MECCA, Dec 8 (UNB) : As leaders of the Islamic world met here Wednesday at a crucial time, Bangladesh Prime Minister Khaleda Zia urged the Muslim countries not to give any shelter to terrorists as she said Muslim individuals and states have today become unfortunate targets in the war on terrorism.
"We have gathered here at a time when the Muslim ummah is passing through a critical time…The image of Islam is under attack… Attempts are being made to equate our great religion Islam, directly or indirectly, with terrorism. Let me state here categorically-- a terrorist must be identified as a terrorist only irrespective of his or her colour, creed or religion," she said.
Khaleda made the call at the 3rd Extraordinary Islamic Summit at Al Safa Palace in Makkah as leaders of 57 member-states of OIC assembled in this holy city to salvage the Muslim ummah from a state of near-paralysis through undertaking concrete economic action plans and facing smear campaign against Islam.
The Prime Minister said an orchestrated campaign to vilify Islam is underway and its effects are being felt all over the world. A feeling of frustration and inaction is growing among the Muslims, which has to be addressed immediately and effectively.
Urging the Organisation of Islamic Conferences (OIC) to clearly condemn all acts of terrorism in the name of Islam and take concrete remedial measures, she noted that Muslims in general, all over the world, are victimised for acts of terrorism by a handful of terrors claiming to be Muslims.
"We must send strong signals to perpetrators of such despicable acts that they will find no shelter in any Muslim country," she told the Islamic summit. The political leaders of the Muslim world have the historic responsibility to reassert the Muslims' rightful position in the international community, she added.
About an alarming phenomenon of 'Islamophobia' that gives rise to racism and discrimination, she observed that coinage of terms like 'Muslim or Islamic Terrorists', 'Militants' or 'Fundamentalists' in the media contributed to the formation of an anti-Muslim feeling among the rest of the peoples.