(MENAFN - Arab News) Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah has called for an extraordinary two-day summit of Muslim leaders to be held in Makkah beginning today (Aug. 14).
Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu, the secretary-general of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, (OIC) has indicated that the Islamic Solidarity Summit in Makkah will mainly address the pressing humanitarian situation in Syria and Myanmar.
The timing of the summit could have a strong affect on the religious sentiments of more than 1.5 billion Muslims. Being held in the holiest city of Makkah and on the holiest night of Lailatul Qadr this event could provide a great opportunity to arouse the feelings of reconciliation among the 57 members of the OIC.
Since the establishment of the OIC in 1969 it has only been convened eleven times as a regular summit and three times as extraordinary ones (held in Pakistan in March 1997, Qatar, March 2003, and Saudi Arabia, December 2005).
If we take a closer look at the number of OIC summits in comparison to the geopolitical positions of Muslim countries we would find that it needs to establish a more proactive and dynamic approach to stay on top of the rapidly changing and volatile Islamic world.
Although the urgent issues such as the Syrian and Myanmar tragedies mentioned earlier by the OIC secretary-general should get full attention of the summit, the OIC should give similar attention to ongoing needs of its country members that can help prevent such tragedies in the first place.
Islamic countries are suffering from political corruption, human rights violations, lack of proper education, mismanagement of national wealth and many other problems that hamper their progress and empowerment of their people.
Sometimes even focusing on what seems to be minor problems, such as the suffering of Muslims in China where the government issued a ban on official Muslim employees from fasting in Ramadan, can bring a sense of solidarity among the Muslims throughout the world.
The OIC has grabbed attention of the world community in recent years, which led the United States on Feb. 13, 2010, to appoint a special envoy, Rashad Hussain, to liaise with the OIC and cultivate more understanding between the US and Islamic countries.
The OIC may even bring modern solutions to ongoing controversial subjects such as the Islamic Caliphate. Since the fall of the Ottoman Empire, Muslims had a continuous dream of bringing back the Caliphate principle into their political system. The OIC can perform as a contemporary substitute to the Caliphate doctrine.
If the OIC can stand true to its charter of preserving Islamic social and economic values; promoting solidarity among its member states; increasing cooperation in social, economic, cultural, scientific and political areas; upholding international peace and security; and advancing education, then it may be a great addition to humanity as a whole.
Millions of Muslims around the globe will be looking forward to the positive outcome of this exceptional summit. They will be searching for solutions to today's problems and tomorrow's aspirations.