Top Muslim body ready to ‘fight sectarianism’

*Jeddah Declaration calls for tackling extremism disguised in religion *Invites member states for promoting moderation, tolerance

ISLAMABAD – The Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), representing more than 1.5 billion Muslims worldwide, affirmed a commitment to unity in combating sectarian policies.

The Jeddah Declaration adopted by the OIC meeting said its members will stand united in combating sectarian, confessional, and exclusion policies that have led to sedition in some countries and threatened their security and stability. The statement, issued at the end of the two-day OIC ministerial meeting, was read by Saudi Foreign Affairs Minister Prince Saud Al-Faisal.

The declaration called for tackling extremism disguised in religion and doctrine, non-accusation of followers of Islamic sects as disbelievers, inviting member states for a serious and in-depth dialogue between the followers of different religions and promoting moderation and tolerance. It said Israel was fully responsible for the stalemate in the Mideast peace process.

“The Jewish state is continuing with its policies of building settlements on occupied Palestinian land, reneging on its promise of releasing the fourth batch of Palestinians, blockading Palestinian areas and is pursuing expansionist plans and insisting to convert Al-Quds into a Jew centre. All these arrogant policies are hampering any solution to the Mideast crisis,” the declaration said.

The OIC ministers strongly condemned the failure of the Syrian government in implementing the UN Security Council resolution No 2139, which calls for the delivery of humanitarian aid to Syrian civilians without obstacles. They called on all member states and concerned international parties to further enhance their contributions in light of the growing number of Syrian refugees in neighboring countries.

The declaration expressed concern over developments in Libya and urging all Libyan parties to enter into a comprehensive national dialogue to reach a compromise solution ending the crisis. With regard to the situation in Central Africa Republic, it called for an immediate end to all forms of violence against Muslims there.

The declaration also expressed solidarity with Yemen, Mali, Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, Somalia, Cote d'Ivoire, Union of the Comoros, Djibouti, Bosnia and Herzegovina, as well as the people of Jammu Kashmir, Turkish Cypriots and Kosovo in their ambitions towards peaceful and safe life, urging to stop the continuing violence and discrimination against Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar.

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Aaj Kal