Saturday, January 05, 2013

The OIC: Quietly Islamizing the West

The Organization of Islamic Cooperation is the polite face of the Great Jihad. It represents the entire Islamic community, Sunni and Shi’ite, and acts as the political arm of the Ummah. It is in essence the nascent global Caliphate.

Professor Ekmeleddin İhsanoğlu is the Secretary General of the OIC. He epitomizes those characteristics that Islam prefers to display to a gullible Western public. He is urbane, well-educated, soft-spoken, and eminently reasonable.

Below are excerpts of an interview in Arabic with Prof. İhsanoğlu. It took place in Jeddah in November 2012, and appeared on Saudi TV just after the U.S. elections. In it the professor discusses the OIC’s ten-year plan for eradicating the slander of Islam in Western countries, and presents the usual taqiyyah about what Islamic law actually means to women, dissidents, and non-Muslims.

Dr. İhsanoğlu also confirms what I have long contended in this space: the OIC and the Muslim Brotherhood object to violent terrorist factions within Islam not because the objectives of those groups are wrong, but because they are counter-productive. Islamic violence against infidels tends to waken the kuffar from their slumber and arouse their resistance. Therefore, with an eye on the long-term goal, it is to be avoided.

The OIC believes it can accomplish the same end — the establishment of the World Caliphate — without detonating any bombs or slitting even a single infidel throat.

*   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *

Some samples from the interview:

…the most important point here is that we have succeeded in the period since 2005 (the publishing of the Danish cartoons) succeeded internationally in that we issued reports from the Human Rights Council of the UN on how to deal with such issues… and these reports we have adopted in agreement with the US and European countries that were objecting to these reports.

…At this moment we have the resolution 16/18 which was issued last year at the UN which forms a legal groundwork for criminalising such actions that could lead to violence… there is in the international agreement for civil and political rights (year 1966 paragraph 18) A provision that would allow us to put limits on the misuse of freedom of speech including misuse of freedom of the press, freedom of thought, the misuse of these freedoms towards others, in a sense that it would encourage to violence and to hatred based on religious belief. We have these legal bases… bases that existed for some time and new bases that we developed and the international community accepts; all we are now missing is some steps that would allow enforcement of these laws.


… there is indeed cooperation between us and the U.S. government, there is a cooperation with the Islamic Development Bank, and it is one of the OIC foundations… There is cooperation between us and the Bill Gates Foundation.

People who are preoccupied with what Obama does, or what Cameron does, or what Gillard does — or even with what Anjem Choudary and Imam Rauf do — are missing the center of the action. The most crucial components of the plan to Islamize the West were conceived in conferences and meetings within the OIC. They are being implemented continuously and quietly — and successfully.

Many thanks to Russkiy for undertaking the massive project of transcribing and translating this video, and to Vlad Tepes for subtitling it:

Transcript (time stamps from the original video, available here):

