This report includes a detailed presentation of the current situation of the two Islamic Universities in the Republic of Niger and the Republic of Uganda, whose administration is under the direct responsibility of the General Secretariat of the Organisation of the Islamic Conference. The report also deals with the current situation of the two Islamic Universities in the People’s Republic of Bangladesh and in Malaysia, which are working under the umbrella of the OIC and the administration of the countries respective governments.
The report further includes six reports on the Islamic centres and institutes in the Republic of Chad, Republic of Mali and Islamic Republic of Pakistan, and on the two Islamic centre projects in Guinea-Bissau and in the Federal Republic of the Comoros, in addition to the Translation Institute in Khartoum.
The report reviews the new developments which have taken place in regard to the cultural and social subjects dealt with by the Islamic Summit and Foreign Ministers Conferences. These subjects include the Cultural Strategy of the Islamic World, the Status and Protection of the Muslim Child, the Role of Women in the Development of Islamic Society, Cooperation in the Field of Youth Activities Among OIC Member States, and Action to Safeguard the Islamic Heritage in the World. They also include the Mosques and Islamic Shrines in the world as well as many other proposals for the provision of assistance to the Muslims of the Balkans, and the Caucasus, the construction of new buildings for the Zeitouna University in Tunis, the Institute of Advanced Medical Sciences in Bangladesh, and a number of reports on Palestine cultural affairs.
a) ISLAMIC UNIVERSITY IN NIGER.
1. This University opened in Rabi-ul-Awwal, 1407H (November 1986) following approval of its Statute and of the list of members of its Board of Trustees by the Fifteenth Islamic Conference of Foreign Ministers held in Sanaa, in December 1985. The number of students at the University is currently about 550 from 16 African states and enrolled in six colleges and a High Vocational Training Institute. The University Board of Trustees hope to double this enrolment in the coming years. To respond to the needs of neighbouring West African States for teachers of Arabic language, the Higher Teachers Training Institute was opened earlier.
2. In spite of the small size of the University budget which stands at 1.3 million dollars (US$ 1,310,587), the University more often than not, did not receive the funds necessary for its budget at the appropriate time. The payments that the University receives are small and far between.
However, the University has proved, over the years of its existence, that it was urgently needed in order to fulfill the aspirations of the French-speaking Muslim youth in the region and to spread science and knowledge in this important part of the Muslim World, despite its financial and administrative difficulties.
The General Secretariat had submitted a note to the Twenty-fifth Session of the Islamic Conference of foreign Ministers (ICFM), expressing the view that the main obstacle to the University achieving more of its objectives and expanding its activities is indeed the shortage of stable financial resources. It stated that in past years the university faced financial and administrative problems which led almost to is closure. But as a result of messages addressed by the Secretary General to the Member States and islamic institutions, and due to his personal contacts with eminent persons active in joint Islamic action aimed at supporting the university, and thanks to the assistance continuously extended by the Islamic Solidarity Fund, the financial situation of the university greatly improved in the last two years. The university was able to settle most of its debts. It was able to received further financial resources and competent administrative staff which further improved the academic and administrative conditions of the university. The Conference therefore adopted Resolution 1/25-C on the Islamic University in Niger, in which it appealed to the Member States, the Islamic Solidarity Fund, the Islamic Development Bank, the Muslim World League, the World Islamic Charitable Foundations and other Islamic Institutions to provide regular support to the budget of the Islamic University in Niger, to contribute to the capital of its Waqf, and to extend the required educational and material support. The resolution stressed the necessity of establishing a waqf with sufficient proceeds to ensure a steady income for the University as is the case for the Islamic University in Uganda. The Conference constituted a committee to consider the Draft Statute of the University of Waqf composed of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, the State of Kuwait, the State of United Arab Emirates, the Republic of Niger, a representative of the OIC General Secretariat and the Rector of the Islamic University in Niger.
The General Secretariat, in its follow up of the above Resolution, has established a Board of directors of the University Waqf chaired by the OIC Secretary General. The main task of the Board is to collect the necessary funds and supervise its functioning. The Board formed a small committee comprising the Chairman of the University Board of Trustees, a representative of the OIC Secretary General and His Excellency Sheikh Yousif Jassim Al-Hijji, Member of the Board of Trustees, to be entrusted with touring some Islamic States to collect donations in favour of the Waqf. The tour is expected to begin with a visit to Kuwait.
The General Secretariat convened a meeting of the Intergovernmental Committee on Reviewing the Statute of the University Waqf on 13 September, 1998, at the OIC Headquarters in Jeddah. The Committee reviewed the Statute and adopted it according to the attached text.
3. In the framework of University expansion programme, the Board of Trustees decided, during its 10th Session, to establish a Girls College in the capital Niamey through IDB financing.
4. The matter is submitted hereby to the Twenty-sixth Session of the Islamic Conference of Foreign Ministers for appropriate action and approval of the Statute of the Waqf of the Islamic University in Niger in order to ensure a steady and permanent budget for it.
b) ISLAMIC UNIVERSITY IN UGANDA.
5. In implementation of the resolution adopted by the Second Islamic Summit Conference held in Lahore, Pakistan in 1974, in favour of the establishment of an Islamic University in Uganda to serve the English-speaking people. The University was opened in November 1988 in the Eastern region town of Mbale which has a densely Muslim population.
Currently the University has five Colleges: the College of Islamic Studies and Arabic Language, the College of Education, the College of Public and Business Administration, the College of Sciences, and the College of Arts and Social Sciences. The University grants its graduates a Bachelor’s Degree, a Master’s Degree and a Doctorate Degree.
The number of students, both male and female, stands currently at 750.
6. Over the last four years, the University ensured its financing through two different sources, the first being the contribution made earlier by the Islamic Solidarity Fund and contributions of the Islamic Governments, institutions and private individual donors. The university faced an acute financial crisis last year as a result of accumulating debts and interest demanded by creditor banks. The General Secretariat approached the ISF for help. The Permanent Council of the ISF decided to raise its contribution to the university budget to US$600,000. The General Secretariat also requested the IDB to extend loan to the university to settle its debts. The loan may be repaid to the IDB in easy instalments when the King Fahd Commercial Centre Plaza is completed, which is expected to earn US$1,500,000 annually to the university. The Eleventh Session of the University Board of Trustees, held in Kampala on Thursday, 30 Rajab, 1419H (19 November 1998) approved a budget of US$1,500,000 for the academic year 1998-99. Meanwhile, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia extended five million US Dollars to the University for the construction of a commercial centre in the city of Kampala, whose proceeds would be used to consolidate the University’s budget with the building itself registered as an endowment for the benefit of the Islamic Solidarity Fund. A significant part of the project has been done, (delivery will be in 2000).
7. The Board also decided to replace three of its members, who were unable to attend its session, by new members, namely:
1. IDB Representative,
2. Dr. Ibrahim Abu Abaa (National Guard)
3. Dr. Abdullah Bin Abdul Aziz Al-Turki Al Sobaie (State of Qatar).
4. Dr. Mohammed Abdul Rahman Al Bakr (State of United Arab Emirates).
8. The Twenty-fifth Session of the Islamic Conference of Foreign Ministers recommended to the Member States and the General Secretariat to follow up the implementation of the most important operative paragraphs of Resolution 2/8-C(IS) of the Eighth Session of the Islamic Summit Conference held in Tehran, which stipulates as follows:
a) Invites the Board of Trustees to continue its action to ensure appropriate conditions for the University to fulfill its tasks in accordance with its Statute and the Headquarters Agreement signed by the Government of Uganda and the OIC General Secretariat.
b) Appeals to the Member States, the Islamic Development Bank, the Islamic Solidarity Fund and the Islamic Charity Institutions, to contribute material and financial assistance for the annual operating budget of the Islamic University in Uganda.
c) Expresses its satisfaction with the involvement of the Islamic Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization in the supervision of the educational and cultural aspects of the teaching process in the University, the elaboration of appropriate curriculums, the adoption of the necessary books and reference material and assistance to strengthen the teaching of the Arabic language in the University.
d) Commends the generous financial support extended by the Government of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques through the establishment of a Waqf for the University. It also expresses its thanks to the Government of the Republic of Uganda for having donated a plot of land in central Kampala to the Islamic University in Uganda, as a contribution towards the setting up of the Waqf. The Conference also commends the provision by the Islamic Solidarity Fund, of financial assistance to the Islamic University in Uganda for the past academic years, which enabled the University to continue assuming its tasks throughout the difficult circumstances it had experienced.
e) Appeals to member states and the IDB to donate faculty buildings to the University.
9. The matter is submitted to the Twenty-sixth Session of the Islamic Conference of Foreign Ministers for appropriate action that would promote ways and means to guarantee a steady and permanent budget for the Islamic University in Uganda.
c) INTERNATIONAL ISLAMIC UNIVERSITY IN MALAYSIA.
