Organization of Muslim Cooperation (OIC) has so far miserably failed to liberate the long-persecuted Palestinians from the yoke of imperial Israel. The organisation of the divided Muslim countries has only issued rhetorical statements in favour of Palestine, without any practical action.
Again, an extraordinary summit was held after the deadly escalation of violence in the occupied territories since October 2023. Like wise the summit did not produce any meaningful results, given the inherent issues faced by the toothless organisation. So, the hapless and helpless Palestinians will face more ruthless persecution and oppression by the Israeli security forces.
Since 1948, unbridled and imperial Israel has made the most of the highly anarchic international system by steadily taking over Palestinian territory. The west, and particularly the US, has extended all-out military and economic assistance to Israel to expedite the Israeli occupation of more Palestinian lands and making the Zionist state’s security forces invincible against the powerless regional Arab monarchies. Like the League of Nations, the UN is also powerless to clip the disruptive imperial wings of Israel.
The OIC has thus far held grand conferences on the Palestinian issue without any fruitful result. It has desperately failed to craft a pragmatic mechanism to implement the findings of its plethora of conferences held time and again since its inception in 1969. Historically speaking, two major regional powers, Saudi Arabia and Raza Shah Pehalvi led Iran, were the US’s strategic and economic partners till 1979. In the meantime, some Zionist political, economic and military lobbies used effective tactics to influence US congressional legislative acts against the independence of Palestine and in favour of Israel’s regional expansion.
As a result of Jewish lobbying, the US kept providing economic and military incentives to both Mohammad Reza Pahalvi led Iran and Saudi Arabia, while dictating to them to avoid taking the Palestinian cause seriously. Moreover, the US also used its sway to stop all of its European partners from extending the required diplomatic support to Palestine. So, the lack of well-intentioned and earnest support to Palestine from Raza Shah Pahalvi Iran and Saudi Arabia, at the meetings of the OIC, hindered any practical solution.
The year 1979 brought about the Islamic revolution in Iran and the fateful Soviet invasion of Afghanistan. The House of Saud became apprehensive about the Iranian revolution and its spill-over effects on the Middle East. Since 1979, Iran has made Palestine cause an integral part of its foreign policy and advocating rights of Palestinian people at all international levels pushed house of Saudi’s fear in sabre-rattling, bellicosity and regional assertiveness regional. This divergences have been a major hurdle at the meetings of the OIC, organised to discuss the festering Palestinian issue.
The OIC is an ineffective gathering for Muslims leaders to have some recessionary activities. Unlike Nato, it is not incumbent upon the OIC’s member states to consider an attack on any member as an assault on the organisation and respond accordingly. The organisation also does not have a well-trained deterrent capability against any threat. Due to these underlying reasons, Muslim countries have been annexed Muslim countries with impunity. The OIC did not and does not have the courage to respond the continuing Israeli occupation of the Palestinian lands.
Some Muslim countries establishing diplomatic and trade relations with Israel. Muslim countries like Saudi Arabia and the government in Egypt deem Hamas to be a terrorist group, aligned with the Egyptian Muslims Brotherhood. Both Egypt and Saudi Arabia are tacitly supporting Israeli crackdowns and killing sprees of innocent Palestinians and the leaders of Hamas.
On the other side, Iran and Hezbollah provide both military and financial assistance to Hamas against Israel. Moreover, the earlier rivalry between now turned friends Iran and Saudi Arabia over the Syria , Yemen crisis and instability in Iraq have instigated more obstructive issues for the OIC in resolving the Palestinian issue.
The OIC today has 57 Muslim member-states and has held 10 summits in response to the challenges confronting the Muslim world. Since its establishment, the Islamic world has suffered major catastrophes which have reduced it to almost a non-factor in international politics.
The invasion of Lebanon by Israel in 1982, the Iran-Iraq war, Soviet intervention in Afghanistan and the US occupation of Iraq, have dealt a mortal blow to the unity, dignity and sovereignty of the Muslim world.
The OIC has failed to respond meaningfully to any of these crises or demonstrate any unity of thought and action apart from issuing high-sounding declarations at the end of each summit. Nothing was done to contain the crises or avert the tragedies. The OIC remained merely a silent spectator.
The Muslim world has abjectly failed to grasp the demands and requirements of the 21st century. The absolute need to introduce and embrace modern technology has not dawned on its leaders, reflecting their distressing intellectual poverty.
Unless OIC members are willing to face the present challenges boldly and demonstrate political will to assert their role in the world affairs, the OIC will continue to fail its members. The current crisis between the West and the world of Islam is yet another opportunity for the OIC to prove its relevance by playing a constructive role by building bridges through an informed dialogue between Islam and other faiths
The Author is a Researcher and can be reached at : firstname.lastname@example.org
Twitter Handle : @agasyedmuntazir