07:35 Now, since 2005,
07:40 we don’t appoint anyone unless they are highly professional in the area of diplomacy, management.
07:45 They must have experience in dealing with international organisations
07:50 They must come from a country that upholds agreements with the OIC
07:55 with respect to participation in and assistance to the organisation
08:00 and the voting record in the United Nations.
08:10 There's now a discipline and control in the operation of the organisation.
08:15 And this raises the profile of the organisation,
08:20 which has now become an influential player in the international community.
08:25 There are decisions that are taken in the UN.
08:30 I give you an example which is very illustrative: the membership of Palestine in UNESCO.
08:35 If the OIC with its 50 votes in UNESCO didn’t press on the issue of membership for Palestine,
08:40 than that would not have been possible. And many things are happening
08:45 There's now a kind of relationship,
08:50 control and systematic structure in membership
08:55 in the way events are dealt with.
09:00 Then by means of the 10 year plan which was agreed upon
09:05 in the historic Mecca conference, which was called by his highness Abdullah bin Abd al-Aziz in 2005 and
09:10 held in December in Mecca, which was the first conference to be held in Mecca.
09:15 This exceptional conference produced a new outlook for the Islamic World
09:20 and a 10-year plan.
09:25 The new outlook may be titled "Solidarity in Action".
09:30 The solidarity isn't that we just repeat words that
09:35 makes us all happy;
09:40 this is not what’s needed.
09:45 Simply intangible satisfaction
09:50 There must be cooperation in action, in projects, in political stands.
09:55 The important thing is to change this cooperation
10:00 from cooperation in verbal and written statements to cooperation in actions
10:05 and unite the political positions to a great extent.
10:09 OK. Why is it that the Arab street - I mean the Arab and the Muslim base -
10:12 accuses the Islamic conferences which are held,
10:15 that they are confined only to the conference halls, and never
10:20 convey their opinions?
10:25 As for example the interfaith dialog conferences.
10:30 I mean this is a complex question and there are many elements to it.
10:35 I would like to discuss these elements separately because generalised statements
10:40 will be answered with unconvincing generalisations as well.
10:45 We have to differentiate when dealing with events
10:50 between the general issues these events relate to.
10:55 There are political situations, for example,
11:00 where Islamic countries act together
11:05 in accordance with the decisions taken in the OIC
11:10 We in this regard have made very large progress.
11:15 With very few exceptions,
11:20 the voting in the UN happens in accordance with OIC decisions.
11:25 This issue is very important… Now of course the "street" is not ever part of these details.
11:30 And here comes the role of the media.
11:35 We would like the role of the media to be greater to make people aware a what has been accomplished.
11:40 At this moment the OIC has four members on the security council;
11:45 four members of the OIC are on the security council and this is very important.
11:50 In the G20, which consists of the 20 most powerful countries, there are three OIC member countries,
11:55 there are three OIC member countries.
12:00 Therefore now the role of our countries has climbed the ladder of influence
12:05 Coming to another issue… There are some problems…
12:10 That concern the Islamic World.
12:15 The OIC decisions concerning these problems are general,
12:20 which means that they are not binding… for example there are issues that concern minorities (Muslims in non-Muslim countries).
12:25 In that regard there are decisions made
12:30 that call to do this and this,
12:35 but there are no means to address these decisions.
12:40 Meaning that when there is a problem with a Muslim minority group
12:45 in a country which is not a member in the OIC,
12:50 how is it possible for the OIC to influence on the reality,
12:55 and change the position of the government in that country that doesn’t give Muslims a good treatment,
13:00 other than diplomatic action?
13:05 In the diplomatic play there are many spheres,
13:10 And as such the relationship between our countries and one that doesn’t treat Muslims well,
13:15 here comes the collapse in consensus and positions taken by each OIC member state,
13:20 meaning that the position being taken
13:25 by each member is based on its interest
13:30 in the relationship with that country mistreating Muslims.
13:35 And here the Islamic world looks at the reality,
13:40 as if it is a laziness of the OIC, and that those issues are not on the priority list.
13:45 It is necessary in dealing with this issue
13:50 to define the boundaries of the influence of the OIC,
13:55 which is international body that issues decisions
14:00 based on agreement of its member states regarding any particular issue.
14:05 But I can say that the organisation, during a period starting from 2005
14:10 was capable of achieving a status in the international arena,
14:15 and had become a voice which is heard and influential on many issues.
14:20 I mean this is reality and I can give many illustrative examples of this reality.
14:25 What is a good example… I mean which country you have influenced to protect Muslim minority there?
14:30 In the Philippines, for example.
14:35 In Philippines there is a big issue
14:40 with the Muslim minority in the province of Mindanao.
14:45 Over a long periods in history those Muslims had their own state, a Sultanate,
14:50 but after the World War 2
14:55 and the appearance of modern states, this Sultanate was removed,
15:00 which compromised the rights of local Muslims who were the native population of that area
15:05 The OIC has succeeded in forming an agreement between the government
15:10 and the Muslims.
15:15 Since 2005 we have generated a lot of noise over this political issue.
15:20 We were involved in negotiations and the signing of agreements,
15:25 in organizing different political groups representing Muslims,
15:30 And entered in conversation with the Philippine government.
15:35 The leader of Muslims was imprisoned, and were able to convince the government to release him from confinement,
15:40 which was political and illegal.
15:45 There are many similar examples, including the Muslim minority in Thailand.
15:50 Ok… If we talk about some problems… And now we are working especially on the issue of the Rohingya,
15:55 The Muslim minority in Burma… I will return to
16:00 this issue in detail. If we speak about the problems of the Islamic World today
16:05 there is a problem that concerns everyone, the problem of extremism… the latest was the film that denigrated the prophet.
16:10 You have demanded that the West respect religious values and not misuse the right of free speech,
16:15 but in your view the results of the whole scandal, were they
16:20 in interests of Muslims or against their interests?
16:25 I have to make it clear, we are suffering
16:30 from extremism in more than one place.
16:35 On our side there is extremism; now on the side of the West
16:40 there is extremism. The extremism on our side takes certain form,
16:45 which is different from the form that it takes in the West.
16:50 Weren’t we extreme in the way we dealt with that film?
16:55 We have to see the issue in its entirety; that is, this film was produced by
17:00 a group whose hearts are filled
17:05 with hatred for Islam,
17:10 and there was no connection with the American government or their film industry,