10. The University currently has the following Colleges: Law, Economics, Public Administration, Science, Islamic Sciences and Accounting. Despite the fact that the University is only a few years old and despite the lack of financial assistance from member countries, the University has started introducing post-graduate studies programs in some of the Faculties such as the Faculty of Law. The University has also offered short courses in Islamic economics and grants Bachelor Degrees as well as M.A. and Ph.D. Degrees for Post-Graduate studies. The University is planning to open Faculties of Medicine and Engineering. It includes a special centre for foreign languages, especially English.
The total number of academic staff is over 500 and the University continues to maintain the international character in the composition of its academic staff who come from different countries both Islamic and others. Members of the staff are highly qualified.
11. The Government of Malaysia is commendably financing at present the annual operating budget. It also contributed funds for a limited expansion of the temporary campus. Malaysia is to continue its support of this University but hopes that OIC Member States will contribute as far as possible to the development of the University.
The Islamic Development Bank and the ISF Permanent Council are extending their constant assistance to the International Islamic University in Malaysia.
12. The University has several student and service facilities, making it a modern and developed institution. It is supervised by an active administration and a Board of Trustees and Governors who are paying the greatest attention to the running of the University.
13. The Twenty-fifth Session of the Islamic Conference of Foreign Ministers recommended that the Member States and the General Secretariat of the Organization of the Islamic Conference should follow up the implementation of the operative paragraphs of resolution 3/8-C(IS) of the Eighth Islamic Summit Conference held in Tehran, which states the following: (The Conference)
a) Recommends anew that the OIC General Secretariat and the Member States further contribute to the progress and development of the International Islamic University in Malaysia so that it can further increase its capacity and use all its potential to achieve its objectives.
b) Notes with great satisfaction the progress achieved by the University in the fields of research and learning, thanks to its enlightened management and to the support extended by the Malaysian Government to all its activities.
c) Appeals to all Member States which have not yet concluded Agreement of Co-sponsorship of this University, within the framework of their bilateral cooperation with Malaysia to do so at an early date.
d) Reiterates its request to all Member States, the Islamic Development Bank, the Islamic Solidarity Fund, ISESCO and other Islamic institutions to continue supporting this University by extending financial aid, supplying the University with academic reference books and manuals to enrich its library and giving it any other relevant assistance such as curricula, teachers and scholarships to enable more students to enrol in this University.
14. The matter is submitted to the Twenty-sixth Session of the Islamic Conference of Foreign Ministers for appropriate action.
d) ISLAMIC UNIVERSITY IN BANGLADESH.
15. The Islamic University now has on its roll a significant number of students distributed among the following Faculties:
- The Faculty of Shariah comprising (1), Al-Quran Wa Ulum Al Quran and (2) Ulum Al Tawheed Wa Al Dawa.
- The Faculty of Humanities and Social Science Comprising (1) Accounting, (2) Management, (3) Economics, (4) Public Administration and (5) Islamic History and Culture.
- Other Departments, namely the Department of Law and Shariah in the Faculty of Theology and Islamic Studies and the Department of Economics in the Faculty of Humanities and Social Science.
The curricula of the Faculty of Humanities and Social Science have been Islamized. Furthermore, a subject on the Fundamentals of Islam and Functional Arabic Language has been made compulsory for the students of this Faculty.
16. The University benefits from occasional assistance from the Islamic Development Bank and the ISF.
17. The Twenty-fifth Session of the Islamic Conference of Foreign Ministers expressed its sincere thanks and appreciation to the Government of Bangladesh for its generous and continuous support of the University and to those Member States and Islamic institutions which have extended assistance to the University. It also urged Member States and Islamic institutions, particularly the IDB, the ISF and charitable Islamic institutions to extend all material and financial support that could contribute to the completion of construction work on the University and enable the latter to continue its endeavors to realize the objectives for which it has been established.
18. The 25th ICFM recommended that the Member States and the General Secretariat of the Organization of the Islamic Conference should follow up the implementation of the operative paragraphs of resolution 4/8-C(I.S.) of the Eighth Islamic Summit Conference held in Tehran, which states the following: (The Conference)
a) Expresses its appreciation to the Member States and Islamic institutions which have extended assistance to the University.
b) Urges all Member States, the Islamic Solidarity Fund, the Islamic Development Bank, the Muslim World League and other Islamic financial institutions to provide adequate academic and financial assistance to the University so that it can achieve its objectives.
c) Calls upon the General Secretariat to pursue its contacts with the People’s Republic of Bangladesh to ensure continued financial and moral support to the University.
d) Also calls upon the General Secretariat, in cooperation with ISESCO, to provide academic assistance to the Islamic University in Bangladesh, from Member States Universities through secondment of teachers and provision of scholarships and books.
19. The Secretary General submits this report to the Twenty-sixth Session of the Islamic Conference of Foreign Ministers for appropriate action.
a) KING FAISAL MOSQUE AND ITS EDUCATIONAL AND CULTURAL INSTITUTIONS IN N’DJAMENA
20. In accordance with the recommendations of the Fifth Session of COMIAC and the 24th Islamic Conference of Foreign Ministers reiterating the pressing need for the educational and social services provided by this Islamic institution and requesting the Government of Chad and General Secretariat to reappraise the technical study and the estimated cost for the rehabilitation of the Mosque and its annexes and to communicate it to Member States; urging Member States to make financial contribution towards the restoration of the Mosque and its annexes; requesting all Islamic financial institutions to provide this institution with curricula, teachers and scholarships so as to enable the students to pursue their higher studies in other Islamic universities.
21. The 25th ICFM recommended that the Member States and the General Secretariat of the Organization of the Islamic Conference should follow up the implementation of the operative paragraphs of resolution 5/8-C(IS) of the Eighth Islamic Summit Conference held in Casablanca, which states the following:
a) Reiterates that in view of the pressing need for the Islamic and educational services provided by this Islamic institution, King Faisal Mosque is one of the Islamic educational institutions that needs special attention on the part of the Organization of the Islamic Conference and ISESCO.
b) Requests the Government of the Republic of Chad and the General Secretariat to prepare the technical study and cost estimates needed for the rehabilitation of the Mosque and its annexes and to communicate them to Member States.
c) Urges all Member States to make financial contributions towards the restoration and furnishing of the Mosque and its annexes.
d) Requests all Member States and Islamic financial institutions to contribute to this institution by providing it with curricula, teachers and scholarships for graduate students so as to enable them to pursue their higher studies in other Islamic Universities
The Twentieth Session of the Islamic Commission for Economic, Cultural and Social Affairs recommended all necessary procedures, in coordination with the competent authorities in Chad so as to be informed about the present condition of the Mosque and its educational and cultural institutions. Therefore, General Secretariat addressed notes to the Government of the Republic of Chad requesting information about this important cultural institution in order to evaluate the technical studies and submit them to the Member States aimed at financing them until renovation is completed. However the General Secretariat received no reply from the Government of Chad. It is therefore necessary to pay a visit to the site in order to know the real situation.
22. The matter is hereby submitted to the Twenty-sixth Session of the Islamic Conference of Foreign Ministers for appropriate action.
b) THE REGIONAL INSTITUTE OF ISLAMIC STUDIES AND RESEARCH IN TIMBUCTU, MAli.
23. This Institute has been developed through cooperation between the Organization of the Islamic Conference, Islamic Solidarity Fund and the UNESCO at the request of the Government of Mali with a view to preserving the vast collection of historical and scientific publications available in West Africa and the Sahara Region. The building complex of the Institute is almost completed as far as the main buildings and equipments are concerned. At present, the Institute is in need of financial assistance to buy manuscripts from those who own them but cannot preserve them in the appropriate form or manner. The Institute is also in need of funds to hold sessions for specialized researchers in the area and to train some cadres in the repair, maintenance and photo-copying of manuscripts.
24. The 25th ICFM recommended that the Member States and the General Secretariat of the Organization of the Islamic Conference should follow up the implementation of the operative paragraphs of resolution 6/8-C(IS) of the Eighth Islamic Summit Conference held in Tehran, which states the following: (The Conference)
a) Appeals to all Member States, the Islamic Solidarity Fund and other Islamic institutions to continue providing material support to the Regional Institute of Islamic Studies and Research in Timbuctu so that it may achieve its objectives.
b) Appeals to the Member States which have technical facilities in the fields of conservation and restoration of manuscripts to provide scholarships to the officials of the Institute to enhance their competence in these fields.
c) Expresses its thanks to the Islamic Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (ISESCO) and the Research Centre for Islamic History, Art and Culture (IRCICA) and urges them to pay greater attention to the Institute and provide it with the necessary technical assistance so that it may continue to carry out its functions.
The 25th ICFM recommended to the Secretary General to update the data related to the Institute in cooperation with the competent authorities in the Republic of Mali.
25. The matter is hereby submitted to the Twenty-sixth Session of the Islamic Conference of Foreign Ministers for appropriate action thereon.
c) THE REGIONAL INSTITUTE OF COMPLEMENTARY EDUCATION IN ISLAMABAD, PAKISTAN.
