The OIC: A new vision for the Islamic world

Published 23.04.2016 01:43
Updated 23.04.2016 02:31

At the end of World War I, the entire Islamic world came under occupation. After a decade, there was no independent Muslim country, except the newly established Republic of Turkey and Afghanistan. Not until the 1950s did the occupations by colonial empires in the Islamic world begin to slow down. Considering the present developments in the Middle East, it can be argued that the Western occupation of the Islamic world has never ended and it is as if World War I continues to be waged in the Middle East.

Colonial empires occupied not only the land, but also the mentalities, expectations and perspectives of the region. An awkward psychology was established in the Muslim world and it is widely believed that nothing can be done or undone without Western methods. If a benign step is to be taken, it is believed that Western support should be ensured. An influential businessman from Saudi Arabia summarized the situation: "As soon as a corporation has a stab at a great business, they aim at cooperating with an Englishman, since without his support, it is believed that no great business could be dealt with."

The new world order emerged in the post-Cold War period and the foreign policies of the United States in the last decade demonstrate that the former working order of the Western powers no longer works properly.

The Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) was founded after Israel's occupation of Jerusalem and existed as an ineffective institution. The passivity of the United States in the Syrian civil war, their involuntary strengthening of Iran and Russia, and their allying with a terrorist organization – the Democratic Union Party (PYD), an extension of the PKK in Syria – rather than cooperating with their allies increased the search for new resolutions in the Islamic world. The worldwide DAESH threat, which threatens Muslims more than anyone, compels the countries of the region to cooperate.

Turkey's term in the OIC presidency under the leadership of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan could easily turn out to be an opportunity for all those countries. The Islamic world has sunk into despair regarding its capacity to reconstruct the Middle East. However, the political leadership in Turkey in the last decade transformed a moribund state into a respectable one with a strong economy, active diplomacy and military power. Such an experience for Turkey inspires the other member states of the OIC. After painstakingly organizing the G20 summit, Turkey could make the OIC a much more permanent, active and strong coalition.

The subcommittees that are established by such international organizations might realize significant projects. The articles of the Islamic summit's memorandum were all crucial, while the personal experiences of Turkey, Malaysia, Indonesia and Iran could prove to be beneficial for other member states.

Apart from the subjects at the Islamic summit, I believe that the following issues should also be taken into mutual consideration:

Local authorities: Turkey's urban transformation was successfully realized in the last decade and might be presented to other states as a model.

Science and technology: Under the leadership of developed states, OIC members should share their science and technology projects with each other.

Religion: After experiencing century-long occupations, the Muslim world should lay emphasis on Islamic teachings in their truest form. Muslims who have immigrated to the West especially seem to be open to radical propaganda from terrorist organizations due to a lack of proper Islamic teaching. In this respect, the authentic religious thought of Islam should be spread among all Muslims through an educational campaign.

Civil society Solidarity: A developed civil culture exists in Turkey, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Malaysia and Northern African countries. Therefore, civil society organizations might work together on specific issues in accordance with the OIC's main goals.

Therefore, I believe that the cooperation of the Islamic summit with social groups, universities and civil society organizations will definitely strengthen it in the realization of its long-term goals.

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