17:15 any connection with this event,
17:20 the group that put the movie on to the internet are a misguided group that hates Islam.
17:25 Now when the OIC discovered
17:30 in one way or another that there is a film which denigrates the prophet,
17:35 and it indeed denigrates. It’s a disgusting peace of work.
17:40 It is impossible to defend it in any way; the response was violent,
17:45 and I think that this violent reaction
17:50 has confined us in the work that we began
17:55 after the Danish cartoons.
18:00 We were able… first of all to document, at the OIC, all occurrences of Islamophobia
18:05 the daily, 24 hour documentation of every single occurrence.
18:10 Doctor, we are forced to take a break. We will return after the break
18:40 We will continue the program this evening with our guest, professor Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu,
18:45 the General Secretary of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation, the second-biggest organisation in the world after the UN.
18:50 The record of Islamophobia which you talked about and the image of Islam
18:55 in the world today … how do you see it?
19:00 There is now a wave of hatred
19:05 and a wave of distortion of the image of Islam, which occurs in the Western world,
19:10 from within small or marginal groups,
19:15 but they are very active.
19:20 And they have a special agenda… we have to deal with this issue quietly
19:25 with reason, and using style,
19:30 which will lead to a result. And it means dealing with the issue diplomatically over a period of time, as necessary,
19:35 which means that expression that takes a violent shape
19:40 in response to these actions
19:45 transforms us from victims into aggressors,
19:50 from having a righteous cause that can succeed to one which will fail.
19:55 Then the individual actions of some who think that it will bring results,
20:00 in reality it doesn’t bring any result in as much as it brings a loss
20:05 to us all.
20:10 So who motivates these people to demonstrate in such a violent manner?
20:15 Couldn’t you motivate these people to demonstrate in a peaceful manner in response to such things?
20:20 The crowds are motivated by their feelings.
20:30 I do not blame the people who demonstrate but rather I blame those who motivate these people,
20:35 and as I said, we have extremists on this side and there are extremists on the other side,
20:40 and it is required of us that we follow the voice of sound mind
20:45 in dealing these people… the most important point here is that we
20:50 have succeeded in the period since 2005 (the publishing of the Danish cartoons)
20:55 succeeded internationally in that we issued reports from
21:00 the Human Rights Council of the UN
21:05 on how to deal with such issues… and these reports
21:10 we have adopted in agreement with the US and European countries
21:15 that were objecting to these reports. We were capable of doing that by negotiating with them.
21:20 At this moment we have the resolution 16/18
21:25 which was issued last year at the UN
21:30 which forms a legal groundwork
21:35 for criminalising such actions that could lead to violence… there is
21:40 in the international agreement for civil and political rights (year 1966 paragraph 18)
21:45 A provision that would allow us to put limits on the misuse of the freedom of speech
21:50 including misuse of freedom of press, freedom of thought,
21:55 the misuse of these freedoms towards others,
22:00 in a sense that it would encourage to violence and to hatred based on religious belief.
22:05 We have these legal bases…
22:10 bases that existed for some time
22:15 and new bases that we developed and the international community accepts; all we are now missing is some steps that
22:20 would allow enforcement of these laws. We are now intent… in a few weeks we will
22:25 have a meeting in the UK around this issue.
22:30 six months previously there was a meeting in Washington
22:35 with the American State Department. In the middle of last year we started a political process
22:40 in dealing with the United States and the European Union.
22:45 There was a conference with the participation of Hillary Clinton
22:50 and myself which was known as the Istanbul process
22:55 to support this work. It is impossible to achieve this undertaking without cooperation,
23:00 working together with the international community.
23:05 The support of The member states is necessary to achieve desired result.
23:10 OK, I have also read your report that says that extremism is produced by oppression in society,
23:15 and there was… we talked about the role of the OIC
23:20 in removing extremism from Islamic society. In your view, how can
23:25 this can be achieved? How can the religious rhetoric that supports violence be changed?
23:30 I would like to refer here to the historic Mecca conference in 2005.
23:35 that conference produced a report
23:40 to assert a balanced interpretation of religious texts and tolerance in Islam.
23:45 To this end a list of priorities was formed to reform the Islamic Fiqh Academy,
23:50 Which is the highest religious authority for the member states of the OIC,
23:55 because this academy includes 57 member states, includes the most prominent muftis,
24:00 all the most distinguished people in the Islamic sphere who take the most prominent roles.
24:05 Now it is necessary to distinguish between principles
24:10 of the religion….and
24:15 its foundational rules which call for a balanced approach and tolerance
24:20 and acceptance of others' ideas, and based on the principle “for them their religion, for me my religion”,
24:25 and distinguish between all of that
24:30 and the extremist movements that use religion as means for power that from religion makes
24:35 an ideology for violence,
24:40 and uses religious arguments that are wrong,
24:45 meaning that they take religious texts from their context.
24:50 It is impossible to understand a religious text
24:55 which calls to do something on not to do something without knowing the right context .
25:00 There is a lot of distortion,
25:05 a lot of misinterpretations of the texts,
25:10 and majority of people don’t know this and therefore they are driven by those people.
25:15 For political reasons…are you afraid of political Islam?
25:20 We have to distinguish between the right Islam and its honourable principles,
25:25 and the Islam which is currently being pushed
25:30 by some special groups.
25:35 Now what is known by "Political Islam"… I mean that Islam in its long history
25:40 didn’t have a definitive governing system.
25:45 There are different types of governing systems. There are general principles that Islamic government should be based, on such as justice,
25:50 doing good deeds, shura etc. All those things, if present in a governing system,
25:55 then that governing system would be in agreement with Islam.
26:00 Since the beginning of the prophecy to the beginning of the World War One,
26:05 when the entire Islamic world was controlled by a single authority,
26:10 there were many types of government. So it is possible that an individual or a group will come
26:15 and say that the Islamic government is what I say it is,
26:20 and he who doesn’t agree with me is not a Muslim; therefore you have to follow what I say,
26:25 and if you don’t follow then you are outside of Islam etc.
26:30 And all these accusations… we have to understand
26:35 that the governing system in Islam must be built on the founding principles such as justice,
26:40  shura and other similar values… as for the way of governing,
26:45 now the whole world is heading towards democracy, to a mature way of governing,
