Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC)

JUN 7

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Why in news?

  • India recently hit out at the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) for its criticism of the country in the wake of the alleged derogatory remarks made against Prophet Mohammed by two BJP functionaries.

About Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC)

  • OIC  is the world’s second largest multilateral body after the UN.
  • It counts 57 members, all of which are Islamic countries or Muslim majority members.
  • The OIC’s stated objective is “to safeguard and protect the interests of the Muslim world in the spirit of promoting international peace and harmony among various people of the world”.
  • The Central African Republic, Russia, Thailand, Bosnia & Herzegovina, and the unrecognised Turkish Cypriot “state”, have observer status.
  • Headquarters: Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.
  • OIC was established in 1969, to marshal the Islamic world after an act of arson at the Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jersualem by a 28-year-old Australian in 1969. It plunged the Middle East into its worst crisis after the 1967 Arab-Israeli war.

India and OIC:

  • As a country with the world’s second largest Muslim community, India had been invited to the founding conference at Rabat in 1969, but was humiliatingly ejected at Pakistan’s behest.
  • In 2006, Saudi Arabia invited Delhi to join as an observer. But India stayed away because of a multiplicity of reasons, not least of which was that as a secular country, it did not want to join an organisation founded on religion.
  • That invitation came again at in 2018, Pakistan opposed the proposal.
  • The OIC is mainly controlled by Saudi Arabia, but Pakistan, as the only Islamic country with nuclear weapons, has had a large say since its inception.
  • As a result, over the years, the organisation has issued several statements on Kashmir that have been supportive of Pakistan and critical of Indian “atrocities”.

PRACTICE QUESTION:

With reference to ‘Organisation of the Islamic Cooperation’, consider the following statements:

1. It is headquartered in Lahore, Pakistan

2. India has an observer status in the body

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

(a) 1 only

(b) 2 only

(c) Both 1 and 2

(d) Neither 1 nor 2

Answer