OIC Press Release
|18 April 2000|
His Excellency Dr. Azeddine Laraki, secretary-general of the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC), opened, on Monday, 17 April 2000, at the municipal council of the Brazilian city of San Bernardo di Campo, the Second Meeting of the OIC Group of Experts on Muslim Community and Minority Affairs in Non-OIC Member States. The meeting is organized in cooperation with the Islamic center for Latin American and the Islamic Culture and Relations Organization in Iran.
The inaugural session was attended by Mr. Otavio Manini, municipal council member for the Brazilian city of Sao Paolo; Mr. Ahmad Ali Al-Sayfi, head of the Islamic Da’wa (Call) center in Latin America; Sheikh Muhammad Ali Taskhiri, chairman of the Committee for the Coordination of Joint Islamic Action; Mr. Mauricio Suarez, the mayor of San Bernardo di Campo and His Excellency Ambassador Abdul Malek Al-Cherqaoui, ambassador of the Kingdom of Morocco to Brazil, representing the ambassadors of member states.
At the outset of his speech, His Excellency the Secretary-General thanked the Brazilian government and the head of the municipal council (mayor) for gracing the inaugural session with their presence and providing all the facilities for holding the meeting on Brazilian soil. He dwelt on the importance of fostering relations between OIC member states and Brazil in the economic and cultural fields. His Excellency also highlighted the utmost importance of the issue of safeguarding the rights of Muslim minorities and communities in non member states and combining efforts to help them preserve their Islamic identity and take an effective part in the economic and social advancement of the countries in which they lived within the respect of those states’ sovereignty and respective traditions.
The meeting is designed to contribute toward the enhancement of the existing historical ties between Brazil and the Islamic states and to further develop economic and cultural relations as well trade exchanges between the peoples of Latin America and the Islamic world. This, in turn, would further the institution of the dialogue among contemporary civilizations whose outcome would positive reflect on the Muslim communities living in Brazil and the rest of Latin America. More, it would encourage the Muslim minorities in non Islamic states to cooperate, better integrate themselves in the communities in which they live and bring in their contribution to the latter’s public life, whence the preservation of their Islamic traditions without affecting, in any way, the states’ sovereignty.