26:50 to transparency, to representation, to elections
26:55 and its impossible that someone will come and say that these means are contrary to religion.
27:00 The opposite is true, many of the most prominent religious scholars have said that
27:05 all of these new ideas of governing, the election of a president,
27:10 election of representatives etc. are in agreement with Islam. There are many precedents
27:15 in the modern history of Islam. Since the 19th century and in the 20th century
27:20 we have seen that between the modern values and Islam exists
27:25 a lot of resemblance… I want to come back to this point,
27:30 but firstly I want finish on political Islam. Prior to the revolutions
27:35 you tried to dismiss the fears of some
27:40 about the rise of political Islam.
27:45 Their fears were real, however, and the Islamists had risen into positions of power. Today are you worried for the situation in the Arab world?
27:50 Firstly, its necessary to understand well
27:55 that this period which the Arab and Muslim world is passing through
28:00 is a transitional period. This transitional period,
28:05 there is no doubt that it will be filled with surprises and shocks,
28:10 because we are witnessing transition from the totalitarian, absolutist regimes.
28:15 A totalitarian system where all the authority
28:20 is in single person's hand and other's views are not considered,
28:25 where dialogue doesn’t exist nor political or social freedoms, but now
28:30 these countries are exiting from this closed-off system to an open system,
28:35 the openness has reached, to a great extent,
28:40 a point of chaos. The democracy,
28:45 the mature governing system does not mean chaos.
28:50 The openness must be within a framework of laws and controls
28:55 that are agreed upon. This is the situation in countries that experienced
29:00 democratic rule over a long period. We are still in the beginning of this process.
29:05 …. I have compared, I said that the expression
29:10 "the Arab Spring" is an incorrect expression because a spring
29:15 if what meant by that is the appearance of flowers and fruits and good weather.
29:20 This is not what is happening . What is happening is
29:25 is the autumn of oppression. The people have woken up and
29:30 got rid of the absolute rule.
29:35 Now the spring is in front of us. The long autumn is still upon us. The winter will also come;
29:40 the winter will be full of rains and storms etc.
29:45 When will it end? It will take a long time. No country or society has ever arrived,
29:50 in Europe , Asia or the Americas,
29:55 did not arrive at a democratic society overnight.
30:00 In my country Turkey for example… So you are somewhat optimistic, for example,
30:05 the Arabic countries that went through revolutions in the beginning of the 20th century, but
30:10 after that they had entered Autumn, or let’s say winter, and stayed there until now,
30:15 can we distinguish between then and now? What happened in the Arab world wasn’t revolutions; what happened was
30:20 military coups. Starting from Adib al Shakli then in Egypt
30:25 abd al Nasr, in Iraq abd al Karim Qasim
30:30 and in Libya… All that was military coups,
30:35 so by means of coups the militaries took control of governments,
30:40 and they named those coups revolutions,
30:45 even the name "revolution" didn’t appear in Egypt, following the coup, for a long time.
30:50 At some stage someone suggested it be named “revolution”, and they called a revolution but in reality wasn’t anything other than
30:55 military coup. Now what’s happening
31:00 is the awakening of the people.
31:05 You have mentioned your country Turkey…they say… they say Turkish example
31:10 They say that the Turks want to implement their example in the area…
31:15 that the Turks want extend their influence in the area through these revolutions… so always the Turkish example is mentioned.
31:20 I say the following,
31:25 First of all I express my personal view as an educated Turk,
31:30 not the official position of Turkish government, which has its own representatives,
31:35 and I am not speaking in its name as I don’t have the right to.
31:40 Turkey wouldn’t have arrived at this point if it wasn’t accepted
31:45 or appreciated by others … and I think there are those who call for this.
31:50 It didn’t happen overnight.
31:55 It has been happening over the last ten years. Turkey was going through a process of reform.
32:00 For the last century and a half it passed through a number of stages ,
32:05 starting with the reorganisation of the Ottoman state, then a constitution, then the republic
32:10 went through military coups. In Turkey in the year 1961
32:15 a military coup happened which arrested the entire government.
32:20 The prime minister, the speaker of parliament,
32:25 the foreign minister were executed. Many politicians were imprisoned;
32:30 some went into exile. And I am one of those who were imprisoned at that time.
32:35 After that there were many other events, other coups.
32:40 I mean to say that Turkey didn’t arrive at this point in the last 5 or 10 years. This has taken a century and a half,
32:45 therefore this means that the place which Turkey has now arrived at,
32:50 the other can’t arrive at in a short time,
32:55 and each country has its own political circumstances,
33:00 political history, economic, social and demographic situations
33:05 and circumstances that influence the flow of events, in one case
33:10 may not repeat, in the other case and the opposite is true.
33:15 Each country has its own circumstances. Indonesia, for example,
33:20 from the beginning of independence to the end of the Suharto era
33:25 had lived through military dictatorship,
33:30 and when the Suharto regime collapsed, a major democratic reform occurred,
33:35 which wasn’t completed until recently. Now there is a democratic government.
33:40 Indonesia lived through a very long period of upheavals
33:45 until arrived at this shape.
33:50 This is a very natural thing. The Indonesian experience is very different from the Turkish.
33:55 OK, is it true that Turks… Every country that lived and lives through such events
34:00 Will have its own path. But it’s possible to examine
34:05 experience of others and benefit from it,
34:10 so what is the conclusion of the Turkish experience? It is that an Islamic society
34:15 can achieve a democratic system, that the authority
34:20 can change hands peacefully by means of elections,
34:25 meaning that whoever comes doesn’t stay in power longer than a constitutionally-designated term,
34:30 comes in and leaves through elections; another point
34:35 is that there is no contradiction between this democratic regime that we talked about
34:40 and the teachings of Islam. And maybe our people
34:45 can accomplish this other point.
34:50 Industrial and social progress and openness to others,
34:55 these values are in harmony with Islam,
35:00 and Islam is not a barrier to this, but the opposite. Islam actually is the stimulus.
35:05 This is what they can benefit from, as for taking this example and say,
35:10 A did this, B did this and C did that,
35:15 this is not possible.
35:20 Possibly it’s because we are still lost, always search for an a model to adopt.
35:25 I say that its not an easy thing for these societies to exit
35:30 from the pattern that lasted for that long a time.
35:35 Now some, in Egypt for example,
35:40 exit from the rule of dictatorship that lasted for 60 years.
35:45 Now comes a big change,
35:50 and the parliament forms the government
35:55 and gives it confidence. And the prime minister is accountable to the parliament.
