OIC and the Muslim World: Overcoming Challenges of the 21st Century
Journal of the Research Society of Pakistan, Vol 43, No 1 (July 2006), pp 107-158
For the first time in nearly four decades, the Organization or Islamic Conference (OIC), the Muslim world's largest organization, is up for serious reform and restructuring. While the momentum for the purpose has been rapidly building up since the Tenth OIC Summit in Malaysia in October 2003, the adoption of Mecca Declaration, the Eminent Persons' Report and the 10-year Program of Action at the Third Extraordinary Summit of the organization at Mecca, Saudi Arabia, on December 7-8, 2005 has given it a practical form. This article attempts to analyze the various factors influencing Muslim leadership's recent moves to transform the image of OIC, from a traditionally ineffective ceremonial body to a proactive and result-oriented organization. The article also assesses the potential of the Mecca Summit declaration and policy documents for reforming and restructuring the OIC, and overcoming the manifold challenges in the economic and political fields. It portrays a cautiously optimistic scenario for the future of OIC and the Muslim world, by identifying a number of contributing factors, such as the renewed political will of the Muslim leadership for reform, the practical instances of momentous economic and political undertakings by a number of OIC countries, the current and potential organizational capacity of the OIC, the tremendous human and resource potential of the Muslim world, as well as the obvious signs of democratic change in the Muslim world. Full Text