OIC chief urges Muslims intellectuals to confront Islamophobia

Islamabad, May 18, IRNA,
Secretary General of the Organization of Islamic Conference (OIC) Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu has urged Muslim academics and intellectuals on Thursday to make further efforts to confront the boggy of Islamophobia.

Addressing a special gathering on at the International Islamic University of Islamabad (IIUI), the official urged Muslim
intellectuals to help improve the atmosphere of tolerance and dialogue among Muslim and the Western worlds.

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The gathering was held to confer an honorary degree on Ihsanoglu for his outstanding contribution to the development of the Muslim world and re-activation of the OIC as a vibrant body for the Muslims of the world, a IIUI statement said.

He said that the increasing discrimination and intolerance against Muslims, particularly in Europe and the North America, was a serious issue.

The distortion of Islam and attempts to defame it as an extremist faith would have negative effects on world peace, Ihsanoglu warned.

He stressed that confronting
the concept of Islamophobia, rectifying the increasing negative discourse of the Western politicians and media and disseminating the true message and tenets of Islam could not be possible only by relaying on the efforts of the 57-member OIC.

Additionally, creating a positive context for the relations between the Muslim and Western worlds is not possible only by the efforts made by the Islamic body.

“Active support of the member states is essential for countering negative propaganda against Islam and Muslims”, Ihsanoglu stressed.

He added the fact that the OIC leaders have recognized the present challenges facing the Islamic world was a source of hope for the future of the Muslim world.

The 34th meeting of the OIC foreign ministers, ended in Islamabad on Thursday, has approved criteria, procedure and mechanism for selection of 20 universities of the Muslim world to be evolved to the rank of first 500 universities of the world.

The International Islamic University Islamabad is hoped to be among the 20 Islamic universities.