36:00 The president of the country is elected for a specified period and not for life.
36:05 It’s a difficult thing… generally the road to freedom is not covered with flowers. We will take a break, Dr. Akmal,
36:10 and will return after the break, stay with us.
36:30 Welcome back again with Dr. Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu
36:35 At the OIC headquarters in Jeddah.
36:40 Dr. Akmal, before the break you were talking about bridging
36:45 the modern social and political ideas with Islamic ideas. So how
36:50 can we unite the modern values such as democracy with Islamic ideas?
36:55 In your view is this an easy thing to accomplish at this point?
37:00 I don’t think there is a difficulty; it is an issue of understanding,
37:05 if we are capable of understanding Islam and the rules of government in Islam
37:10 in its correct form as was revealed in the holy texts,
37:15 as was implemented historically.
37:20 We cannot understand the texts without understanding the historical context when the laws were developed,
37:25 so there would be no problem. But if confine ourselves by the narrow understanding of the texts
37:30 taking the texts out of the historical context,
37:35 That will create obstacles for us. And we are living through some of these obstacles now.
37:40 And within the year I think some of that will happen,
37:45 and I see some good indications of that. With respect to some of the modern values,
37:50 democracy, human rights, specifically women’s rights…
37:55 I have heard you say previously that these revolutions will benefit women. That women will have a better status
38:00 In the Arab world after the "Arab Spring".
38:05 The biggest problems for women today, and what is the role of OIC in solving these problems?
38:10 In reality the women’s issue was not brought up
38:15 within the organisation until 2005. Since 2005
38:20 we have made the women's issue and woman’s place and role in society
38:25 the top of the priority list for the new agenda,
38:30 the agenda of reform in the organisation.
38:35 We have started holding a first ministerial conference about the issues of women in the year 2006,
38:40 and this conference was a big turning point in dealing
38:45 with female issues, as it hadn’t even been raised previously within the organisation,
38:50 Whether in the meetings of foreign ministers or conferences,
38:55 as this issue was considered of low significance. For that reason we had held a conference specifically for that purpose
39:00 for ministers that deal with women and family issues,
39:05 and great work was undertaken in that area.
39:10 We have already had three conferences on that issue, and during the next month there will be a fourth conference
39:15 for the ministers dealing with women’s issues… what had come from these conferences?
39:20 Is all of it just meeting of ministers,
39:25 speeches and dinner parties?
39:30 Or did it yield fruits? And I say that actual positive results were produced.
39:35 There is a document on the place of women,
39:40 and empowering women in Islamic societies.
39:45 And this document expresses explicitly Islam's view
39:50 on the position of women, their right to participate and their role in building society,
39:55 and also woman’s participation in decision-making,
40:00 in the priorities of decision-making.
40:05 A decision was also made to set up a dedicated organisation
40:10 that will be involved specifically in women’s issues. This was agreed,
40:15 and we are currently in the middle of the process to set up this organisation,
40:20 we are gathering the required signatures
40:25 to form the administrative structure for the new organisation.
40:30 But the Islamic world and especially the Arab world… I mean, I as a woman,
40:35 we have been putting up for a long time with this story of signatures on documents
40:40 Agreements to eliminate discrimination against women… there are many agreements
40:45 that were signed but never implemented, or with strong reservations
40:50 and simply paying lip service. How you will force these countries to implement [the decisions]?
40:55 Now in our dealing with this issue we have finished with all such pretence.
41:00 If a country doesn’t believe in it, then it’s not obliged and doesn’t sign
41:05 and remains outside this matter. But the countries that sign, then
41:10 they have to implement it. It is hoped for…
41:15 The point that I you raised is very important. Here we say the work is not finished
41:20 by issuing statements and documents.
41:25 It is necessary for women’s organisations,
41:30 for organisations in civil society to work for that goal.
41:35 We cannot do everything;
41:40 there is no international organisation that does everything. You mean if there’s no desire from women…
41:45 There needs to be a follow-through
41:50 from women’s organisations with regard to these decisions,
41:55 and efforts for their implementation. Because the bureaucracy in our countries
42:00 is problematic… there are many complications and other issues
42:05 and there are those who believe in this and those who don’t
42:10 and some who are interested and some who are not.
42:15 So we say to women that this document is here and that the member states are supposed to act
42:20 in accordance with this document. But what about a country like Saudi Arabia?
42:25 There are no organisations in civil society or women’s organisations such as you have mentioned.
42:30 Who are you going to cooperate with? There must be some groups.
42:35 I see for example in business rooms there are large numbers of female members
42:40 I see in press there women writers… in universities there are professors
42:45 I don’t want to get into specific details,
42:50 but there must be cooperation, there must be an interest
42:55 and follow-through with regard to these issues, and we have to do something ourselves,
43:00 not just wait for someone to do it for us.
43:05 OK, let’s come back to politics. The disagreements within the Islamic world today, how do you see them?
43:10 Especially the disagreements of the Arab countries with Iran?
43:15 Yes this issue is very worrisome… and we in this regard
43:20 call everyone to respect the rights of others
43:25 and not to interfere in others’ affairs
43:30 This is the main issue - to respect peacefulness of states
43:35 and their territorial integrity. As well as not to infringe on their legitimate international rights.
43:40 and we are also calling to recognise a very important point
43:45 which is… or bring to the attention this issue,
43:50 that is, that these countries mentioned
43:55 are members in the OIC.
44:00 They are not members in the Arab league or Agreement of the Central Asian States.
44:05 They are members in the UN and in the OIC.
44:10 And there is no common membership for those countries except in the UN and here.
44:15 Hence, in this framework, in the framework of the Islamic family
44:20 a good framework in which all parties can sit together under
44:25 the roof of the OIC… based on the same philosophy
44:30 that brought this organisation together more than 40 years ago and the same Islamic principles of cooperation
44:35 that were confirmed over many periods,
44:40 difficult periods which the organisation went through.
44:45 The latest meeting that was held,
44:50 its purpose was to reinforce the principle of Islamic cooperation and state the definition of its meaning,
44:55 what is the meaning of Islamic cooperation If there is a problem between me and you?
45:00 We belong to one Muslim family, and this organisation unites
45:05  the Islamic nation everywhere around the world, therefore we use this organisation