26. The Regional Institute of Complementary Education (RICE) was established in Allama Iqbal Open University, Islamabad, in May 1985, pursuant to a resolution of the Fourth Islamic Summit Conference which requested the Member States, the Islamic Solidarity Fund and other bodies of the Organization of the Islamic Conference to extend technical and material assistance for an early completion of this project in view of its importance as a centre for disseminating Arabic Language in the non-Arabic speaking countries.
27. The 25th ICFM recommended that the Member States and the General Secretariat of the Organization of the Islamic Conference should follow up the implementation of the operative paragraphs of resolution 7/8-C(IS) of the Eighth Islamic Summit Conference held in Tehran, which states the following: (The Conference)
a) Emphasizes once again, the importance of establishing the Regional Institute for Complementary Education (RICE) in Islamabad, Pakistan, and promoting the teaching of the Arabic language and Islamic culture in non-Arabic speaking Asian countries.
b) Expresses its appreciation of the efforts of the Government of Pakistan to establish this Institute and ensure its operation and extends its thanks to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia for the financial support it has extended to the Institute and to the Arab Republic of Egypt for the secondment of Arabic and religious affairs teachers. It also expresses appreciation to the ISF for its financial assistance to the Institute.
c) Appeals to the Member States, the Islamic Development Bank, the Islamic Solidarity Fund and the World Federation of International Arab-Islamic Schools to contribute to this project.
28. The matter is hereby submitted to the Twenty-sixth Session of the Islamic Conference of Foreign Ministers for appropriate action.
d) ISLAMIC CENTRE IN GUINEA-BISSAU.
29. The file on the establishment of an Islamic Centre in Guinea-Bissau dates back to 1974. The Government of Guinea-Bissau made several approaches to Islamic countries in a bid to raise the necessary funds for the project. However, the project was stalled for long years. Implementation began in 1991 without adequate finances to finish it. The ISF reviewed the plans and reduced the size of the complex in order to match the approved financial allocations.
30. The 25th ICFM recommended that the Member States and the General Secretariat of the Organization of the Islamic Conference should follow up the implementation of the operative paragraphs of resolution 8/8-C(IS) of the Eighth Islamic Summit Conference held in Tehran, which states the following: (The Conference)
a) Expresses its satisfaction at the implementation of phase I of the project of the Islamic Centre in Guinea-Bissau.
b) Requests the Government of the Republic of Guinea-Bissau and the General Secretariat to continue their coordination with a view to completing the ongoing construction of the Great Mosque in Bissau, within the limits of the financial resources currently available.
c) Calls on all Member States, the Islamic Development Bank, the Islamic Solidarity Fund and the Islamic institutions to provide financial and material assistance to the project of the Islamic Centre in Guinea-Bissau.
d) It is worth recalling that this project passed through several long phases and inconvenient circumstances during its implementation, in view of the meagre financial allocations at the beginning as well as the bankruptcy of several companies and technical studies offices which were entrusted by the Guinean government to implement the project. It is, therefore, imperative to carry out a comprehensive and thorough appraisal of what has been achieved. The General Secretariat sent a Note to the concerned authorities in Guinea Bissau requesting information on the progress of work in the project. No reply has been received up to the time of preparing this report. In view of the current political conditions in Guinea Bissau, it is difficult to obtain information on the project.
The 25th ICFM recommended to the Secretary General to take the necessary procedures to be informed about the present condition of the Centre in cooperation with the competent authorities in the Republic of Guinea-Bissau.
31. The matter is submitted to the Twenty-sixth Session of the Islamic Conference of Foreign Ministers for appropriate action.
e) ISLAMIC CULTURAL CENTRE IN MORONI.
32. In pursuance of the resolutions adopted by the Fourth Session of the Islamic Summit Conference and the Fifteenth and Sixteenth Sessions of the Islamic Conferences of Foreign Ministers, on the Islamic Cultural Centre in Moroni, the General Secretariat continued its efforts, in coordination with the Government of the Federal Islamic Republic of the Comoros, for the completion of the technical studies necessary for the establishment of the Centre. These studies have now been completed according to the reports received from the competent authorities in Moroni.
Owing to the difficulties experienced by the Islamic Solidarity Fund over the past few years as a result of the depletion of its resources, the Fund was unable to contribute to the project more than US$25,000/- out of its 1982-83 budget. According to the information available to the OIC, the project has received a donation of US$15,000/- from the Government of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan and another donation of US$7,000/- from the Islamic Da’wah Society in libya.
33. The General Secretariat in its cultural notes drew the attention of the Fifth Islamic Summit Conference in Kuwait to this project. The Conference “requested the General Secretariat to continue its coordination with the Government of the Islamic Federal Republic of the Comoros with a view to overcoming the difficulties hindering the establishment of the Islamic Cultural Centre in Moroni. It urged the Government of the Islamic Federal Republic of the Comoros to prepare a work plan for the execution of the project and provide it to the General Secretariat”.
The project was also submitted to the various sessions of the ISF Permanent Council which extended material assistance to the Centre.
34. The 25th Session of the Islamic Conference of Foreign Ministers examined the subject and requested the General Secretariat to continue its coordination with the Government of the Islamic Federal Republic of the Comoros with a view to overcoming the difficulties hindering the establishment of the Islamic Cultural Centre in Moroni. It also expressed its appreciation and sincere thanks to the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, the Republic of Indonesia, the Sultanate of Brunei Darussalam, the State of the United Arab Emirates, the Islamic Solidarity Fund, the Islamic Da’wa Society (libya) for extending initial financial assistance. It urged Member States and Islamic Institutions to assist as much as possible to this project.
35. The 25th ICFM recommended that the Member States and the General Secretariat of the Organization of the Islamic Conference should follow up the implementation of the operative paragraphs of resolution 9/8-C(IS) of the Eighth Islamic Summit Conference held in Tehran, which states the following: (The Conference)
a) Calls on the General Secretariat to continue its coordination with the Government of the Islamic Federal Republic of the Comoros with a view to overcoming the difficulties that hinder the establishment of the Islamic Cultural Centre in Moroni and expediting the establishment of the Centre given its benefits for the Comorian and the neighboring peoples.
b) Expresses its appreciation to the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, the Republic of Indonesia, Brunei Darussalam, the United Arab Emirates, the Islamic Solidarity Fund and the World Islamic Dawa Society (libya) which have been the first to give financial assistance to the Centre.
c) Urges Member States and Islamic institutions to render every possible assistance to this project.
36. It is worth recalling that the General Secretariat does not possess adequate information about this project or the progress made. Despite several notes sent by the General Secretariat to the Government of the Islamic Federal Republic of the Comoros in this regard. It is therefore necessary to make a field visit to Moroni to know developments.
37. The matter is submitted to the Twenty-sixth Session of the Islamic Conference of Foreign Ministers for appropriate action.
f) ISLAMIC INSTITUTE FOR TRANSLATION IN KHARTOUM.
38. Institute’s budgets for the past years were supported by the government of the Republic of the Sudan. The 5th Session of COMIAC, the Twenty-first Session of Islamic Commission and the 25th ICFM urged Member States to extend assistance to the Institute to enable it to continue to play its important role in teaching and training the students. They also urged the OIC Subsidiary and Affiliated Institutions as well as the relevant centres and quarters to co-operate with the Institute in the fields of common interest to them and to extend financial and technical assistance to it.
During the Secretary General’s visit in December 1998, the question of cooperation between the King Faisal Institute in Tangier and the Institute for Translation, Khartoum, was raised.
39. The General Secretariat is of the view that it would useful if the administration of the Institute was able to open its doors to students from all Member States so that the benefit could involve all the willing sons of the Islamic Ummah.
40. The matter is submitted to the Twenty-sixth Session of the Islamic Conference of Foreign Ministers for appropriate action.
a) THE CULTURAL STRATEGY AND THE ISLAMIC PLAN OF ACTION.
41. The Makkah Declaration, adopted by the Third Islamic Conference (19-22 Rabie Al-Awal 1401H (25-28 January 1981) constituted the initial act that launched the draft “Cultural Strategy and Plan of Action for the Muslim World”.
42. The preparation of the Draft Cultural Strategy for the Islamic World passed through several phases; from studies conducted by specialized committees to its adoption by the Sixth Islamic Summit Conference in Dakar in 1991. Despite the delay in its application in the programmes of Member States because of the heavy structures and institutions envisaged for its implementation, yet it established the theoretical foundations which may be adopted as a basis for launching cultural cooperation among the Member States aimed at strengthening the Islamic identity and establishing their cultural characteristics.
The coordination meeting of the Ministers of Culture of the Member States, held during the World Conference on Cultural Development in Stockholm in March 1998, decided to review the previous draft restructuring envisaged to implement the Cultural Strategy and Plan of Action. It constituted a Five-Member Intergovernmental Committee on streamlining those structures and proposing appropriate and applicable structures to the Second Islamic Conference of Ministers of Culture.
