New OIC Charter

Leaders of the world's biggest Muslim body adopted a new charter aimed at reforming the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC).

New OIC Charter

Leaders of the world's biggest Muslim body on Friday, March 14, adopted a new charter aimed at reforming the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) with calls for a high-profile international meeting to ease tension between Muslims and Christians.
Adopted unanimously, the new charter allows new countries to join the 57-Muslim body with just a majority vote instead of the usual unanimous agreement, reported Agence France-Presse (AFP).

The New OIC Charter

Dakar Declaration

It allows faster decision making, creating new institutions for the 57-nation body and streamlining the OIC's operations.

OIC secretary general Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu said the new charter replaces the 1972 version which was outdated.

The charter was adopted after several days of intense talks and despite the absence of several prominent leaders including Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah and Libya's Moamer Kadhafi.

OIC leaders have been debating for several years a new charter to modernize the Muslim group.

There has been intense debate about issues ranging from eligibility for new membership to how the OIC could get involved in conflict resolution.

"The possibility of an Islamic Renaissance lies before us," Indonesia's President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono told the summit.

"We need to get our act together as an organization of Muslim nations."

Yudhoyono, whose country is the world's most populous nation, said conflicts in the Muslim world cause to tarnish the image of Islam.

"We must disabuse the world of this terrible misconception," he said, calling for greater efforts against Islamaphobia in the West and greater democracy in Muslim nations.

"We must strive for good governance and attend to our democratic deficit."

Established in September 1969, the OIC aims at promoting solidarity among Muslim countries.


The Muslim leaders also proposed a high-profile international meeting with the Christian world.

"We believe that it is important to plan along such lines a preparatory phase by organizing a major international gathering on Islamic-Christian dialogue that involves governments among other players," said the final declaration cited by Reuters.

Last year, some 138 Muslim scholars and intellectuals sent an open letter to Christian spiritual leaders calling for dialogue between Muslims and Christians.

Catholic-Muslim relations nosedived in 2006 after Pope Benedict XVI delivered a lecture in Regensburg, Germany, citing a medieval text that characterized some of the teachings of Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) as "evil and inhuman," particularly "his command to spread by the sword the faith."

The pope repeatedly expressed regret for the reaction to the speech but stopped short of the clear apology sought by Muslims.

Relations further strained by a series of Danish anti-Prophet cartoons and a looming anti-Qur'an film by a Dutch far-right MP.

Seventeen Danish newspapers reprinted on February 13, a drawing of a man described as Prophet Muhammad with a ticking bomb in his turban.
Geert Wilders, the leader of the Freedom Party, is planning to release a controversial documentary claiming that Noble Qur'an is a "fascist book" that inspires people to commit awful acts.

The Muslim leaders called for stronger action by the OIC and western governments to stop insults against Islam and Islamic sanctities.

"We the Kings and heads of state and governments of the OIC renew our pledge to work harder to make sure Islam's true image is better projected the world over ... to combat an Islamophobia with designs to distort our religion."

The OIC summit condemned acts of terrorism committed in the name of Islam.

"We continue to strongly condemn all forms of extremism and dogmatism which are incompatible with Islam, a religion of moderation and peaceful coexistence."


Güncelleme Tarihi: 16 Mart 2008, 11:11