45:10 as means to solve our problems, this is why
45:15 we call upon everyone to benefit from resources at our disposal to overcome such crises.
45:20 OK, with regard to Syria…
45:25 You have spoken on numerous occasions about the danger of the situation in Syria.
45:30 Until when, in your view, will this indifference continue over what’s going on in Syria?
45:35 I think that we will soon enter a new period…
45:40 Even this morning the entire world was preoccupied with the US elections
45:45 And there was a big sign on the gates of the White House that said: Do Not Disturb.
45:50 Don’t bother us, there are elections. Now this sign had changed,
45:55 and the White House and its inhabitant
46:00 is in a better state to deal with international issues.
46:05 Now to this day
46:10 there is no consensus on what needs to be done on the Palestinian issue
46:15 whilst there is a consensus… around
46:20 what must not be done
46:25 concerning the situation in Syria. There is a consensus on what
46:30 not to do, but no consensus on what needs to be done,
46:35 so now we hope that there will be an agreement between the major powers
46:40 which have an influence on the warring parties.
46:45 This agreement need to happen to stop the bloodshed on the ground,
46:50 and after that political solution can be found.
46:55 The political solution is the beginning of the exit from the crisis.
47:00 It is not possible now to have a discussion about any sort of foreign intervention from outside.
47:05 This has been rejected internationally,
47:10 and will not lead to the resolution but the opposite, to complicate the problem
47:15 and make it bigger. It will increase the bloodshed
47:20 and the destruction of the country. OK, why not send Arab and Islamic forces?
47:25 Qatar proposed to send Arabic and Islamic forces. Are you for the Idea of sending Islamic troops, for example?
47:30 I mean sending troops from Arab and Islamic countries.
47:35 There is no problem, whether they come only from Arab countries,
47:40 or from the whole of Islamic world. But it is necessary to have international backing, meaning that it’s impossible to send military forces
47:45 to any country without a decision from the Security Council
47:50 in accordance with Section 7 of the UN document. This is still the problem.
47:55 That’s why I say that the major powers need to come to an understanding in order to
48:00 influence the situation in Syria, in order to achieve
48:05 a ceasefire, and after that a conversation can start
48:10 about political solution, and if agreement about solution can be reached
48:15 it will be possible to send peacekeeping forces.
48:20 As for now, sending troops to fight requires international agreement.
48:25 I have asked you a question during this interview about the role of Turkey.
48:30 Some see that Turkey wants to have a significant, critical role,
48:35 and that it wants to enter the Arab world through its role in the Arab revolutions.
48:40 I don’t want to be a part of a political discussion about Turkey
48:45 Because those who comment on the Turkish politics are the Turkish government in Ankara
48:50 I don’t represent it or belong to it. In my position as secretary general of the OIC
48:55 I make statements on behalf of this organisation.
49:00 As for the sovereign decisions on any matter that any state makes,
49:05 it is not my position to comment on it.
49:10 I have talked in general terms about the Turkish historical experience.
49:15 As for talking about policies of the government I would ask you to
49:20 address this question to … OK, some see that you take the position of Iran
49:25 against the interests of the Arab states that are in confrontation with Iran. Is that true?
49:30 Is there a single piece of evidence for that? They say that you support Iran
49:35 on the matters where the interests of Arab states are concerned.
49:40 I don’t take sides with anyone against other. I take an objective position regarding every matter,
49:45 and call for understanding between Iran and the Arab countries, and I say that
49:50 the OIC is in the service of these countries, as I explained.
49:55 I don’t believe there were any biased statements issued by me.
50:00 We speak on issues in light of the decisions taken by the organisation…
50:05 So these accusations are unfounded… with the consensus of the members.
50:10 And I don’t believe there is a single decision that would confirm the truth of such accusations.
50:15 I would like to ask a question about President Obama. Today Americans are voting.
50:20 How do you see Obama with respect to Islamic issues?
50:25 I have heard you speak about the Obama's speech after he was elected
50:30 in 2009 approximately, in discussing human rights, minorities in the Arab world.
50:35 Did anything he promised eventuate?
50:40 We want to develop a relationship between the Islamic world and the USA
50:45 based on two principles: mutual respect and common interests,
50:50 and based on this principle
50:55 we have explained what our expectations are from the USA with respect the Islamic world,
51:00 of which the first issue is Palestine, the political and development issues etc.
51:05 President Obama in his Cairo speech, which I was personally invited to,
51:10 to be present with and listen to him,
51:15 and I was with Madam Hillary Clinton during that event,
51:20 President Obama stated
51:25  in a very clear fashion the intention of the new US government
51:30 to cooperate with the Islamic world in a positive manner
51:35 … and it was
51:40 a very big surprise for all of us, because the manner in which the speech was given,
51:45 that the type of word president Obama used…
51:50 was the first time in history of our relationship that we heard such words from
51:55 a president, and he is the highest authority,
52:00 and the impression was very positive, and we welcomed it with great receptiveness.
52:05 But I would like to mention that I said at the end of his speech,
52:10 that now the import thing is to put these good intentions into action.
52:15 Was it put into action? With respect to political side of things,
52:20 we don’t see any advancement, however there is a cooperation
52:25 which began, and we had initiated it
52:30 during the period of George Bush,
52:35 and this has continued during the presidency of president Obama,
52:40 and has expanded. And there was for example a suggestion
52:45 of eradicating poliomyelitis by cooperation between us and there is indeed cooperation
52:50 between us and the US government, there is a cooperation with the Islamic Development Bank,
52:55 and it is one of the OIC foundations. So you are optimistic in that regard?
53:00 There is cooperation between us and the Bill Gates Foundation.
53:05 There are projects that were already started. So cooperation in this space continues .
53:10 Cooperation in the area concerning Islamophobia
53:15 and insulting Islam, there is cooperation between us and them but in the political arena,
53:20 especially with regard to the Palestinian issue, nothing has happened,
53:25 and I believe that it is impossible for a relationship between the USA and the Islamic world
53:30 to become satisfactory
53:35 without solving the Palestinian issue.
53:40 So the biggest of our yearnings now and the biggest of our expectations
53:45 is that president Obama keeps to the promises that he made to himself, and his government,
53:50 that he will solve the Palestinian problem and the creation of an independent Palestinian state.
53:55 Secretary General of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation, thank you very much for this interview.
54:00 I thank you for following and being with us.

