World Bulletin / News Desk
Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) Secretary-General Iyad Madani has vowed to support education and the fight against terrorism in Africa.
"We committed the amount of $10 million to the Peace and Security Council of the African Union," Madani said in response to a question by Anadolu Agency during a press conference at Entebbe International Airport before leaving Uganda.
"We will work very closely with the Council and see which programs need this immediate support," he added.
"The money is immediately available to the AU, it’s there to be used for that purpose," said the OIC chief.
The Council met in Nairobi on Tuesday to discuss efforts for the prevention and combat of terrorism and violent extremism in Africa.
Madani said the OIC contribution was from Saudi Arabia at the instruction of King Abdullah bin Abdelaziz.
He noted that while the OIC attended the Nairobi meeting as an observer, many of the OIC members are also member of the African Union.
"So African Union challenges are also OIC challenges," added the OIC chief.
"The OIC is involved in trying to negotiate a process in Northern Mali and Algiers and the different groups in North Africa," he said.
"We are also very much involved in the crisis that the Central African Republic and Somalia have been going through at a humanitarian level," Madani told AA correspondent.
"We don't think these terrorist groups have anything to do with Islam and we regret that the media call them Islamic," he added.
"The criminal actions [and] the brutality have absolutely nothing to do with Islam, in its values and what it advocates in terms of justice, equality and tolerance," insisted the OIC chief.
"Because these groups claim to be Islamic we had to be involved. We are very grateful that one of the member states that had responded to our call is Saudi Arabia," he said.
The OIC is a global association of Muslim states. It promotes solidarity among Muslims in economic, social and political issues.
It is also the world's second largest international organization, with 57 member countries on four continents.
The OIC chief described his visit to Uganda as fruitful.
He said they briefed President Yoweri Museveni on different efforts exerted by the pan-Muslim body in the political hotspots in terms of humanitarian aid, economics, education, science and technology.
The OIC supports the Islamic Univerity of Uganda, through the Islamic Development Bank, to set up new libraries, computer lab and a medical school.
"We want our support to be optimal and address all the needs of the University," said Madani.
"This includes in the areas of physical facilities, budget investments in opening up new colleges and social contribution," he added.
The Islamic University, set up in 1988, is financed by the OIC and under its establishing act the OIC chief sits on its supreme council.
The OIC chief has the authority to appoint five other members to the university's 16-member governing body.
Education is a main issue for the OIC, which supports four higher institutions of education, including the University of Niger, Islamic University of Technology in Dakar, Bangladesh, the International Islamic University in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, and a college in Chicago.
"Our involvement as a secretariat is in terms of support, facilitator, lobbying for financial aid," he explained.
Madani hoped to turn the Chicago college into "a center of excellence in Islamic teaching."Last Mod: 05 Eylül 2014, 09:37