43. In implementation of operative paragraph (2) of Resolution No. 11/8-C(IS) adopted by the 8th Islamic Summit Conference on the Cultural Strategy for the Islamic World, coordination continued between the OIC General Secretariat and ISESCO, until the Second Islamic Conference of Ministers of Culture was held, under the high patronage of His Majesty King Hassan II, in Rabat on 12-14 November 1998.
The Conference adopted an important resolution on the implementation of the Cultural Strategy for the Islamic World in which it entrusted ISESCO, in its capacity as the body specialized in the field of culture and communication within the framework of the OIC, with the implementation of the Cultural Strategy for the Islamic World, and following up its implementation with the competent parties in the Member States, in coordination with the OIC General Secretariat, as well as setting up the Consultative Council on the Implementation of the Cultural Strategy, as mentioned in paragraph (7) of the recommendations of Five-Member Committee, from the following Member States:
- Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
- Kingdom of Morocco
- Arab Republic of Egypt
- Islamic Republic of Iran
- Republic of Indonesia
- Republic of Senegal
- Republic of Mali
- Burkina Faso.
The Conference called on the Member States desirous of implementing cultural projects to submit them in elaborate and exhaustive form to the Consultative Council on the Implementation of the Cultural Strategy for the purpose of studying them, estimating their financial cost and endeavouring to implement them, all in consultation with the OIC General Secretariat, the ISESCO and the Islamic Development Bank (IDB), provided that ISESCO circulate the projects concerned to the Member States and other donor parties with a view to collecting the necessary funds for their implementation under the supervision of ISESCO. It also decided that a special account be opened for backing up joint cultural actions falling within the framework of implementation of the Cultural Strategy for the Islamic World, and entrusted its management to ISESCO. Annex I is the Final Communique and Resolutions of the Second Islamic Conference of Ministers of Culture, held in Rabat on 12-14 November 1998.
44. The matter is submitted to the Twenty-sixth Session of the Islamic Conference of Foreign Ministers for appropriate action.
b) UNIFIED STAND TOWARDS THE DESECRATION OF ISLAMIC SANCTITIES AND VALUES.
45. The Universal Human Rights Declaration declares that while man is exercising his rights and liberties he has to observe certain restrictions which ensures recognition of the rights of others and their freedom as well as guarantees their respect in response to the legal norms necessitated by the rules of moral and general discipline. This principle is identical with the understanding of human rights in Islam.
46. There is no moral or legal justification for any blasphemy against any revealed religion, on the pretext of the right of freedom of thought, opinion or expression. This contempted act deserves condemnation by the entire world.
The 18th Session of the Islamic Conference of Foreign Ministers (Riyadh in 1989) issued a statement over “the Joint Islamic action for facing the profanation schemes against Islamic values” which called on Member States to carry out a unified action in this field at all internal and international levels.
47. The Eighth Session of the Islamic Summit Conference recommended that the Member States and the General Secretariat of the Organization of the Islamic Conference should follow up the implementation of the provisions of resolutions of previous Islamic Summit Conferences, which states the following:
- Strongly condemned the repeated Israeli attacks on Al-Aqsa Mosque and other mosques, historical sites and other places of worship in the occupied Arab territories.
- Strongly condemned the serious Israeli aggressions against the Ibrahimi Mosque which took place in the month of Ramadan 1414H killing scores of people and leading to the closure of the Mosque, and also condemned the Israeli plan to partition the Mosque with the aim of seizing the major part thereof and erecting a Jewish temple there, which represents a flagrant violation of all international agreements and conventions, particularly the 1949 Geneva Convention.
- Strongly condemned the destruction of the historical Babri Mosque at Ayodha by Hindu extremists and held them responsible for this outrageous act of sabotage.
- Expressed its strong condemnation of the destruction and confiscation of mosques, historical places and schools in Bosnia-Herzegovina in addition to rape and all kinds of torture.
- Appealed to all Member States to stand resolutely against these challenges and to confront them with every available means so that the Holy Shrines of Muslim communities and peoples in non-Islamic States may not be subject to profanation, demolition or confiscation.
- Commissioned the Secretary General to prepare and submit to the next ICFM a study on the conclusion of an international legal instrument to ensure respect for Islamic values and holy places, covering legal and procedural elements to be included in such an instrument.
48. The General Secretariat has prepared a study, already circulated several times to the Member States in which it stated the legal considerations and difficulties that beset the “ratification” of the document and which led to the recommendation of the formation of a Committee of Governmental Experts for the preparation of an international instrument that guarantees respect for all of the religious beliefs, sanctities and practices on the basis of the relevant international conventions. It requested the Member States to nominate their respective legal experts to the said experts committee.
The General Secretariat has received a number of nominees and observations from some Member States concerning the study prepared by the General Secretariat. The latter is preparing to hold the meeting of the experts in February 1999.
49. The matter is submitted to the Twenty-sixth Session of the Islamic Conference of Foreign Ministers for appropriate action.
C) RolE OF WOMEN IN THE DEVELOPMENT OF THE ISLAMIC SOCIETY.
50. The General Secretariat previously submitted several notes to the Islamic Commission for Economic, Cultural and Social Affairs at its previous sessions and to the Islamic Conferences. The role of women in the development of the Islamic Society was the subject of great interest at the Sixth Islamic Summit Conference which was held in Dakar, which requested the General Secretariat to convene an enlarged symposium at experts level to develop an appropriate mechanism for ensuring active participation of women in the fields of social development. The Conference also called for the convening of a Conference of Ministers in charge of Women’s Affairs in the Member States to consider the possibility of coordination among them in light of the results of the Symposium. It also requested the General Secretariat to submit a detailed report on the role of women in the development of Member States to the Islamic Conference of Foreign Ministers, and to make specific recommendations aimed at promoting closer cooperation in this field.
51. In implementation of the said resolution, an expert level Symposium was held in the city of Tehran on Women’s role in the Development of Islamic Society, at the kind invitation of the Islamic Republic of Iran, from 17 to 19 Thul Qaadah 1415H (17-19 April 1995). The Symposium adopted:
a- Report of the Commission submitted to the Twenty-Third Islamic Conference of Foreign Ministers.
b- Draft Declaration on Women’s Role in Social Development.
c- Recommendations on Women’s Role in Social Development in all fields.
52. Having considered the subject, the Twenty-third Islamic Conference of Foreign Ministers decided to submit the results of the Symposium on the Role of Women in the Development of Islamic Society, held in Tehran to the Islamic Fiqh Academy for review and comments to be submitted to the Islamic Conference of Foreign Ministers through the General Secretariat. The matter has been referred to the Academy. During the Eleventh Session of the Academy Council held in Bahrain, a Committee of Jurists was constituted to follow up the subject in order to present its findings to the Twelfth Session of the Council for appropriate action.
53. Having considered the matter the Eighth Session of the Islamic Summit Conference adopted resolution No. 13/8-C(IS) whose operative paragraphs states:-
a. Expresses its support for the consultations on women issues made at the two conferences of Women Parliamentarians in Islamic Countries held in 1995 in Islamabad, Pakistan, and 1996 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
b. Reaffirms the position of Islamic States at the Fourth World Conference on Women held in Beijing and reasserts that the implementation of the documents adopted by that Conference will be carried out by Member States in accordance with their constitutions, their laws and their religious and moral values consistent with the principles of the true Islamic religion.
c. Requests Member States to take the appropriate steps to organize Women’s activities at national and international levels and in different fields consistent with the nature of women and the precepts of the Sharia.
d. Also requests the General Secretariat to coordinate with the governments of Member States to support direct and sustainable relationships among Muslim Women Associations in Member States and cooperate with the existing International Women Organizations in Islamic Countries.
e. Declares its intention to set up a temporary governmental working group to harmonize the positions of all Member States on issues relating to women at international fora, particularly the UN and requests the General Secretariat to take the necessary measures to hold regular sessions of this group. Pursuant to paragraph (e) of the Resolution, the working group was constituted from the following Member States:
- Islamic Republic of Iran.
- Islamic Republic of Pakistan
- Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
- Republic of Senegal
- Arab Republic of Egypt
- Kingdom of Morocco
- Republic of Guinea.
54. The matter is submitted to the Twenty-sixth Session of the Islamic Conference of Foreign Ministers for appropriate action.
(d) CHILD CARE AND PROTECTION IN THE ISLAMIC WORLD.
55. The issue concerning the welfare and protection of children was raised for the first time at the level of the OIC Conferences, at the Sixth Islamic Summit Conference and at the initiative of H.E. Mr. Abdou Diouf, President of the Republic of Senegal, and Chairman of the Standing Committee for Information and Cultural Affairs (COMIAC), the People’s Republic of Bangladesh and the Islamic Republic of Iran, following the conclusion of the UN Agreement on Rights of Children (1989) and after the great success achieved by the World Summit Conference on Children’s Affairs held in New York, USA, on 29 and 30 September, 1990, and to which the Organization of Islamic Conference made a major contribution in terms of preparation of the basic documents that were adopted and that constituted the main fruit borne by the Conference deliberations, i.e. its declaration and plan of action. Hence the Sixth Session of the Islamic Summit Conference issued its Resolution No.2/6-C(IS) on Children’s Rights in the Islamic Countries.
