The two-day extraordinary summit of the 57-member Organisation of Islamic Countries (OIC) in Makkah, the holiest place of over one billion Muslims of the world, is the third such event of the heads of government and state of this Islamic forum. The 10th summit of this organisation was held at Putrajaya, the new administrative capital of Malaysia, in the wake of the 9/11 tragedy in the USA. Naturally, the focus of that summit was the status of the Muslim world vis-à-vis the cataclysmic incident of 9/11. That was so because the followers of this particular faith were put in the dock of the world community after the horrifying incident. It was more so for the simple reason that the members of the suicide squad that flew planes into the Twin Towers housing the World Trade Centre belonged to this particular faith.
So, the organisation representing the Muslims of the world had a stake in whole development. During the last two years, the overall situation on the global theatre has hardly changed for the better. Rather, it has worsened further. Suicide bombing in different forms has, by now, grown to be the most favourite pastime of the terrorists all over the world. And the most unfortunate part of the entire development is that in about all the cases, the perpetrators of those horrific incidents were invariably adherents of Islamic faith. That is why the King of Saudi Arabia, the host of this extraordinary summit of the OIC, has bemoaned the present state of the civilisation of Islam since some misguided followers of this great faith have, what he said, hijacked its thoughts that spread havoc on earth.
What the incumbent king of the Kingdom Saudi Arabia (KSA) has called upon the Muslim countries at this extraordinary summit of the OIC to counter the menace of terrorism, bears a special significance against the backdrop of the present state of affairs in the world. The occasion harks back to a time 36 years back in 1969, when King Faisal called the leaders of the Muslim nations in a conference that marked the beginning of the OIC. But the background of that conference was quite different from the present occasion. The conference of 1969 that brought the OIC into being was full of determination and hope for the Muslims all over the world. The support for the just struggle of the Palestinians for a homeland of their own was the driving force of that get-together of the leaders of the Muslim nations.
But despite the fact the cause and the spirit that brought the leaders of the Islamic world together had universal acceptance from the Muslims everywhere, the organisation born of that assembly could hardly fulfil the expectation of the Islamic Ummah during all these years. Meanwhile, the international situation has undergone a sea change. In the present unipolar world, the moral high ground on which the cause of Palestine stood and the solidarity of the world Muslims that followed from it as a corollary have also lost much of their initial vigour. Add to this the most unfortunate phenomenon of global terrorism that has sucked in its maelstrom some individuals who call themselves Muslims. In the process, they are doing a disservice to the Muslims of the world.Bangladesh itself is faced with this stark reality at the moment. Of late, some misguided individuals have also been blowing themselves up at different spots within the country in the name of Islam. And by their heinous acts they are at the same time destroying the dream of the people of this second largest Muslim nation on earth to hold its head aloft as a democratic and tolerant society. In this context, Prime minister Begum Khaleda Zia has rightly put across the message to the world community through the Makkah summit of the OIC that the terrorists, whatever their colour, creed or religion, are terrorists and they should find no shelter in any Muslim country. The concrete action plans envisaged at the Makkah summit to salvage the world Muslims from the present crisis must, therefore, address the issue of 'giving shelter to such terrorists' in earnest.