How Powerful Is The Organization Of Islamic Cooperation?

In April 2016, the Organization of Islamic Cooperation met in Istanbul, Turkey for a Summit focused on promoting “unity and solidarity for justice and peace” This group of Islamic states is the second largest intergovernmental organization on earth, after the United Nations, and claims to represent the collective voice of the Muslim world

But many have criticized the organization for their regressive charter on human rights, and say that it does not represent the world’s 16 billion Muslims So, what exactly is the Organization of Islamic Cooperation? Well, the OIC is made up of 57 member states, 49 of which have Muslim majorities Though the populations of these states are not inclusive of all Muslims in the world, the OIC does comprise the largest Muslim nations, including Indonesia and Pakistan The group’s existence was sparked after Israel won the Six-Day War against several Arab states, and occupied East Jerusalem

Two years later, in 1969, a famous mosque in Jerusalem was set on fire by an Australian Christian evangelical in a complaint submitted to the United Nations by a group of 25 Muslim countries, it was alleged that Israel was complicit in the arson, and soon after, these countries formed what was called the Organization of the Islamic Conference Their goals were centered around creating Muslim solidarity, protecting Islamic holy sites, helping Palestinian causes, ending racial discrimination, and improving economic cooperation among member countries Today their goals are similar, but Conference was changed to Cooperation in 2011 Members of the OIC are also party to different Islamic and Middle Eastern groups, such as The Arab League, the Gulf Cooperation Council, The Economic Cooperation Organization, and 56 of the 57 countries are UN members

Most military and economic partnerships come as a result of these smaller alliances, while the OIC exists more as a forum for Muslim countries But despite their membership in the UN, they don’t always see eye-to-eye In 1948 United Nations announced their Universal Declaration of Human Rights announcing the fundamental human rights which would be universally protected by all member nations 42 years later, in 1990, the OIC released the Cairo Declaration on Human Rights in Islam, on the basis that the UN's 1948 Declaration did not take into account differing cultural and religious values The Cairo Declaration came under severe criticism from human rights groups, because it derives all its inherent rights and freedoms from the Quran and Sharia law

Moreover, in observance of Sharia law, the declaration does not allow freedom of religion, and it gives different rights to men and women For example, the rights of free movement and marriage are only granted to men, with women subordinate to the wishes of their husbands or fathers Many have called these religious exceptions purely incompatible with basic human rights Additionally, when the United Nations held its first discussion on discrimination against sexual orientation, representatives of the OIC staged a walkout in protest, calling homosexuality “licentious”, and saying that the topic should not be discussed again Overall, though member states have military and economic partnerships outside their group, the Organization for Islamic Cooperation serves as a broad gathering of Muslim countries

But despite claiming to represent the modern Muslim world, the OIC’s views on human rights may be incompatible with those of many modern Muslims Much of Muslim culture and religious law is based on what is called “Sharia Law” In recent years, it has come under criticism for its rules on gender inequality So what exactly is Sharia law? (sound up) Thanks for watching Seeker Daily, don’t forget to like and subscribe for new videos every day

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