Makkah to host Islamic Solidarity Conference
King Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz, the Custodian of the Two Holy
Mosques, has called for holding an extraordinary Islamic
Solidarity Conference in Makkah next month. This was disclosed by
Minister of Foreign Affairs
Jeddah: Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) Secretary-General
Prof. Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu on Tuesday while welcoming the call by
Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah to hold the Makkah
summit said that the tragic situations in Syria and the plight of
Myanmar Muslims will top the agenda.
“The tragic situation in Syria and the plight of Rohingya Muslims
in Myanmar will figure on top of the agenda of the summit,” he
said at a press conference held in the OIC headquarters here
The summit to be held in Makkah on Aug. 14-15 to discuss the grave situation in a
number of Muslim countries and chalk out ways to solve them is being called to intensify efforts to
contain division and dissension among Muslims as well as to
strengthen Islamic unity and solidarity.
King Abdullah has invited
Muslim heads of state and leaders to attend the conference.
Ihsanoglu also unveiled plans of OIC
to raise $500 million in aid from member countries to help the
Syrian people who have been displaced in the current conflict.
The humanitarian crisis in Syria has
grown to such dimensions that at least $500 million in aid is
required to meet the needs of the Syrian people, he said in an
appeal to donors.
Syria is in the throes of a revolt against the government of
President Bashar Al-Assad, whose efforts to crush the uprising by
force have driven thousands of civilians from their homes, many of
them into Syria’s neighbors.
“We are calling for increased
humanitarian efforts and cooperation between international and
regional organizations in order to deliver urgent humanitarian aid
to the Syrian people in Syria and in neighboring countries,” he
OIC chief urged the Muslim community around the world to
give political, humanitarian and financial aid to the victims of
violence in northwest Myanmar.
“This is a large humanitarian
crisis but unfortunately the international and Muslim communities
are mostly unaware of the dimensions. In this holy month I call
upon all the Muslims…to extend aid for this issue,” he said.
Longstanding tensions between ethnic Rakhine Buddhists and Muslim
Rohingyas boiled over in Myanmar’s Rakhine state early last month,
resulting in a series of arson and machete attacks in which the
authorities say 77 people were killed and more than 100 wounded.
The violence has affected both Rohingyas and ethnic Rakhines, but
rights groups have accused police and troops of disproportionate
use of force and arrests of Rohingyas in the wake of the riots.
The riots followed two incidents in the same state: the gang rape
and murder of a Rakhine woman – for which three Rohingya youths
were sentenced to death – and the vigilante killing of 10 Muslims
travelling on a bus less than a week later.
Nearly 5,000 homes
have been torched and tens of thousands of people displaced.
Myanmar’s government regards the estimated 800,000 Rohingyas as
illegal immigrants, though Rohingya activists say their lineage in
the region dates back centuries.
“There is displacement where tens of thousands of people lost
their homes. There is a great need to house them, feed them, help
them medically…There is a need for political and humanitarian aid.
There is also a need for financial aid,” Ihsanoglu said.
political aid would consist of diplomatic representations to the
Myanmar government on behalf of the Rohingyas, he said.
“We asked member states, who have
embassies in Myanmar, to call the government and ask them to
improve their treatment of those people", he said.
The OIC will hold a consultative meeting in Kuala Lumpur
on August 3 to determine possible ways to deliver aid to affected
people in Myanmar and refugees from the violence who fled to
neighboring countries, Ihsanoglu said.