56. The Conference decided to convene a Ministerial Conference of Member States on the question of survival, protection and development of children in the Islamic countries to be followed by a seminar of intergovernmental experts, with the collaboration of the Islamic Fiqh Academy, on Child Care in Islam with a view to preparing a document on “Children’s Rights in Islam”. The General Secretariat held the seminar at the OIC Headquarters from 28 to 30 June, 1994, and submitted its report thereon to the Seventh Islamic Summit which in turn adopted Resolution No. 16/7-C(IS) in which it commended the Declaration on Child Right and Protection in Islam as elaborated by the Expert Committee.
57. The 25th ICFM recommended that the Member States and the General Secretariat of the Organization of the Islamic Conference should follow up the implementation of the operative paragraphs of resolution 16/8-C(IS) of the Eighth Islamic Summit Conference which states the following: (The Conference)
(a) Hails the Declaration on Child Rights and Protection in Islam which was drawn up by the afore-mentioned expert-level meeting, held at the Headquarters of the General Secretariat, from 28 to 30 June 1994, and which clearly focused on the teachings of the Islamic faith and its noble values from which guidance should be sought when drawing up programmes for children.
(b) supports the concept of “debt relief for developing countries for the sake of child survival and development” as a basic consideration for alleviating the debt burden on developing countries.
/c) Welcomes the concept of 20/20, whereby 20 per cent of national budgets should be devoted to basic social services and the same percentage of Official Development Assistance should be assigned to the same sectors, and recommends it to the Member-governments for appropriate implementation.
(d). Calls upon Member States to adopt every necessary measure to prevent any further armed conflicts while considering measures for conflict prevention, management and resolution, and to pay special attention to the needs of children and women, who have been the major victims in recent wars, in particular by allowing, in time of conflict, periods of truce and corridors of peace, for the passage of relief supplies, immunization against diseases and the provision of health services; and by banning the manufacture, stockpiling, import, export and use of land mines, a weapon whose victims are primarily women, children and other civilians and whose devastating effects continue long after the end of conflict.
(e). Calls upon all Member States to endeavour with the assistance of the international community to improve the condition of children, particularly those living under difficult circumstances, including children residing in zones of violent and persistent conflicts, as well as refugee and displaced children by meeting their physical and moral needs, paying attention to their education and helping restore them to normal living. It commends the efforts made by several Islamic States in this respect.
(f). Calls on Member States to collaborate among themselves and to act collectively and individually in order to play a leading role in the international arena and thus serve as a model for what can be achieved for the benefit of children.
58. Contacts are under way between the General Secretariat and Member States aimed at holding the First Ministerial Meeting on Children and Social Affairs.
59. The matter is submitted to the Twenty-sixth Session of the Islamic Conference of Foreign Ministers for appropriate action.
e) EDUCATION AND REHABIliTATION OF MUSliM YOUTH.
60. The delegation of the Republic of Guinea submitted a proposal in respect of the education and rehabilitation of the Muslim youth to the Twenty-third Islamic Conference of Foreign Ministers held in Conakry, in December, 1995. The Conference adopted the proposal in its Resolution No. 38/23-C which requested the OIC Secretary General to constitute a group of experts from the Member States on considering and preparing the First Islamic Conference of Ministers of Youth and Sports.
61. The Inter-governmental Group of Experts held its meeting on 24-26 May 1997 and prepared the requested document of the Ministerial Conference. The document was submitted to the Eighth Session of the Islamic Summit Conference adopted Resolution No. 15/8-C whose operative paragraphs states:
(a) Urges again Member States to pursue their efforts to institutionalise Islamic values and the cultural activities stemming therefrom among Muslim youth as a whole.
(b) Notes with satisfaction the progress made with regard to the spread of Islam among the various categories of youth in many countries.
(c) Requests all Member States, in addition to their efforts to promote general awareness of the especial importance of the status of youth, to endeavour to meet latter’s basic needs in order to provide them with the appropriate ground for their full participation in the society’s political, cultural and economic affairs;
(d) Requests Member States to endeavour to provide appropriate moral, ethical and cultural atmosphere based on Islamic teachings which encourages comprehensive and sustainable development of the character of the Muslim youth and to pursue their assiduous efforts to eradicate immorality from the facade of the society especially among the youth through the required coordination to combat factors and means of moral corruption.
(e) Recommends Member States to exert maximum efforts to promote their visual programmes and to ensure control and implementation of such policies as they constitute a part of the programmes of national development for youth which cover in particular fields of education, employment, accommodation, ecology, health and social services. Also recommends them to mobilize all necessary and adequate human and financial resources for the implementation of these programmes and policies;
(f) Earnestly requests Member States to continue to seek the promotion of the civil, political, social and economic rights for girls and young women as they constitute a basic capital for a sound Islamic society. Also encourages these states to institutionalize policies and programmes commensurate with the objective of improving the status of girls and young women in society consistent with the Islamic Sharia and the nature of women.
(g) Welcomes enhancement of cooperation among Member States to achieve better exchange of ideas and experience between Muslim youth and youth organisations in different societies, and underlines the need to provide youth with sound entertainment and sport with the aim of developing the academic and cultural capacity of youth.
(h) supports the important role of the mass media in the education and protection of young generations and expresses at the same time deep concern over the preparation, production and distribution of programmes which lead to increased violence, moral degradation and extravagant consumption among members of the society particularly the youth; And requests Member States to take, through multilateral cooperation and bilateral coordination, the necessary steps to produce appropriate programmes, protection of youth against the harmful media programmes.
(i) Expresses its satisfaction with the results reached at the First Meeting of Experts held from 17 to 19 Muharram 1418H (24-26 May 1997) in preparation for the Conference of Ministers of Youth and Sports in Member States. Also welcomes the recommendations of the Experts Group which underlined the importance of convening the said Conference in cooperation with the Sports Federation of the Islamic Solidarity Games and requested the Secretary General to conduct the necessary consultations in this respect with Member States.
(j) In the framework of the consultations conducted by the Secretary General with the Member States, he received a generous offer from the Government of the Two Holy Mosques to host the First Islamic Conference of Ministers of Youth and Sports. Close contacts are under way between competent authorities in the Government of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the General Secretariat in order to prepare for convening the Conference at the end of April 1999.
62. The matter is submitted to the Twenty-sixth Session of the Islamic Conference of Foreign Ministers for appropriate action.
f) UNIFICATION OF HIJRI CALENDAR, THE BEGINNINGS OF LUNAR MONTHS AND ISLAMIC FESTIVALS.
63. This subject has been studied by the Islamic Conference of Foreign Ministers. The resolutions adopted in this regard commended the efforts made by the General Secretariat in coordination with the special Committee on the Unified Hijri Calendar set up by the Istanbul Conference to work out the unification of lunar months and Islamic festivals. The resolutions also invited all OIC Member States to join the special Committee. The Eighth Session of the Committee on Establishing a Unified Hijri Calendar was held in Jeddah on 18-20 Rajab 1419H (07-09 November 1998), being kindly hosted by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, and in response to an invitation by the OIC General Secretariat. All the members of the Committee took part, as well as the Islamic Republic of Iran, Chairman of the Eighth Summit, and the Arab Republic of Egypt for participating in the meeting by submitting a study on an Islamic Satellite project in order to observe the birth of new moons.
64. Among the most important recommendations adopted by this Session is that the first sighting of the new moon is categorical and not conjectural and that it must be taken into consideration on ascertaining the visibility of the moon. Previous meetings failed to agree on this.
– Preparation, by a Specialised Committee, of a unified Hijri Calendar to be adhered to by the Islamic States.
65. Ascertaining the beginning and end of the month of Ramadan as well as the beginning of the month of Dhul Hijjah through Sharia sighting that is irrefutable by scientific mental proof, pursuant to the Hadith of the Prophet (peace be upon him): “Fast and break your fast as a result of sighting the moon. However, if the sky is overcast calculate it”, and to the Hadith: “Do not fast until you sight the new moon”.
– Constituting a Committee to be in charge of the issue of an Islamic Satellite proposed by the Mufti of the Arab Republic of Egypt, His Eminence Dr. Sheikh Nasser Farid Mohammad Wasil. The General Secretariat shall constitute this committee (Annex 2, Rep. of 8th Meeting).
66. The matter is submitted to the Twenty-sixth Session of the Islamic Conference of Foreign Ministers for appropriate action.
g)- DESTRUCTION OF BABRI MASJID IN INDIA, AND PROTECTION OF ISLAMIC SACRED PLACES.
67. The wanton crime committed by a Hindu group in India on 6 December, 1992, through the destruction of the historic Babri Mosque in Ayodhia aroused deep feelings of anger and resentment in all parts of the Islamic world as this crime was directed at a House of God for the purpose of establishing on its site a temple for their claimed god Ram.
