OIC failed to bring the Muslim Ummah closer | Opinions and Daily Writeups
OIC – an organization created to secure Muslim Ummah’s interests more than half a century ago – has proved incompetent and inefficient to unite the Muslim Ummah and secure their dignity and sovereignty. The breakdown of Pakistan through armed intervention by India in 1971, the invasion of Lebanon by Israel in 1982, the Iran-Iraq war, Soviet intervention in Afghanistan, and the US occupation of Iraq, are a few detrimental events in the history to prove the ignorance of OIC over the Muslim’s interests.
2- Why was OIC established?
3- How did OIC fail to bring Muslim closer and secure its interests?
- The Kashmir and Palestine issues remain unresolved
- The silence of OIC over the humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan and other poor Muslim countries
- The ignorance of OIC on the issue of Babri Mosque, India and Uyghur Muslims
- The lack of technological advancement
- The poor literacy rate of the Muslim countries
- The lack of strategy to combat Islamophobia
4- What steps must OIC take to unite and secure the Muslim interests?
To draft non – contradictory policies by the state members
To promote Islamic ideology
To excel in scientific and technological education
To support the Islamic Common Market
To give due respect to the Islamic Court of Justice
5- Critical Analysis
Answer to the Question
Despite being the second-largest intergovernmental organization, OIC has miserably failed to evolve a true spirit of unity amongst the Muslim world. The poor coordination between the members, combined with its members’ diverse political and economic goals, has never let the organization embrace a genuine and functioning role in unifying the Muslim Ummah. From the dismantling of East Pakistan in 1971 to the abrogation of the special status of Kashmir by India on 5th August 2019, OIC has failed to respond meaningfully. Despite rising high–sounding declarations in each summit, the members of OIC have been unable to strive for the cause of Muslim Ummah. Moreover, the humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan, Palestine, and Kashmir has been a big question about the organization’s functioning. Yet several events have marked the abysmal progress of the organization; however, OIC has tremendous potential to unify the Muslim world and become a source of revival of the lost fortune and stature. The following answers critically analyze the failure of OIC and suggest a few solutions to retreat its status in the world.
Why was OIC established?
In response to an arson attack on Al Masjid Al Aqsa – one of the holiest places for the Muslims – in occupied Jerusalem, OIC was formed on 25th September 1969. The eighth objective of OIC commits “To support and empower the Palestinian people to exercise their right to self-determination and establish their sovereign state with Al-Quds Al-Sharif as its capital while safeguarding its historical and Islamic character and the holy places therein ….” Moreover, the other objectives of the organization stress the preservation of Islamic values and safeguarding the national security and sovereignty of the member states.
How did OIC fail to bring Muslim closer and secure its interests?
Several events in the past have highlighted the failure of OIC to achieve its core objectives. To begin with, the issue of Palestine and Kashmir has remained one of the oldest disputes pending in OIC and UN. The situation of disparity amongst the OIC member states may be analyzed by the fact that the Muslim community, in one voice, has not condemned the issue of the abrogation of the special status of Kashmir. In fact, UAE, including other Arab states, has held the issue as an internal affair of India – posing a threat to Pakistan’s stance on Kashmir. Moreover, the failure of OIC in resolving the issues of the Muslim community has also been claimed by the Prime Minister of Pakistan Imran Khan at the 48th session of OIC,” We have failed both the Palestinians and the people of Kashmir. I am sad to say that we have been able to make no impact at all”.
Moreover, the humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan, Iraq, Somalia, and other Muslim majority countries reflects the passive approach of OIC to safeguard the national interests and sovereignty of the Muslim community. The silence of OIC – in the past – over the episodes of genocide in Rohingya, Chechnya, Bosnia, Kosovo, and Libya has exhibited the role of OIC as fragile and ineffective. It is vivid that each member state of the organization is not yet ready to live and stand for the cause of Muslim Ummah. Each state has its own political and economic goals that pass from a way of selfishness. The intensity of the scattered Muslim community may be analyzed because not all state members have actively fought against Islamophobia.
