Thursday October 16, 2003 03:30 PM


In the Name of Allah, the Merciful, the Compassionate Prayers and salutations be upon our Lord Mohammad, and on His household and Apostles

His Excellency President Mahathir Mohammad

Majesties, Highnesses, Excellencies

Peace be upon you, Allah's Mercy and His Blessings

It is with pleasure that I extend our congratulations to His Excellency President Mahathir Mohammad, on his presidency to this Organisation, for the three forthcoming years, wishing His Excellency success and accompiishments. It is my pleasure also to extend deep thanks and appreciation to His Highness Sheikh Hamad Bin Khalifeh Al Thani on his commendable efforts during-his term of presidency to this Organisation, for the past three years.

This Conference convenes in exceptionally complex international circumstances. The World has witnessed in the last few years many events and developments, which form major challenges for our peoples and our this Organisation.

The first of these challenges is Globalisation, and the Communication and Information Technology revolution that came with it as-well as the removing of barriers amongst states and peoples. Despite the numerous opportunities that Globalisation carries, many peoples, the Islamic peoples included, still deal with this new reality with the suspicion and fear that this globalization might threaten their cultural identity and civilisation, as well as their national independence. In fact, this fear is no justification for withdrawal or seclusion.

The Islamic civilisation has interacted through the ages with many

cultures and civilizations and it had the strength and originality to impact other cultures and to influence them more than it was influenced by them.

The real challenge facing us today is to articulate a common vision, on how to deal with this new reality, and how to benefit from available opportunity, in such a way that makes our peoples partners in benefiting from the fruits of globalization, rather than mere passive followers who suffer its consequences.

The more serious challenge however, facing our Moslem peoples is the unjust accusations that Islam and Moslems are being subjected to and the continuous efforts to link Islam and Moslems with terrorism. This is happening due to others' ignorance of the principles of Islam, and their mal-practices that have no bearing to Islam. It is one of our holiest duties as Moslems, to portray Islam to others, in its real form, that of a religion of tolerance, moderation, rational and logical dialogue, that shuns all forms of fanaticism and terrorism.

The time has come for us Moslems, to tell the world that we are ourselves victims of terrorism, that we are targeted like them, and even more. In fact, distorting the image of Islam and provoking the World's animosity against it, and placing us in a .pre-convicted circle, is in itself, the most hideous form of terrorism.

Majesties, Highnesses, Excellencies...

Some of our Moslem peoples are still under occupation. Some of them still suffer lack of security and stability, or confiscation of their liberties, and non-respect for their human rights. The Palestinian cause remains at a standstill. Jerusalem - Al-Quds Al-Sharif, for which this Organisation has been formed, remains under occupation. Our duty as Moslem peoples, prompts us all, to stand with and by the Palestinian people and to support them with all possible means, till they re-gain their rights, establish their independent state, on their national soil, with Al Quds al Sharif, as its capital.

As for Iraq, it is not enough to only talk about the Iraqi people's right to control their own wealth and natural resources, and to select their leadership and future. We are required to take a clear political stance that would enable the Iraqi people to achieve their legitimate national ambitions, and to reinstate Iraq back to its real role in the intemational community.

Majesties, Highnesses, Excellencies...

Poverty, ignorance, absence of social justice, and disrespect respect for human rights, form a fertile environment for extremism and violence. It becomes thus imperative that we cooperate amongst ourselves to achieve development and social prosperity that would enable our peoples to live in climates of freedom, justice, and respect for human rights. Let us seize the opportunity and send a message to the world, to support the aspirations of- our peoples for a dignified life that guarantees security and stability, not only in our countries, but throughout the world.

Brothers, it is time for us to strengthen ties of cooperation and coordination liaison amongst our countries and our peoples; and to work for revitalising the role of this Organisation for a better Moslem future, one that bridges the gap between us and the developed countries, one that reinstates to our Islamic nation the status that its heritage, and its great civilized humane role


Once again I salute you, and pray to the Almighty, to crown our efforts with success, and to direct us all to the path of goodness, He is the Lord and the Proponent.

Peace Be Upon you, Allah's Mercy and His Blessings.