Secretary General Opens the Sixth Session: Intergovernmental Experts Group on Conducting the Conditions of Muslim Minorities Paves the Way for the OIC Member States to Find Appropriate Solutions to Problems of Minorities

OIC Press Release

1 April 2001

Secretary General Opens the Sixth Session: Intergovernmental Experts Group on Conducting the Conditions of Muslim Minorities Paves the Way for the OIC Member States to Find Appropriate Solutions to Problems of Minorities

Secretary General of the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) Dr. Abdelouahed Belkeziz called on the OIC member States and Islamic institutions and organization to encourage Muslim minorities to establish regular educational institutions that takes care of Islamic education and culture for all school stages in their countries with the aim of avoiding loss of identity and absorption in the other communities. He also called for sponsoring meritorious and gifted sons of Muslim minorities and increase the number of scholarships offered to them to study in the best institutes and universities inside and outside their countries. In this respect the Secretary General expressed his thanks and appreciation to the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Fahd Ibn Abdul Aziz, to his faithful Crown Prince His Royal Highness Prince Abdullah Ibn Abdul Aziz for patronizing and assisting Muslim minorities and communities in non-OIC member States, aimed at surmounting their ordeals and hardships and safeguarding their Islamic identity and culture.

In his inaugural address to the Sixth Meeting of the Governmental Expert Group assigned to consider the situation of Muslim minorities and communities in non-OIC member States, which was held at the OIC General Secretariat’s headquarters in Jeddah on Sunday morning 7 Muharram 1422H (1 April 2001), the Secretary General pointed out that the successive Islamic Conferences have consistently expressed their deep concern over the continued violation of basic human rights and freedoms of the Muslim minorities and communities in several non-OIC member States, most recent of these conferences having been the Ninth Islamic Summit Conference which was held in Doha, capital of Qatar and which emphasized the importance for the Governmental Expert Group to continue its mission on a regular basis to keep track of the conditions of Muslim minorities and communities in non-OIC member States and identify solutions to the problems they face, in addition to encouraging the said constituency of Muslims to be active contributors to the public life in the countries where they live.

In his statement, delivered on his behalf by Ambassador Qaseem Al-Misri, the Assistant Secretary General for Information, and Cultural and Social Affairs, the Secretary General reaffirmed that the protection of the rights of Muslim Communities and Minorities in non-OIC member States was one of the chief priorities of the Organization of the Islamic Conference, which is working vigorously through direct contact with the concerned home States of these groups to alleviate the suffering and urge these States to afford them the protection they deserve as citizens with full rights.

It is noteworthy that the Intergovernmental Group of Experts on Considering the Conditions of Muslim Communities and Minorities in non-OIC member States, which elected Ambassador Mohamed Faiz Al-Sharif, the representative of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, as Chairman, will dedicate itself to the consideration of the Secretary General’s report on the conditions of Muslim Communities and Minorities in non-OIC member States in addition to any new business so as to formulate recommendations to help the member States to implement a concrete plan of action to protect the rights of minorities and assist in averting the dangers they face in some non-OIC member States.

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