Previous posts about Ekmeleddin İhsanoğlu and the OIC:

2007 Aug 31 The OIC is Barking Now
  Sep 7 OIC: Insulting Islam is an Illness
    12 Sweden Apologizes Again… Or Not
  Dec 10 Countering Islamophobia
2008 Feb 17 Nice Little Civilization You Have Here…
  Mar 6 Our Man in the OIC
    13 An American Dhimmi in Dakar
  Apr 30 Is Europe a “Christian-Muslim” Continent?
  Jun 10 OIC: Time to Crack Down on Provocative Speech
    17 The OIC’s Plan for Fighting Islamophobia
    22 The OIC’s Crusade Against Islamophobia
  Aug 3 The Islam-Aligned Movement
  Sep 25 The OIC Fights Islamophobia at Columbia University
  Oct 11 Confronting Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu
  Nov 1 Fisking Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu
2009 Mar 5 Mandating International Respect for Islam
    20 What is Eurabian Culture?
2010 Jan 25 The Caliphate-in-Waiting
  Jul 27 Accommodating Sharia
  Oct 5 Decoding the Words of the OIC
2011 Jul 29 Pushback Against the OIC — From the UN
  Aug 2 The OIC Calls the Shots
    17 Whitewash in the White House
    22 The Breivik Portfolio, Part Three: The OIC Connection
2012 Feb 13 First Comes the Slap…
    15 Accolades for Ihsanoglu in Oz


