gratitude to all those who extended generous help and assistance to the earthquake victims of Pakistan.

 

Your Majesty, Mr. Chairman, brothers and sisters,

Two years ago, in 2003, at the Putrajaya OIC Summit we deliberated on the challenges confronting the Islamic world. We considered Enlightened Moderation as the way forward. A Commission of Eminent Persons from seventeen countries was thus constituted to recommend restructuring of the OIC to turn it into a dynamic and futuristic organization. It is only, and I repeat only, through such a restructuring of the OIC that we can meet the objectives of Enlightened Moderation and the aspirations of the Muslim Ummah.

 

Your Majesty, Mr. Chairman,

Let us, for a moment, reflect back at our past, lost glory. We were the fountainhead of knowledge, civilization and moderation when most of the world was groping in the dark ages. It was the philosophic accomplishment of Al Ghazali and Ibne Rushd which gave inspiration to later day western philosophers. It was Ibne Seena who wrote “Al Qanoon Fil Tib” which became known as “the Canon” and used for 600 years as the standard book of medicine in the west. It was Al Beruni who wrote an encyclopedia on medicinal plants. It was Jabir Ibn Haiyan who laid the foundations of modern chemistry. It was Mohammad Bin Musa Al-Khwarizmi who founded Algebra and modern mathematics. It was Al-Zahrawi who invented a large number of surgical instruments now used in modern medicine. He is known as father of surgery. Omar Al-Khayyam besides being a poet was a great scientist. Among his several contributions is a remarkably accurate calendar.

Even today numerous shelves of libraries in the west are filled with books written on these famous Muslim scholars. All these scholars were the products of Madrassahs of those days. It is unfortunate that most Madrassahs of today insist on restricting education to religion alone. Where are we today? While we represent one fifth of humanity spread over 57 countries across three continents and blessed with rich and bountiful natural resources. We are among the poorest. 17 out of us 57 are amongst the poorest in the world.

We are among the most illiterate. Our literacy level is shamefully low, in spite of the fact that Islam enjoins us to acquire knowledge from anywhere. We are among the backward. Our level of socio economic development is dismal and indeed distressing. We remain stuck in dire predicament, facing formidable challenges on all fronts: political, economic and intellectual. Many Islamic lands remain afflicted with conflict and violence. Most Islamic societies are struggling to evolve stable institutions for governance. Most of us remain far removed from the expanding frontiers of knowledge, education and science and technology.

Our economies remain fragile and mostly dependent on raw material production. Even the rich among us are consumers of the fruits of modernization and innovation of other advanced nations who are shaping the direction of progress and the future of our world.

Our weaknesses and vulnerabilities, external and internal, are visible. Our differences and divisions are exploited. Our failure to secure just resolution of disputes such as Palestine and Kashmir has spawned desperation, confusion and extremism. Our disappointments and frustrations have induced anger in our youth. Senseless acts of terrorism committed by a handful of misguided individuals while claiming to act in the name of Islam has maligned our noble faith of peace, tolerance and compassion. Many of us have agonized over this painful situation.

We need to look within, we need to search our soul; Do we want to continue in our state of apathy or reshape our destiny. Clearly the choice is between getting permanently marginalized or re-emerging as a progressive society standing proudly in the comity of Nations. The answer is crystal clear: we have to breakout from this stagnation of centuries.

The options before the Ummah are two: A confrontationist course or a conciliatory course. A confrontationist course can only lead us to further destruction and deprivation. Therefore, it is in our own interest, in the interest of our emancipation for the sake of prosperity and progress of our peoples, and for the well being of our future generations, to adopt a conciliatory approach. We need to learn, acquire and assimilate knowledge in order to emancipate.

From this holy city of peace and tolerance, I appeal to all extremists in our society to see reason, and shun the path of violence, which offers no salvation and will lonely lead to more pain and more misery.