At the 22nd Session of the Islamic Conference of Foreign Ministers held in Casablanca, Kingdom of Morocco, the Secretary General submitted a report on the destruction of the Babri Mosque in India and its various repercussions. The Conference adopted its Resolution No.18/22-C in this regard, which strongly condemns the destruction of the historic Babri Mosque in Ayodhya, India, by Hindu militants who are responsible for this flagrant act of desecration and destruction.
68. The Twenty-third Session of the Islamic Conference of Foreign Ministers and the Eighth Session of the Islamic Summit Conference considered the matter and recommended that the Member States and the General Secretariat of the Organization of the Islamic Conference should follow up the implementation of the operative paragraphs of resolution 18/7-C(IS) of the Seventh Islamic Summit Conference held in Casablanca which states the following: (The Conference)
a. Strongly condemns the destruction of the historic Babri Mosque in Ayodhya, India, by Hindu extremists and holds them responsible for this outrageous act of desecration and sabotage.
b. Expresses deep regret over the failure of the Indian authorities to take appropriate measures to protect this important Muslim holy site.
c. Strongly condemns the systematic killing of thousands of innocent Muslims in various parts of India and expresses deep concern over the safety and security of the Muslim minority in India.
d. Welcomes, in this respect, the decision made by the supreme Court of India on 24 October 1994 that “the settlement of religious disputes were outside its jurisdiction”.
e. Calls upon the Government of India to:
- Take immediate steps to implement its solemn commitment to reconstruct the Babri Mosque on its original site, to restore it as a holy place for Muslims, and to punish those guilty of the sacrilegious act of destroying a revered religious symbol of the Islamic world.
– Remove the makeshift Hindu temple, put together on the site of the Babri Mosque which is continuation of the acts of desecration and an affront to the feelings of the Muslims in India and all parts of the Muslim world.
– Take immediate steps to ensure the protection of about 3,000 other Mosques especially those at Mathura and Varanasi, which have been the targets of threats and destruction attempts by Hindu extremists.
69. The matter is submitted to the Twenty-sixth Session of the Islamic Conference of Foreign Ministers for appropriate action.
h) DESTRUCTION OF MOSQUES AND ISLAMIC MONUMENTS IN BOSNIA HERZEGOVINA.
70. Following the eruption of war in the former so-called Yugoslav Union, the Muslim people of Bosnia-Herzegovina found themselves in an extremely difficult situation, thus started to defend their existence in this spot of the European lands with utmost bravery and ferocious war led to the premeditated destruction of Islamic cultural heritage in Bosnia-Herzegovina which is in the first place the heritage of all mankind.
71. The Twenty-fourth Session of the Islamic Conference of Foreign Ministers and the Eighth Session of the Islamic Summit Conference considered the matter and recommended that the Member States and the General Secretariat of the Organization of the Islamic Conference should follow up the implementation of the operative paragraphs of resolution 19/7-C(IS) of the Seventh Islamic Summit Conference held in Casablanca which states the following:
a. Calls upon the relevant subsidiary organs, specialized and affiliated institutions of the Organization of the Islamic Conference to conduct a study aimed at drawing up a programme for rebuilding the libraries in Bosnia-Herzegovina with the assistance of the Member States.
b. Urges Member States to assist in the rebuilding of the national and university libraries in Bosnia-Herzegovina.
c. Strongly condemns the destruction of the cultural entities and educational institutions in Bosnia-Herzegovina.
d. Calls upon the Secretary General of the OIC in coordination with the relevant UN bodies and other international institutions to take urgent steps to ensure the safety and the protection of Islamic monuments, educational institutions, libraries and other cultural entities in Bosnia-Herzegovina which are the common cultural heritage of all mankind.
e. Calls upon the Member States to condemn the Serbian aggression, to help the restoration of the Islamic heritage in Bosnia-Herzegovina, to support the initiatives of the Secretary General on this important issue.
72. The matter is submitted to the Twenty-sixth Session of the Islamic Conference of Foreign Ministers for appropriate action.
i) INCLUSION OF INFORMATION ON ISLAMIC COMMUNITIES IN THE BALKAN AND CAUCASUS, IN THE HISTORY AND GEOGRAPHY TEXTBOOKS AND IN OTHER PRINTED MATERIAL OF THE MEMBER STATES.
73. The Twenty-second Session of the Islamic Conference of Foreign Ministers noted that the emergency of newly independent states in the Balkan, Caucasus and Central Asia which host Islamic peoples with a great Islamic cultural heritage which was kept hidden from the world for so many years, has now opened new fields for cooperation between the Member countries and further expanded the fields of interest and activities of the Organization.
Being convinced of this reality and keen on consolidating contacts between these Islamic peoples and the rest of the Islamic world, and to evolve a programme geared towards re-establishing the links of these people with their Islamic culture and to familiarize the rest of the Islamic peoples with the great contributions of the people of these new states to the evolution of Islamic civilization, The Twenty-fifth Session of the Islamic Conference of Foreign Ministers and the Eighth Session of the Islamic Summit Conference considered the matter and recommended that the Member States and the General Secretariat of the Organization of the Islamic Conference should follow up the implementation of the operative paragraphs of resolution 25/7-C(IS) of the Seventh Islamic Summit Conference held in Casablanca which called upon the OIC Member States to incorporate into the geography and history textbooks of their schools and other relevant publications information concerning Muslim Communities in the Balkans, the Caucasus and Central Asia.
74. The matter is submitted to the august Commission for appropriate action.
j) EXTENSION OF ASSISTANCE TO MUSliMS IN KOSOVO AND SANJAK.
75. The Twenty Second Session of the Islamic Conference of Foreign Ministers noted that as a result of the all out and atrocious destructions carried out by the Serbs against the economic life and cultural heritage in pursuance of their ethnic cleansing acts, the inhabitants of the city of Sarajevo who have been deprived of their cultural and economic rights are now facing great difficulties. The Conference adopted Resolution 26/22-C on Extending Assistance to the Muslim in Kosova and Sanjak. The Twenty-fourth Session of the Islamic Conference of Foreign Ministers and the Eighth Session of the Islamic Summit Conference recommended that the Member States and the General Secretariat of the Organization of the Islamic Conference should follow up the implementation of the operative paragraphs of resolution 26/7-C(IS) of the Seventh Islamic Summit Conference held in Casablanca which states the following: (The Conference)
(a) Strongly condemns the Serb aggression against the Muslim Albanian population of Kosovo, aimed at depriving this population of their Islamic identity and culture.
(b) Urges all OIC Member States and the relevant OIC organizations to help the Albanians in Kosovo to preserve their cultural heritage and Islamic identity against the Serb aggression.
76. The matter is submitted to the Twenty-sixth Session of the Islamic Conference of Foreign Ministers for appropriate action.
k) THE PROPOSED ESTABliSHMENT OF AN ISLAMIC CENTRE FOR ADVANCED MEDICAL TRAINING AND RESEARCH IN BANGLADESH.
77. The Delegation of the Peoples’ Republic of Bangladesh to the Thirteenth Session of the Islamic Commission for Economic, Cultural and Social Affairs submitted a proposal for the establishment of an Islamic Centre for Advanced Medical Training and Research to train surgeons, doctors and specialists in medical technology for the treatment of chronic diseases and ailments in Bangladesh and other Member States.
The Commission took note of the project proposals and was of the view that such a centre would meet the long-felt needs in health sectors in the Islamic States. The Commission noted that the project, in its present design, would promote advanced programmes of research and training as well as interaction among specialists in the field of medical research and training.
During its discussion of the project, the Commission also noted the previous resolutions of the Islamic Conference of Foreign Ministers banning the establishment of any new institutions or centres under the aegis of the OIC. The Commission, however, when considering the urgent need for the establishment of such an institution decided that the project proposal must be submitted to the General Secretariat for circulation to the Member States for consideration.
The subject was submitted again to the 22nd ICFM which adopted Resolution 14/22-C urging the General Secretariat to intensify its contacts with the Member States with a view to eliciting their views and comments on the subject, and to further investigate the technical and financial requirements of the project.
78. The General Secretariat circulated the resolution to OIC Member States in order to have their views and proposals thereon but has not, so far, received any reply.
The Eighth Session of the Islamic Summit Conference and the Twenty-fourth Session of the Islamic Conference of Foreign Ministers considered the matter and recommended that the Member States and the General Secretariat of the Organization of the Islamic Conference should follow up the implementation of the operative paragraphs of resolution 14/7-C(IS) of the Seventh Islamic Summit Conference held in Casablanca which states the following: (The Conference)
Requests the General Secretariat to intensify its on-going contacts with Member States aimed obtaining their views and comments on the subject and to conduct further research on the technical and financial requirements of the project.
