An Australian-born Christian terrorist, Dennis Michael Rohan, tried to set Al-Aqsa Mosque on fire.
Although the mosque was saved from the fire, an invaluable wooden pulpit of Sultan Saladin was burnt to ashes in this arson attack. This incident sent shock waves across the Muslim world. The prominent leaders of the Islamic nations assembled in Morocco. They mulled over hammering out a plan to prevent this kind of attack in the future. They agreed to make an organization of Islamic nations. This organization was named the Organization of Islamic Cooperation. When its founding fathers were laying its foundation stone, their hopes were high. It was presented as a panacea to all the problems of Ummah. However, since its inception, the organization has constantly failed to address the issues of the Muslims. The statelessness of Muslims, civil wars in Islamic states, proxy wars between Islamic countries, and the invasion and destruction of some Islamic states by Non-Muslim powers with impunity show that the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation has ceased to function.
Proponents of the Organisation still l consider it useful because it is an expression of the Muslims’ strength and unity. However, this is an erroneous understanding of its objectives. It was not established to gather together the heads of all Islamic countries to celebrate festivals and show the world how much abundance in number and strength the Muslims have. The incident that prompted Muslims to create it proves that It came into being as a protector of Islam and Muslims.
Sadly, it flunked to safeguard them. Thus, it is right to say that it is a defunct organization.
The Organisation of Islamic Cooperation is more than fifty years old now, but the issue of statelessness of several Muslims is still unresolved. This indicates an utter failure on part of the organization. There is not a remote possibility of a Palestinian state in the Middle East. Contrary to this, Israel is engulfing the remaining territory of the Palestinian Authority. And the Organisation is reluctant to take a stand on this issue. Palestinians have no one to take their side in their struggle for a free state. The Organisation is not able even to provide them with necessities of life. In short, the organization is failing to fulfill its primary end_ protecting the helpless Muslims.
Another failure of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation is its incapability to prevent civil wars going on in the Muslim states. Syria, Yemen, and Somalia are reeling from bloody civil wars. Foreign actors are intervening in these wars. Their intervention is worsening these conflicts instead of resolving them, while the Organisation is not playing its much-needed role. If the Organisation stepped in, it could put an end to these protracted wars. Let alone preventing civil wars in the Islamic countries, the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation cannot even prohibit Islamic states from fighting proxy wars against one another. Sectarianism is at its peak in the Middle East. Iran and Saudi Arabia are at daggers drawn against each other. The Organisation is doing nothing to reconcile between them. What is the use of this organization if it cannot resolve differences among Muslim nations?
In addition to this, The Organisation of Islamic Cooperation is always reluctant to act when major powers invade Islamic countries. It does not act even as a pressure group to deter them from attacking Muslims. The records show that the Iraq war was utterly unjust. Saddam had no secret pile of chemical weapons. The Western powers concocted evidence to wage a war against Iraq. The war destroyed Iraq. Iraq’s social fabric is in shambles now. It was once an oil-rich country, but, today, it is immersed in debts. What did the organization do for Iraq? Nothing. It abandoned the Muslims of Iraq when they needed it the most. To put a long story l short, the Organisation is defunct.
To conclude, the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation is of no use for Muslims. It is an organization only in name as It never served their interests. The leading Muslim nations should make another bloc of Islamic countries, similar to the European Union, to protect and serve the Muslims.
Only a dynamic and powerful bloc can insulate the Muslim World against new and emerging problems.
Author: Rana Amir Iqbal
-Writer’s view may not necessarily reflect views of the Moderate Thoughts Research Center.