 

Your Majesty and Mr. Chairman,

Putrajaya was a summit of reflection, Makkah must be a summit of decision and action. The Commission of Eminent Persons and Makkah Conference of Scholars and Intellectuals have submitted their recommendations. These indeed are wholesome, all encompassing and futuristic. I commend the effort of the authors for their clarity and vision. Based on their recommendations, we should launch a strategy for Islamic revival and renaissance. This strategy should encompass actions at the national and Ummah levels.

Unless individual Islamic nations are politically and economically strong and stable, they cannot contribute to the Ummah’s revival. At the national level it is essential for each of our governments to pursue several actions.

We should vigorously pursue good and accountable governance, designed to serve the best interest of our people.

We must promote sound macro-economic policies which can accelerate economic growth, poverty alleviation and job-creation, through public and private sector investment. We must live up to the Quranic injunction to seek knowledge. We must promote human development, through increased investment in modern education and acquisition of scientific and technical knowledge. We should promote full respect for human rights as enjoined by Islam, specially the rights of Women and Children. We must condemn and reject al forces of terrorism and extremism, banning organizations which preach hate and violence. We must promote the Islamic values of tolerance and moderation.

Your Majesty and Mr. Chairman,

For the implementation of the strategy at the Ummah level, I first of all propose adoption of the recommendations of the Commission of Eminent Persons and the Makkah Conference of Scholars and Intellectuals in totality. I strongly support the recommendation of the commission to restructure the Secretariat, develop a new charter and give it a new name. It is only then that the OIC will emerge with a completely new look and a dynamic face.

In restructuring the Secretariat, the Secretary General should be more substantially empowered to promote the implementation of the decisions of Summit and Foreign Ministers’ conferences. The Secretariat should create departments to deal with peace and security, trade and investment within the Ummah, economic and technical assistance, science and technology, Islamic thought and inter faith dialogue. For effectively implementing all this, it will need to recruit highest quality personnel from within the Ummah, and compensate them competitively.

Within the restructured Secretariat we should institute mechanisms for conflict prevention and resolution within member states. The OIC should also be able to interact with other international and regional organizations to be able to play a proactive role in contributing towards peace and harmony in the world. A network of centers of excellence in science and technology needs to be established for the member states. We could identify areas of specialization and pool our expertise in this vital sector. I also suggest establishment of a permanent forum of Islamic thought to provide guidance and opinion. The forum should be inclusive, bringing together enlightened scholars of mainstream schools of religious tradition and those with grasp of the present day environment. We could then harmonize religious thought within our own societies and also project its true value and essence to the outside world.

The new charter must be unambiguous in allowing full and permanent membership, only to Muslim majority countries.

Your Majesty and Mr. Chairman,

I am very clear that this grand vision, our dream, will remain unfulfilled unless it is fully backed by our collective will, and adequate financial resources. We must commit to subscribe .01% of our GDP which will amount to around $ 180 million or at least .005% of our GDP which works out to be $ 90 million (based on collective GDP of $ 1850 billion). The poorest amongst us could be waived this subscription. These finances will have to be banked and managed efficiently and in a transparent manner. For this the IDB will have to be linked with the OIC Secretariat. An effective mechanism for this will be required to be created. Finally, may I suggest that we mandate the Commission of Eminent Persons to draft a new charter for the OIC and suggest a new name for it. This draft should be placed for adoption at the next Summit. Whatever Declaration we adopt today, we have a lot of work to do, we have a lot of work to do between now and the next Summit in Senegal The Eminent Persons, Experts and Scholars will have to meet a number of times to draft Charter and select a new name for the OIC. The Foreign Ministers will have to meet several times to adopt their recommendations. Only then the recommendation will be fully mature for approval by the Summit.

Your Majesty, Mr. Chairman, Brothers and Sisters,

Today, we stand at crossroads of history, the decisions we take today, may forever change the destiny of our nations and immortalize this summit. Together, with resolve, we can make the Makkah Summit into a defining moment in our endeavors for the collective good of the Islamic Ummah. We can revitalize our Organization to become an effective vehicle in the pursuit of this high objective. Let this be our tryst with destiny. The challenge is indeed enormous, but failure is not an option.

 May Allah Almighty grant us courage and the wisdom to take the right decisions.

I thank you all

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