Dakar (Senegal), Mar 15 : The Organisation of the Islamic Conference (OIC) has adopted a new charter that calls for a "jihad of peace" to spark off an Islamic renaissance. Leaders and Ministers of the 57 countries affiliated to the regional grouping adopted the charter, which however, did not incorporate eligibility criteria for new membership and how to define the concept of self-determination.
According to the Dawn newspaper, Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono has called for greater democracy and efforts to improve the plight of Muslims and spread Islamic values. "The possibility of an Islamic renaissance lies before us. We need to get our act together as an organisation of Muslim nations," Yudhoyono was quoted as saying. Describing the OIC as a "unique" institution, Yudhoyono said its influence covered three continents. Besides, Muslim countries supplied 70 per cent of the world's energy requirements and 40 per cent of its raw material exports, he added. The Muslim world, he said, must improve its image, as protracted conflicts in Muslim societies bring shame to the Ummah and tarnish the good name of Islam, he said. "We must disabuse the world of this terrible misconception. We must strive for good governance and attend to our democratic deficit, " he added.
The summit also agreed to work with the West to fight religious bigotry and a US envoy pledged support for a dialogue to avoid "a clash of ignorance". Delegates at the conference also said a final communiqu would focus on the threat of "Islamophobia" facing the world's 1.5 billion Muslim agencies.