Excerpts from a statement by OIC Secretary General Prof Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu presented at CAIR-NY’s annual dinner on May 13, 2006.
Ladies and Gentlemen;
It is with immense pleasure that I am sending this message to the New York chapter of the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR) on the occasion of its annual banquet of 2006.
I would like to take this opportunity to express my profound appreciation for the commendable work being done by CAIR, an organization that has had many successes towards assisting Muslims in the United States to seek justice and mutual understanding. Since its inception, CAIR has earned the admiration through its activities for social justice, dialogue with the authorities and its deep commitment to human rights.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
The Muslim World today stands at a historic and critical juncture, amidst global changes and challenges with immense repercussions for its future. The rapid international developments that are reshaping the international order oblige Muslims and their States to redefine their visions and actions and design a political, economic and cultural agenda, which would engage the Muslim States and their societies proactively.
As you know, the Organization of the Islamic Conference is one of the leading intergovernmental organizations with a membership of 57 sovereign states. By its Charter, the OIC is mandated to promote solidarity and cooperation in the political, social, economic, cultural and scientific spheres among its members. The OIC is also required to create a suitable atmosphere for the promotion of cooperation and understanding among its Member States and other countries. Protecting the rights of Muslim minorities around the world is yet another important task ingrained in the Charter of the OIC.
On its part, the Organization of Islamic Conference, is leading a massive effort, a leap forward to disseminate messages of moderation, modernization and development in the Muslim World and dialogue with the West, in total rejection of poverty, diseases, backwardness, extremism, violence and intolerance. The OIC Ten Year Program of Action adopted by the Extraordinary Islamic Summit held in Makkah last December has constituted the blueprint of the progressive and proactive joint action to face up the challenges of the 21st century. . .
We are also happy to note that CAIR has been playing a leading role in promoting interfaith and intercultural understanding within the communities in the United States. CAIR’s national and regional offices have often created opportunities to interact with and learn from members of other faiths. I greatly appreciate CAIR’s participation in activities where people of different faiths literally work together for the common good by uniting to accomplish social service projects. CAIR’s New York office has recently been a part of important efforts to involve interfaith NGO’s in the UN’s initiative on Alliance of Civilizations in cooperation with the OIC’s Permanent Observer Mission to the United Nations. . .
In conclusion, I would like to felicitate CAIR-NY for holding this important annual event. It is commendable that even though CAIR-NY is a regional branch of the Council on American Islamic Relations, it has a strong international component to its work. Its interactions with the national and international opinion and decision makers on issues affecting Muslims in the West are particularly commendable. I sincerely wish CAIR and CAIR-NY success in achieving the noble objectives.