ChrisLA said...

Dr. Ihsanoglu is trying to herd a bunch of cats. He can't cite a single country or issue where the OIC has accomplished something material. He wants countries to be ruled by the holy texts, but laments that Islamists are using those texts out of the historical context. With regard to big issues like Syria, Palestine, and women's issues -- he throws the burden of responsibility on others. The man is delusional.

Anonymous said...

But Chris, European countries have been adopting "hate speech" laws and are essentially enforcing the blasphemy laws of Islam. For example, Elizabeth Wolf in Austria was charged with "denigrating an established religion" if I remember correctly--and she was convicted.

ChrisLA said...

Blasphemy convictions are a mixed bag. I think that ultimately they will fail, because freedom of speech necessitates saying things that some people don't want to hear. Furthermore, incitement to violence never envisioned the concept that hearing factual criticism would incite people to violence. Incitement was when the speaker urged like-minded people to commit violent acts. That isn't happening.

Anonymous said...

I wish I could share your optimism. The EU does not share your views when to comes to criticism of their protected classes. How this will turn out wil not depend upon rationality but instead will depend upon political action and demographics.

Steen said...

thanks, Russkiy, what a job. Must have taken you very long time . Tried it myself, but never that long.

Unknown said...

I love this blog, you guys should check out mine, mine is still early days, but I draw inspiration from this blog

Russkiy said...

Yes it takes forever to translate a video like that; especially when you are doing it during lunch time at work. The most annoying thing is when there is something unclear in what's being said. It requires many repetitions to get the meaning. If any portion of the conversation is not translated or translated inaccurately then this may put the whole translation under scrutiny.

Russkiy said...

Yes it takes forever to translate a video like that; especially when you are doing it during lunch time at work. The most annoying thing is when there is something unclear in what's being said. It requires many repetitions to get the meaning. If any portion of the conversation is not translated or translated inaccurately then this may put the whole translation under scrutiny.

Anonymous said...

This morning a prominent government appointed committee presented its work for easing the islamization of Norway

One of the points in their report is that The Church no longer be the legal provider of matrimony, and burial.

Head of the (former Church and) Culture Ministry is Pakistani muslim Hadia Tajik.

Pakistani muslim Shoaib Sultan, Secretary General of Islamic Council of Norway (sub-division of Qaradawi led organization), equal to CAIR, is one of the members of the committee.