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OIC, Islamophobia, and The Changing World Order

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The Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) is world’s second largest political and international grouping which comprises of 57 Muslim states. It was created in 1969 as a global Muslim alliance to address the concerns and issues that the Muslim “Ummah” (brotherhood) faces. Its conferences and meeting revolve around the dire and ongoing matters that threaten the Islamic world and the Muslims all around the globe.

Hosted by Pakistan, this year, the 48th session of the Council of Foreign Ministers was held. The motto of this session was, “Building Partnerships for Unity, Justice, and Development”. The Prime Minister of Pakistan, Imran Khan, addressed the issue of Islamophobia, religious extremism, and the violation of rights of Palestinian and Kashmiri Muslims. He also congratulated the OIC members for successful designation by the UN to declare 15 March as the Global Islamophobia Day.

This declaration comes as a huge success for the Muslim world in the wake of 9/11 and the consequent misconceptions about Islam. The surge of Islamic radicalization and extremism in the past two decades has not just created dangerous non-state actors and organization in the name of religion, but have also provoked wars and conflicts costing thousands of lives.

Amid all these concerns, the Muslims are also facing marginalization in major parts of the world, especially in the democratic European nations. UK, France, Germany, New Zealand, Australia, Canada, and the US are some examples where cases of stabbing, physical abuse (especially on women wearing hijab), verbal and social discrimination, and blatant terrorism by Christian extremists (attack of New Zealand mosque) are rampant.

The Muslim world accuses the West of hypocritical behavior when it comes to pointing out these incidents with the same hue and cry as they do over Muslim terrorists’ isolated acts anywhere in the world. Besides, the Palestinian and Kashmiri Intifada, the freedom and resistance movements, are not supported as the West and Europe right now support the ongoing Ukrainian resistance against Russia.

Due to all these issues of high concern, the only Muslim nuclear power, Pakistan, convinced the world about the outright discrimination of Muslims everywhere. This comes as a great success for the OIC members as finally the world now recognizes the issue of Islamophobia which the Muslims have been pressing for almost two decades now.

In the changing world order, the traditional alliances and animosities are being challenged. Rival countries are making friendships while allies are parting ways. Interestingly, many suggest that the US hegemony is being challenged and the smaller states are asserting their power through independent foreign policies. The UAE’s and now Turkey’s closeness with Israel, Saudi’s grievances towards the US, and the inclination of the South Asian countries to not rely on the US anymore are a few examples. Of course, revisionist China and reasserting Russia are the major contenders to the US’ waning global influence as the sole superpower of the world.

Russia wants to sell its energy resources in roubles while China is offering the OPEC countries their resources in yuan. Interestingly, Saudi and the Gulf countries are considering accepting these offers. Of course, this challenges the US dollar’s long-held dominancy.

While trying to make sense of the rapidly changing global situations and relations, the common people are caught between wars, inflation, unemployment, displacement, poverty, and political uncertainties. They are the ones facing direct and immediate consequences of the power games being played by the big powers on the global stage.

Hunger, poverty, and unemployment further breed crime and extremism. Without global concern for these issues, the global leaders will keep creating more extremists, criminals, and rebels, further endangering the future of mankind.

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