79. The matter is submitted to the Twenty-sixth Session of the Islamic Conference of Foreign Ministers for appropriate action.
l) NEW CAMPUS OF AL-ZEITOUNA UNIVERSITY IN TUNIS
80. The project of the new Campus for Al-Zeitouna University, in Tunis, is one of the cultural topics that enjoys special attention from the Organization of the Islamic Conference because of the pioneering, historical and continuous role it plays in the propagation of Islam and service of the Muslims throughout its glorious history.
Therefore, it has been the subject of great interest in the Islamic Summit and Foreign Ministers Conferences as well as in the successive sessions of the Islamic Commission for Economic, Cultural and Social Affairs and the meetings of the Permanent Council of the Islamic Solidarity Fund as the University’s project began to receive Assistance from the Fund, from 1978 to 1995. The Islamic Development Bank paid one million U.S. Dollars for the building of an Islamic Research and Studies Centre at Al-Zeitouna University.
81. The Twenty-fifth Session of the Islamic Conference of Foreign Ministers and the Eighth Session of the Islamic Summit Conference considered the report submitted by the Secretary General and decided as follows:
a) Commend the allocation of one million US Dollars made by the Islamic Development Bank for the project and expresses satisfaction with the work progress.
b. Reiterate their support for the construction of a new campus so as to enable the University to consolidate its educational and cultural role, and their commitment in favour of the implementation of the project.
c. Urge the Member States, the Islamic Solidarity Fund and the Islamic institutions to continue extending every financial, material and moral support so that the University can raise the amount of 4,595,000 US Dollars needed in order to speed up the completion of the new campus.
d. Call on the Board of Governors of the Islamic Development Bank to consider including the project of the new building of the Zeitouna University among the institutions that benefit from the Bank’s Islamic Universities Waqf.
82. The matter is submitted to the Twenty-sixth Session of the Islamic Conference of Foreign Ministers for appropriate action.
M- THE ISSUE OF THE DESECRATION OF THE MOSQUE,THE HolY SHRINES AND THE ISLAMIC COMPLEX OF CHARAR-E-SHARIF IN OCCUPIED KASHMIR
83. As the Muslims around the world commemorated Qurban Eid in 1415H, the Indian forces launched one of their deadliest attacks on the Kashmiri people. As a result of Indian armed action, over 1500 houses and shops were gutted, holy relics were destroyed and the Mosque and Holy Shrine at Charar-e-Sharif razed to the ground. Thirty-five innocent devotees were massacred and prominent Kashmiri leaders put under house arrest. A curfew was imposed on the entire valley and the Indian Security Forces given the license to shoot anyone on sight.
This heinous act cast a pall of gloom over the Muslims of South Asia and indeed around the world. India also threatened Pakistan with dire consequences. Earlier, the Indian Prime Minister had vowed to forcibly ensure vacation by Pakistan of what he called the “Pakistan Occupied Kashmir”.
84. The Organization of Islamic Conference has taken a principled position on the Jammu and Kashmir adopted at the recent Islamic Summit in Morocco, had reiterated the Organization’s solidarity with the Kashmiri people and had called upon India to solve the dispute peacefully in accordance with the resolutions of the Security Council. India has repeatedly spurned these constructive decisions.
85. The Twenty-fourth Session of the Islamic Conference of Foreign Ministers and the Eighth Session of the Islamic Summit Conference considered this issue and recommended as follows:
a- Strongly deplore the destruction of the 536 years old Islamic complex at Charar-e-Sharif which constitute a serious attack against the Islamic heritage of the Muslim people of Kashmir.
b- Regret that appeals of the OIC Secretary General for the lifting of the siege of Charar-e-Sharif by the Indian armed forces were not heeded.
c- Express its concern over the loss of life and the burning of over 1500 houses of the peaceful residents of Charar-e-Sharif.
d- Urge the international community particularly OIC member states to spare no effort to ensure protection of the fundamental rights of the Kashmiri people including their right to self-determination in accordance with the UN resolutions as well as safeguarding of their religious and cultural rights and their Islamic heritage.
e- Request the Secretary General to establish necessary contacts urgently for evaluating the damage and providing emergency assistance for reconstruction of the Mosque and the Islamic complex at Charar-e-Sharif.
86. The matter is submitted to the Twenty-sixth Session of the Islamic Conference of Foreign Ministers for appropriate action.
N. PROMOTING WAQFS AND THEIR RolE IN THE DEVELOPMENT OF ISLAMIC SOCIETIES:
87. This subject was considered by the Sixth Islamic Conference of Ministers of Waqfs and Islamic Affairs held in October in Jakarta, Republic of Indonesia and by the Cultural Affairs Committee of the Eighth Islamic Summit Conference held in Tehran, Islamic Republic of Iran from 9 – 11 Shaban 1418H (9-11 December 1997). The delegation of the State of Kuwait submitted to the Twenty-first Session of the Islamic Commission, a Note on this subject which demonstrated the efforts exerted by Kuwait in the area of coordination among Ministries and organs concerned with Waqf Affairs in Member States aimed at exchanging expertise and information, holding seminars and realising the study entitled "Strategic Vision for Promoting the Developmental Role of the Waqf" as well as the executive projects attached to it, having been changed to do so by the Executive Council of the Conference of Ministers of Waqfs and Islamic Affairs.
88. The Islamic Commission and the 25th ICFM, being cognizant of the pioneering role of Islamic Waqfs System in enriching Islamic civilization and their effective contribution to the establishing of economic and social institutions of society as well as their distinctive contribution to the educational and health fields and to eradicate poverty;
1. Urge the Member States to pay further attention to Waqfs in the legislative and administrative fields and pave the way for them to develop their societies.
2. Invite the Member States and the organs concerned in them to coordinate with the State of Kuwait at the level of exchanging expertise, information and experiences as well as holding workshops in order to boost the functioning of national Waqf institutions and develop them.
3. Request the State of Kuwait to prepare a comprehensive strategy for promoting and developing Waqf institutions and activating their role in the development of Islamic societies, to be submitted to the Twenty-sixth Islamic Conference of Foreign Ministers.
4. The Commission also expressed satisfaction for the efforts of the Islamic Development Bank to pay attention to Waqfs, hold seminars and meaningfully contribute towards investing and developing Waqf assets.
89. The matter is submitted to the Twenty-sixth Session of the Islamic Conference of Foreign Ministers for appropriate action.
A- Twinning of Palestinian Universities in the Occupied Territories with Universities in Member States:
Successive Islamic resolutions adopted by the Foreign Ministers have stressed the necessity of strengthening Islamic solidarity with the Palestinian people and students, including the twinning of Palestinian Universities in the occupied territories with the Universities of the Member States, and extending material and academic support to them, as these Palestinian Universities are among the important pillars of the steadfastness of the Palestinian people against the Israeli occupation and play currently an important role in the stage of construction and rehabilitation.
90. The Twenty-first Session of the Islamic Commission for Economic, Cultural and Social Affairs urged the Member States to implement these resolutions and draw up an appropriate mechanism which will ensure its application by the concerned institutions of those States. This will enable the Universities in the Palestinian territories to perform their tasks.
The positive developments which have taken place in the Palestinian arena have given wide scope to the Islamic States to implement the idea of twinning the Palestinian Universities with their respective universities, supporting the Palestinian institutions, and surmounting their material and academic difficulties. The previous sessions of the Islamic Commission for Economic and Social Affairs requested delegates of Member States to submit proposals which may help to achieve this task.
91. The General Secretariat continued to address the Member States and urge them to implement the resolution on the twinning of Palestinian Universities in with the Universities of the Member States. The resolution calls upon the latter Universities to sign twinning agreements with the Universities and institutes in the Palestinian territories under the Palestinian self-rule and in Al-Quds Al-Sharif and to provide them with material and academic assistance in order to enable them to continue their national and educational role.
B- Teaching of the History and Geography of Palestine in Member States:
92. The OIC General Secretariat is still exerting intensive efforts aimed at implementing the important resolution of the Fourth Islamic Summit Conference, held in Casablanca, on the teaching of the History and Geography of Palestine in all the Schools of the Member States which aims at informing the young generations in the Member States on Palestine, its land, people, and holy places, and confronting the premeditated distortion of the historical facts relating to the Arab-Israeli conflict, specially those on Al-Quds Al-Sharif.
It is worth recalling that the General Secretariat finalized the curriculum for this subject for the primary, intermediate and secondary levels and submitted it to the Nineteenth ICFM. The Conference approved it and entrusted the General Secretariat and the Islamic Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (ISESCO) with implementing it after coordinating with the PLO and searching for financing its printing and circulation among the Member States.
93. At present, the implementation of this resolution is of great importance. The General Secretariat will, continue to follow up the required implementation steps in collaboration with ISESCO.
C- The Educational situation in the Occupied Palestinian Territories, the Syrian Golan and the other Occupied Arab Territories.
94. During the prolonged period of Israeli occupation, Palestinian education has been beset by several problems. The occupation authorities have made attempts to judaize curricula and textbooks; omit and obliterate all facts and axioms which establish the historical continuity of the Palestinians. Israel has neglected secondary and vocational schools as well as university education.