Furthermore, OIC has failed to pull the population of the Muslim Ummah out of the menace of poverty. About half of the OIC population lives below the poverty line. Additionally, the contribution of the state members to the world’s GDP lies below five per cent. The Muslim community seems to have failed to meet their necessities of life, such as medical facilities, water, and energy availability. Though the seventy per cent reserves of the world’s energy lie within the boundaries of the organization’s members, there seems to be no significant role in the politics and world’s economy. As a matter of fact, not even a single Muslim country stands at the top of the list of the Human Development Index or in any global economic indicators. The OIC has also failed to uplift the Muslim Ummah in the education and technical realms. The Muslim community collectively produces about 500 PhDs per annum, whereas Israel individually produces that many PhD holders per annum. Thus, it seems true to state that OIC has failed to unite and safeguard the Muslim Ummah’s mutual interest.
What steps must OIC take to unite and secure the Muslim interests?
Analyzing the current situation, it seems unrealistic to believe the role of OIC as other intergovernmental organizations, such as UN, ASEAN, and G7. But, a series of pragmatic measures may help OIC craft a Muslim bloc that may influence the world’s politics and economy.
1- To begin with the measures, OIC must establish a smooth and coordinated policymaking system amongst the member states, so the policy drafted by a member state is not against the organization’s objectives. Furthermore, the decisions made in political or economic terms by a state member must balance the national interest and obligation of the supranational organization.
2- Second, to end the sectarian divide, a forum must be introduced by OIC promoting the Islamic ideology. Similarly, the organization must also combat Islamophobia from spreading across the world. The true teachings of Islam need to be highlighted, and the Muslim community must stand against each atrocity any of the state members suffer.
3- Third, the organization must establish a centre of excellence in science and technology. It is high time for the Muslim community to meet the pace of the other developed countries to meet their necessities of life.
4- Besides all the points mentioned earlier, it is a need of the hour to understand that an organization composed of states that have minimal contribution to the world’s economy is fragile and less courageous to make hard – decisions. The OIC must exploit each state member’s economic expertise. The state members must draw such policies on the state level to support each other’s trade and help to grow economically. To do so, strengthening the Islamic Common Market must be the prime priority. The less developed markets have more potential to exploit the wealthier OIC states. As a vibrant economic trading bloc, OIC states may have a greater capacity to repel the imposition of illegitimate political sanctions and the confiscation of investments. Moreover, the very method may mitigate various conflicts of interest that undermine the OIC.
5- Moreover, the OIC must also forfeit the Islamic Court of Justice (ICJ) in solving the commercial, trade, political, and sectarian disputes between the state members. However, the state members must also show respect to ICJ by accepting all the decisions made by the court.
It is indispensable for the OIC to learn from its failure. In the above robust diagnosis, several secrets have been revealed regarding the inability of OIC. First, the basis of religion to unite different and diversified states isn’t as attractive as a political or economic cause may be. Second, in the contemporary world, an intergovernmental organization may not be powerful unless the state members greatly contribute to the world’s politics and economy. Undoubtedly, one of the paramount factors behind the success of the European Union (EU) is that the economically strong states are part of the Union. Those states have been enjoying the hegemony over the politics and economy for decades; therefore, the EU has the guts to take hard – decisions by sanctioning their interest enemy state. Consequently, it is high time for the OIC state members to work mutually on economic and political goals.
To conclude, the OIC has failed to unite the Muslim Ummah and secure their interests. Its intentional silence against the Muslim genocide in Afghanistan, Libya, Bosnia, and India shows how weak the OIC has become. Moreover, no remarkable progress has been engraved in the past fifty years by the OIC to upgrade Muslim Ummah economically and politically. Yet there exist a few loopholes in the structure and objective of the organization, as mentioned above. The active participation of the state members economically and politically internationally may emerge beneficial far beyond our expectations. Thus, the OIC must learn from its past mistakes, for history is the best teacher for the rising aspirant states and intergovernmental organizations.
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