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Bangladesh urges OIC to resolve Rohingya problem

Aug 16, 2012

Bangladeshi President Zillur Rahman has urged the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) member states to persuade the Myanmar government with political and economic support for ensuring dignified and prosperous living of their Muslim minorities (Rohingyas).

Dhaka: "We must take a pro-active role towards a lasting solution to this long-standing (Rohingya) problem both bilaterally and multilaterally," he said while addressing at the closing ceremony of 4th Extra-ordinary Session of Islamic Summit Conference in Makkah Al Mukarramah last night, according to a message received here from Saudi Arabia today.

In the wake of recent violence in the Rakhine State of Myanmar, President Rahman said the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights has expressed concern over oppression of Muslim minorities there.

The condition of Muslim minorities in different parts of the world is of grave concern, he said adding it is not just an issue of safeguarding Muslims and their faith; but a matter of universal human rights.

"We need to revive the moral of the world and take necessary steps to shape international public opinion in favour of these minority people," he said.

Saudi King Abdullah Bin Abdulaziz Al Saud hosted the two-day 4th Extraordinary Session of the Islamic Summit Conference joining by the heads of states and governments of OIC (Organisation of Islamic Cooperation) member states.

President Zillur Rahman said the question of Palestine remains a symbol of oppression and injustice for Muslims.

Zillur Rahman said Bangladesh has maintained its consistent and unwavering support for the fundamental rights of the Palestinian people.

"Along with the traditional diplomatic efforts, we need to take some innovative efforts for mass awareness particularly in the non-Muslim countries to influence their governments," Bangladesh President said.

He said world public opinion in favour of the legitimate rights of the Palestinians must be formed for a just and fair resolution of the Palestinian crisis.

The Muslim countries comprise nearly one-third of world's nations and one-fifth of world population, he said adding for centuries, Muslims were in the forefront of building amity and harmony in the world with noble Islamic ideals.

However, President Rahman claimed that great values of Islamic brotherhood are being challenged by the direction of international politics.

"We are now facing numerous conflicts and discords. They are not just between Muslims and non-Muslims but, sadly, they are also between Muslims and Muslims," he said.

"The oppressions on Muslims that we witness today are a wake-up call to our obligation to uphold the Islamic ideals of peace and justice. We cannot live an insular life in this age of globalisation," President Rahman continued.

"We have necessary wisdom, resources, values, culture and heritage to influence the international politics in our favour," he said adding, "Doing so will require the unity and solidarity of Muslim Ummah and implementation of the Islamic values of justice, equality and inclusion among the people of our countries."

The President expressed his dismay to see the loss of lives and destruction of property during the recent political unrest in the Middle-East and North Africa. "The endless killing in Syria, even in this month of Ramadan, contradicts the great Islamic values of compassion and kindness," he said. 

He said there can be debate about the dynamics of these conflicts, some may view them as the necessary pains for attaining democracy, some may attribute them to the effects of globalisation, some may mention them as the conspiracy of the external forces.

Whatever be the reason, such sufferings cannot be justified under any situation, he said. 

"I firmly believe that such human tragedies should be avoided by assuring the basic civil and political rights of our citizens. Ensuring freedom from hunger, fear and indignity can be a viable solution to any such political crisis in future," he said.

"A non-violent solution based on Islamic tradition of moderation and discussion should be achieved. Bangladesh, being a member of UN Human Rights Council, has been supporting a peaceful resolution of the Syrian crisis since its membership," he added. 

"The Father of our Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman in 1974 called for the unity and solidarity of the Islamic Ummah during the Second OIC Summit which should not be limited to the inter-state level, but should be at every sphere of our social life," he said.

Zillur Rahman left the country for Saudi Arabia on Sunday night on a five day official visit at an invitation of Saudi King to join the Summit.

President Rahman is expected to return here on August 17.

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