December 06, 2005

Religion of Peace Jamboree

(Riyadh, Saudi Arabia) Kings and presidents of the 57 nations comprising the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) will meet for an emergency summit meeting tomorrow in the city of Mecca. Saudi King Abdullah bin Abdel Aziz called the meeting to discuss the Muslim world's pressing issues and predicaments. According to OIC officials, the meeting's emphasis will be "reforming, restructuring, and redefining the OIC charter and its mission."

Specific agenda items to be considered include:

- Adoption of a 10-year plan to restructure the Islamic nation,

- Approve a name change for the OIC to "Organization of Islamic Countries,"

- Discuss and implement proposals to address Islamophobia,

- Implement a strengthened Islamic academy of jurists to issue unified fatwas,

- Discuss and implement reduced obstacles to trade and business among Muslim countries,

- Discuss proposals for the empowerment of women, and

- Discuss a proposal for OIC member countries to collectively design and build a passenger plane. Late-night joke writers take note.

My thinking is that the idea of unified fatwas should have been implemented long ago. The current system seems to allow anyone to issue a fatwa about anything at any time. In my estimation, there are more controls on fortune cookies than fatwas.

Notably, the leaders of all 57 member states of the OIC have been invited to the meeting with the exception of non-Muslim leaders. Non-Muslims are not allowed in Mecca (Makkah). According to OIC spokesman Atta Mannan, "Reports in the local media that they would monitor the proceedings on closed circuit television in Jeddah are not true," he said. "We can't expect the heads of state to sit in Jeddah while the summit is taking place in Makkah," he said. "They will, however, be represented by high-level delegations."

OIC Secretary General Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu stated that the body wants to have a significant role in resolutions adopted by the UN. He also stated that the OIC should have a seat on the UN Security Council. The summit is planned to end on Thursday.

Companion post at Interested-Participant.

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