By Shazia Anwer Cheema
Another Resolution on Palestine comes out from the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) on May 16, 2021 (today). This helps to consolidate my standpoint that OIC Secretariat still uses Cyclostyle machines.
The Cyclostyle duplicating process is a form of stencil copying. A stencil is cut on wax or glazed paper by using a pen-like object with a small rowel on its tip. A large number of small short lines are cut out in the glazed paper, removing the glaze with the spur-wheel, then ink is applied. It was invented in the later 19th century by David Gestetner, who named it “cyclostyle” after a drawing tool he used. Its name incorporates “stylus”, a classical Latin word for a pen.
Having reviewed, Expressing, Welcoming, Emphasizing, Condemn, Call on, Request, Reaffirm, Reiterate and Affirm are words OIC stencil can print while words like Decide and Warns are difficult to add in it and a statement like “Sending troops” cannot include in the stencil.
When you read the latest statement issued after the Virtual Open-Ended Extraordinary Meeting of The OIC Executive Committee at the level of Foreign Ministers, you will find words like Recalling all relevant, Having reviewed, Condemns in the strongest terms, Warns, in particular, Demands a stop, Reaffirms the importance, Reiterates its rejection, Expresses particular concern, Underscores the responsibility, Reiterates that failure of the Security Council, Calls upon the international community, Appreciates the role played by the Chair of the Al-Quds Committee, Calls for international legal action and Decides to move urgently and carry. These same words can be found in any of OIC statements about Kashmir and Palestine since OIC was established on 25 September 1969. At that time, less than 33 percent of Palestinian lands were occupied by Israel and now this is over 70 percent and Indian Occupied Kashmir was a separate entity and now it is part of the Union of India as a State.
The historical background of OIC states that the Organization was established upon a decision of the historical summit which took place in Rabat, the Kingdom of Morocco on September 25, 1969, following the criminal arson of the Al-Aqsa Mosque in occupied Jerusalem. However, I think that the establishment of OIC gave an excellent opportunity to the west to collect Muslims states under one banner so this banner could be used during the Cold War era for western countries against the then Soviet Union and the proactive role of OIC to disintegrate the Soviet Union out of Afghan Jihad can justify my opinion. OIC used full economic force to help Mujaheddin against the Soviet Union. We did not see such a proactive OIC role before and after this development. According to my understanding, the utility of OIC with a passage of time diminished but still is an excellent tool whenever needed by the western world for and during the events like Libya disintegration, Iraq War, Yamen war, and US-led War on Terror after 9/11.
Another heart wrenching photo from Gaza pic.twitter.com/ughC7p8pjb
— Maleeha Lodhi (@LodhiMaleeha) May 17, 2021
The OIC has traditionally observed a strict policy of neutrality, preferring not to side openly with any of its member states when it came to disagreements among them but we remember the OIC in its January 21, 2016 resolution called Iran a terrorist country that allegedly meddling in other countries. This statement came after six months Iran had a nuclear deal framework with P5+1 and several NATO countries used this statement against Iran.
The Director of the Center for Islam and Global Affairs at Istanbul Sabahattin Zaim University Sami al Arian while talking to TRT World stated on May 16 that there is (was) an attempt by the Israeli government and by the settlers to take over the Al Aqsa mosque and the actions of the OIC and the countries it is very feeble; it is very weak.
Thomas Parker in his article “Is it time for a new OIC?” published by TRT states:
Most Muslim countries are in a state of crisis. That much is clear for all to see. As Muslims witness the ongoing civil wars, foreign intervention, and economic deprivation, they wonder, often aloud, “Where is the Muslim unity?”
Exactly 50 years ago, an international body was created for this exact purpose.
With 57 member states, the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (formerly Conference) is the second-largest international body in the world after the UN.
However, despite its size and projects, many Muslims today are unaware the institution even exists.
Parker may be right to raise a question for a new Muslim Unity organization but only two countries out of 57 raised this issue sometime back and they were left alone when the third country faced the wrath by expressing its desire for joining the two.
Diplomacy has no heart and it stands on Interests. How can poor and resource-less Palestinians or Kashmiris be important and useful for other 57 Muslim states? Of course, they cannot be.
Mark Twain says that the principle of giving and take is the principle of diplomacy — give one and take ten. Unfortunately, Palestinians and Kashmiris have nothing to offer any more as their almost whole lands are already occupied.
Note: The writer Shazia Cheema is an analyst writing for national and international media outlets including the Nation, Pakistan Today, Pakistan Observer, Eurasia Diary, InSight, and Mina News Agency. She heads the DND Thought Center. She did her MA in Cognitive Semiotics from Aarhus University Denmark and is currently registered as a Ph.D. Scholar of Semiotics and Philosophy of Communication at Charles University Prague. She can be reached at her: Twitter @ShaziaAnwerCh Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
The views and opinions expressed in this article/Opinion/Comment are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of the DND Thought Center and Dispatch News Desk (DND). Assumptions made within the analysis are not reflective of the position of the DND Thought Center and Dispatch News Desk News Agency.