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The Way Forward in Countering Violence of Radicals As the statistics of gun violence show, being a member of a modern society does not provide immunity from the horrors of violence. Technology, wealth and globalization are expanding their outreach but poverty, underdevelopment and resentment are not diminishing. read more
World Health Day: A Collaborative Partnership With Civil Society Is Needed As we commemorate World Health Day, we must commit to fighting disease and preventable illness. Singularly combating specific diseases will not lead to widespread access to healthcare or eradication of diseases like polio or tuberculosis. This is particularly true in developing countries due to complexities of the challenges involved. read more
Reflections on Christian-Muslim Relations and the Legacy of Pope Benedict XVI Many Muslims share the observation that while Pope John Paul II had a clear-cut positive image in the Muslim world, Pope Benedict XVI unfortunately left mixed sentiments due to the controversy of his 2006 lecture at University of Regensburg. The perception of the Holy See's long silence on the Danish publication of denigrating cartoons depicting Islam's Prophet caused initial skepticism among Muslims even before his Regensburg lecture. The cartoons were publicized on Sept. 30, 2005, and the Holy See's statement was issued on Feb. 20, 2006. read more
A reinvigorated US engagement with the Muslim world is needed Since much of the Middle East, as well as parts of Africa and Asia, are in the midst of laborious transformation, the United States must look to multilateral approaches, particularly with the Muslim world, to meet the realities of assisting these nations. read more
Formation of Buddhist-Muslim Fault Line Should Not Be Allowed After visiting Myanmar last September, I was of the view that the problems and acts of violence in Rakhine state of Myanmar were the result of resentment and hatred toward the Rohingya minority instead of a religious confrontation between the Buddhist majority and Muslim minority. When I heard about the targeting of houses of Kaman Muslim villagers in the October 2012 violence and reported incitement of anti-Muslim sentiments in Karen State by Buddhist monks, I feared this was an indication of a potentially worrying trend. Then, the recent news that a Muslim religious school was attacked by a Buddhist mob of 300 in Yangon incited by a weekly journal quoting a monk's inflammatory remarks truly made me reconsider my initial conclusion. read more
Islamophobia Only a Short Chapter in the Muslim-West Story Istanbul -- It concerns me that Islamophobia, an irrational fear of Islam and animosity toward Muslims, is becoming a dominant paradigm through which all Western-Muslim relations are now being explored. A conglomerate of five Universities, led by Yildiz Technical University and the municipality of Beykoz province in Istanbul, Turkey, organised an international workshop on Islamophobia from January 25-27 in Istanbul. read more
De-linking Female Genital Mutilation From Religion Female genital mutilation has long survived, hidden under the cloak of religious, cultural, and tribal practices, but this week, as we commemorate the International Day of Zero Tolerance to Female Genital Mutilation (FGM), it is time for every leader whether political or religious, whether male or female, to unequivocally stand in opposition to FGM. We can no longer allow the ignorance surrounding women's rights and FGM to be perpetuated by traditions and rituals disguised as religious teachings. read more
Freedom of Religion and the Right to Be Respected As the Organization of Islamic Cooperation's Ambassador to the United Nations in New York, I have recently attended for the second year in a row a special commemoration event at the Park East Synagogue in New York in conjunction with the U.N. International Holocaust Remembrance Day. Every year, Rabbi Arthur Schneier, the respected and veteran interfaith dialogue contributor, brings together his congregation with the members of the U.N. diplomatic community, including the U.N. Secretary General, to commemorate the victims of the Holocaust, pay tribute to survivors and underline the commitment of the international community not to allow religious persecution and genocide. read more
Hope and despair for women in Islamic states It is a fact that violence against women is a global challenge. As often as stories of heroism, best practices and positive developments led by women are commended, we often find ourselves frustrated in the face of horrible acts targeting them. Honor killings, child marriages, restricting education of girls, and female genital mutilation represent only some of the challenges that girls and women have to endure in the least developed and developing countries, including OIC (Organization of Islamic Cooperation) member states. read more
Muslim world stands with Christians this Christmas In a series of statements over the Christmas holiday, the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) demonstrated solidarity with the Christian world by condemning Christmas Eve attacks in Nigeria and strongly denouncing threats against Syrian Christians made by the Syrian “Ansar Brigade”. read more