It closed schools, university colleges and institutions for prolonged periods. It did not permit the free movement of students and teachers between Palestinian towns. Israel practised the administrative detention of students and teachers.
95. Since the occupation of Al-Quds Al-Sharif in 1967, education therein suffered persistent obliteration and gradual liquidation of the Arabic curriculum within the context of a plan aimed at altering the civilizational condition of Al-Quds, removing all evidence of spiritual affiliation and obliterating the record of Arab cultural heritage of the Holy City. Israel prevents the Palestinian citizens from renovating their schools or building new ones.
96. The Palestinian schools and universities (eight universities in addition to three institutions for university education in occupied Al-Quds, namely Al-Quds University, Al-Quds Open University and the College of Science) have played a central role in preserving Palestinian culture and resisting Israeli judaization and distortion designs.
Since the Palestinian National Authority assumed its tasks in the self-rule areas, the Palestinian Ministry of Education and Instruction has been implementing a comprehensive plan to develop a unified school educational curriculum. The curriculum is modern in content and direction; consistent in objectives and philosophy that emphasize Palestinian affiliation and Arab and Palestinian cultural identity; and takes into account the creative abilities of the Palestinian people and their active participation in the civilizational, scientific and cultural endeavours of our contemporary world.
The Palestinian National Authority is facing enormous financial difficulties in implementing its educational plan, and in developing educational programmes due to the blockade, paucity of financial resources and increase in the number of students. According to the 1997/98 general census the number of students stands at 523,000. There are not enough schools to take care of them.
97. Education includes various specializations in the science and arts sections. It is continuously developing quantitatively and qualitatively under the Palestinian National Authority. A comprehensive plan was drawn up by the Palestinian Ministry of Education to develop university and technical education during the coming years.
The Ministry is paying greater attention to developing university education in the Palestinian territories, particularly in occupied Al-Quds, as it contributes to establish the Arab presence in Palestine. University education in occupied Al-Quds is facing continuous attempts by the Israeli occupation authorities aimed at closing the universities and denying them the chance to carry out their mission. It is in dire need for all forms of support, especially financial support, in order to complete its development and widen its programmes.
98. The General Secretariat calls on the Member States to expeditiously extend all kinds of financial and academic support and assistance to schools and universities in the Palestinian self-rule areas and in Al-Quds Al-Sharif; increase the number of Palestinian students enrolled in their respective universities to study medicine, dentistry, engineering, agriculture and law; also increase the number of scholarships and twinning with Islamic universities, in implementation of the resolutions of successive Islamic Conferences; and strengthen Islamic solidarity with the people of Palestine so that these educational institutions may continue to be one of the main pillars of establishing the national authority of the Palestinian people over their homeland, Palestine.
D. The Educational Situation in the occupied Syrian Golan
99. The Israeli occupation authorities continue their acts of repression and the closure of the educational institutions in the Occupied Syrian Golan and particularly in the form of laying off the Syrian teachers, banning of the Syrian textbooks and curricula from the schools; barring the Syrian students from pursuing their higher studies in the Syrian universities; depriving the Syrian students who pursue their higher education abroad of their right to return; and imposing the Hebrew language on the Syrian students – all of which constitute flagrant violations of the Fourth Geneva Convention on the protection of citizens in times of war.
The aforesaid Israeli practices in the occupied Syrian Golan aim at the obliteration of the Arab cultural identify and the imposition of the Israeli educational curricula which incites hatred and religious fanaticism – a state of affairs that calls upon the Member States and the relevant international organs and institutions to face up to this Israeli policy that violates the international laws and conventions as well as the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
E- Preservation of the Arab identity and Islamic character of the City of Al-Quds Al-Sharif and its heritage.
100. Throughout its history, the city of Al-Quds Al-Sharif assumed unique religious, civilizational and spiritual importance by virtue of its connection with the three revealed religions. It has been linked in particular with Islam and the Islamic faith. Since the rule of Arabs, this city has been subjected to many invasions, the last and most dangerous of which is the Jewish settlement invasion campaign which started in the second half of the Nineteenth Century and which is still continuing.
Despite the launching of the Middle East Peace Process and the signing of the Interim Self-rule Accords between the PLO and Israel, the Israeli Government has persisted in its inhuman and illegitimate measures and practices, aimed at the judaization of the City of Al-Quds Al-Sharif and the obliteration of its Arab-Islamic features. Most salient among these acts was the digging of a tunnel under the foundations of Al-Quds Holy Mosque and the start of the construction of the Harhoma settlement on the land of the Abou Ghonaim Mount, and the construction of another one at the district of Ra’s Al-Amoud. It also continues to blockade and isolate the City of Al-Quds to confiscate land and property, to demolish the Palestinians’ homes, to impede the Palestinian institutions’ work, to withdraw citizenship from the inhabitants of Al-Quds and to deport them, and to desecrate the Islamic and Christian Holy Shrines.
101. The UN General Assembly adopted several resolutions condemning the building of a new settlements considering them as illegal. It stressed that all Israeli practices aimed at altering the legal status and the demographic composition of Al-Quds as null and void, and illegal. It called for a halt forthwith of all settlement activities and illegal measures and acts carried out by the Israeli occupation authorities in Al-Quds.
102. In a most unfortunate move, the U.S. Congress, July 10, 1997, passed a bill whereby it considered the City of Al-Quds as the unified capital of Israel. It also appropriated US$100 million to move the American Embassy from Tel Aviv to Al-Quds. This decision is obviously at variance with the resolutions of the international legitimacy, the Fourth Geneva Convention of 1949, UNESCO’s resolutions and the stand of the international community. It is also inconsistent with the Declaration of Principles signed between the PLO and Israel. The Congress’s decision conflicts as well with the positions taken by the successive U.S. administrations and official U.S. policy affirming that it would not recognize any measures applied by the Israeli Government, as an occupying power, to change the status of Al-Quds.
The Islamic States have, at various meetings and forums made several moves to face up to these serious developments and issued resolutions reiterating that a just and comprehensive peace can only be achieved through a full Israeli withdrawal from all Palestinian and Arab territories occupied since 1967, including the City of Al-Quds Al-Sharif and that Al-Quds Al-Sharif forms an integral part of the Palestinian territories occupied in 1967. They further called for the discontinuation of all the measures and practices which the Israeli occupation authorities resort to in the Holy City to alter its status
In the framework of resisting the Judaization of Al-Quds and supporting Palestinian citizens therein, His Majesty King Hassan II, Sovereign of the Kingdom of Morocco, Chairman of Al-Quds Committee, stated that Bait-ul Mal Al-Quds has commenced its activity.
103. In implementation of the resolutions adopted by the Islamic conferences and Al-Quds Committee, the OIC Secretary-General embarked on a series of moves and meetings, on both the Islamic and international planes. The Secretary-General visited UNESCO headquarters in Paris where he signed with director-General Frederico Mayor on February 19, 1998 a framework agreement on cooperation between the two organizations concerning preservation of the cultural heritage of Al-Quds and assistance to Palestinians in the fields of education, culture, communication and science. They also agreed to support the process of reconstruction and development in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, especially the rehabilitation of the education sector. The two sides agreed to reactivate the international fund for the preservation of the heritage of Al-Quds Al-Sharif.
The Islamic Ummah is required today to pay due attention to this matter bearing in mind that the preservation of the Arab and Islamic identity of Al-Quds Al-Sharif is the responsibility of each and every Muslim. It is also the responsibility of all the nations given that it has an international human heritage which may not be altered.
F. Israeli Aggression Against the Islamic Sanctities in the City of Hebron.
104. Israel has not confined itself to undertakings for the judaization of Islamic shrines in Al-Quds Al-Sharif, rather it has extended its action to the Holy Ibrahimi Mosque. As a matter of fact, in addition to the continued judaization of the old city, it has issued a military order to the effect of slicing off the major part of the Holy Ibrahimi Mosque in the occupied City of Hebron, and to establish a Jewish temple there, in the part that houses most of the shrines of the Prophets peace be upon them, and to isolate it with iron walls, after the atrocious carnage perpetrated by the criminal groups of Jewish settlers in the courtyard of the Holy Ibrahim Mosque in the month of Ramadan 1414H (1994) which claimed the innocent lives of scores of worshippers and wounded so many others. The design is to deny Muslims access to the greater part of the Ibrahim Mosque and to pray therein.
Israel’s persistence in violating Islamic Shrines and in encouraging settlements in the old city in Al-Khalil and supporting the settlement of 400 Jewish settlers in the heart of the city on account of 120,000 Palestinian citizens, who are still beseiged by the forces of occupation, constitute a blatant affront to the sentiments of Muslims across the world, and a violation of all international laws and resolutions. All Member States must intensify their efforts and coordinate their stand at the various international fora in order to force Israel to cancel its decision to partition the Ibrahimi Mosque so as to preserve it as a Holy Mosque for Muslims.