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Bangladeshi PM appeals to OIC countries to firmly stand beside Rohingyas

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Dhaka (UNA-OIC) � Prime Minister of Bangladesh Sheikh Hasina has appealed to the member states of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) to firmly stand beside the forcibly deported Rohingyas to protect their dignity and security as there is no scope for the OIC to overlook this crisis.

Speaking at the opening of the 45th session of the OIC Council of Foreign Ministers (CFM) in the Bangladeshi capital Dhaka on Saturday, Hasina said: My appeal to the OIC is to stand solidly beside the forcibly deported Rohingyas in safeguarding their dignity and security. The Prophet’s (SAW) message for us was to stand beside the distressed humanity. When the Rohingya community of Myanmar is being subjected to ‘ethnic cleansing,’ the OIC fraternity cannot overlook it.

The theme of the two-day meeting, which began with a special focus on Rohingya issue and other challenges facing the Muslim Ummah, is Islamic Values for Sustainable Peace, Solidarity and Development.

Sheikh Hasina said her country has opened its heart and border to more than a million Rohingyas who have taken shelter in Bangladesh, purely on humanitarian grounds. She stated that the OIC must maintain international pressure on Myanmar authorities and make Myanmar deliver on the ground its agreement with Bangladesh on the return of the Rohingyas to their homeland safely.

The prime minister said having one-fifth of the world’s population, more than a third of the world’s strategic resources and a number of rising economies with immense prospects, the Muslim world has no reason to fall behind.

Development is our right, economic prosperity is within our reach, and social progress is within our means. We must redesign our strategy of joint Islamic action, she noted.

In this context, Sheikh Hasina focused on five points before the OIC foreign ministers. Firstly, to have trust in the basic Islamic faith and remove sectarian mindset and stop the use of religion as a tool for divisive purposes or narrow political ends.

Secondly, the OIC members should politically resolve their issues without giving any of their detractors any scope for interference. Thirdly, to live an enlightened life of self-awareness. Fourthly, to pursue a fast-track development course with bold OIC programs to eliminate poverty and hunger and address humanitarian exigencies.

The OIC members should pursue collective actions to implement the OIC-2025 Program of Action. Finally, it should constantly seek inspiration and strength from the eternal Islamic values of peace, moderation, fraternity, equality, justice and compassion.

Let’s make a resolve to put our strength and courage together and protect our values, wealth and civilization. Let us spread a message of understanding and peace, she said.

Sheikh Hasina also said she believes that all the differences of opinion and views that exist in the Islamic world can be resolved by open-minded discussions and dialogue. Bloodshed is unnecessary and indeed counter-productive.

She mentioned that the vision of the Islamic world should be one to be master of its own resources and capable of resolving all of our conflicts and problems by ourselves.

For lasting solutions to come from within, we require a comprehensively reformed OIC with new mechanisms, and ways and means to deliver in a result-oriented manner.

Sheikh Hasina said the Dhaka CFM has come at a very critical time of history. With the accelerating influx of technology, with a rising number of youth – and inequality, intolerance and social injustice, with adverse climate change – there has also never been a time more profound when our Islamic beliefs have so fundamentally been challenged. She pointed out that the Muslim identity, wrongly though, is being equated with that of extremism and violence.

About Bangladesh development, the prime minister said the country has made high marks in empowering women, progressing admirably in education and health, containing terrorism and keeping global peace through UN peacekeeping missions.

Sheikh Hasina also maintained that women are an equal partner with men in the march into the future. Our planning horizon has rightly a gender-mainstreamed vision, she added.

Source: International Islamic News Agency

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