Mali: Another Case for a New International Approach Following the United Nations Security Council Resolution 2071 in October 2012, an international military intervention to retake control of northern Mali seemed imminent. After a coup in Bamako earlier in the year, Northern Mali had been taken by rebel groups who benefited from the resulting vacuum of power. However, in his recent report presented to the Security Council on November 28, the UN Secretary General called for caution. read more
President Obama and the Muslim World With President Obama's re-election, we believe that there is an opportunity to continue an unprecedented U.S. engagement with the Muslim world, which he began at the beginning of his first term. President Obama undertook a bold initiative in his first four years to engage with the Muslim world in June 2009 at the Cairo University, which demonstrated vision and leadership. read more
Is It the Advent of a New Era in Somalia? Last Tuesday, the new cabinet of Somalia was endorsed by the Parliament. The new and lean 10 Minister cabinet includes Somalia's first-ever woman Foreign Minister, Fowsiyo Yusuf Haji Adan. In addition to this novelty, it should be noted that she is from Somaliland. After officially being endorsed, the new Foreign Minister travelled to Djibouti to attend the OIC Council of Foreign Ministers. There, she was congratulated wholeheartedly by and got the full support of the participating Ministers and the OIC Secretary General. read more
Future of US-Islamic relations in second Obama term The presidential elections in the United States are watched with great interest and concern in every part of the world, including in the Islamic world. The results will have impact on countless international issues.

 With President Obama’s re-election, we believe there is an opportunity to continue an unprecedented engagement with the Muslim world, which he began at the beginning of his first term. President Obama undertook a bold initiative in his first four years to engage with the Muslim world in June 2009 at the Cairo University, which demonstrated vision and leadership. read more
OIC Head Talks Religion and Politics in Egypt Perhaps most interesting, however, was the Secretary General’s view on religious identity politics and secularism in Egypt and the larger Muslim world. Speaking as an individual and a scholar, rather than as a representative of the OIC, he expressed hope that Muslims would draw a line so that “politics does not dominate religion, and religion does not dominate politics”. read more
EU High Representative Catherine Ashton’s Remarks at the Organization of Islamic Cooperation 39th Council of Foreign Ministers Meeting Today's challenges are global and they require global responses. Cooperation between international organisations like yours and the one I represent has never been more important. This platform - representing 550 million people in the European Union and more than 1.5 billion people on your side - provides a unique opportunity to advance our shared interests. read more
Malala’s Lessons for the Muslim World In 2009, Malala Yousafzai, a seventh grade student in the Swat district of Pakistan, made headlines around the world for exposing the inequities that young girls faced under the Taliban in her hometown of Mingora. She has become a symbol of peace through her continued advocacy for education of girls in her region and has been recognized by governments around the world for her important advocacy. read more
A Conversation with OIC Secretary General about Egypt and Islam Since the very advent of Islam into this country, all through Egypt’s history in that period until recently, there were not huge issues between Muslim Egyptians and Coptic Egyptians. One could speak of a working modus vivendi between Muslims and Copts. read more
Rohingyas and the Democratization in Myanmar We are again bombarded by photographs and news of renewed violence in Myanmar's Arakan region (officially Rakhine state). Meanwhile, at the UN in New York, the delegates listened to the report of UN Human Rights Special Rapporteur for Myanmar Mr. Quintana. While recognizing the democratization efforts in the country, he underlined that it was vital for the Myanmar government and all concerned to prevent further violence, to defuse tensions between the Rakhine Buddhist and Rohingya Muslim communities, and to address the underlying causes of inter-communal unrest. read more
Advancing Freedoms of Expression and Religion in the Islamic World Recent articles have criticized the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) for an alleged attempt to encourage international anti-defamation/blasphemy legislation in response to the anti-Islamic film, "Innocence of Muslims." While some voices call for additional international resolutions, it is not accurate to assert that the OIC is one of them. The OIC has made great advancements in the past years to support both freedom of speech and freedom of religion. read more
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