(6-7 February, 2013)
بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم
Majesties and Royal Highnesses,
Ladies and Gentlemen
Assalamu Alaykum Warahmatullahi Wabarakatuh
It is a great pleasure and honour to be present at this important gathering of leaders from the Islamic world, which comes at a crucial time for the Islamic Ummah.
I thank His Excellency President Mohammed Morsi and the Government of Egypt for hosting this Summit and for bringing us together under excellent arrangements in the historic city of Cairo. I also thank President Mackey Sall of Senegal for the leadership he provided.
This 12th OIC summit builds on the leadership that the OIC as an organization, and various leaders of the Muslim world, have shown in the recent years in highlighting the issues and concerns facing the Ummah. In this context, I express deep appreciation to Khadim Al Haramain Sharifain, His Majesty King Abdullah Ibn Abdulaziz of Saudi Arabia, for his important initiative of hosting an extraordinary Summit in the Holy City of Mecca Al-Mukarramah, where we affirmed our solidarity and desire to collectively address our vulnerabilities to global threats and challenges, and to protect the fundamental interest and well-being of the Ummah.
The Summit, ladies and gentlemen, is a timely step to focus our attention on some of the gravest and consequential challenges facing us today. From the violence of terrorism to the crisis and conflict in several of our countries, to the ever continuing sufferings of our Palestinian brothers and sisters, the Muslim world is strewn with difficulties.
In my view, of the challenges we face, the most urgent to address is terrorism which poses the most serious threat to peace, security and progress across the Islamic world. In many parts of the Ummah, terrorism inflicts immense suffering, and undermines our abilities for socio-economic development.
It is of particular concern for the OIC, as the body that collectively represents the Ummah, that terrorism is committed by misusing the name of our religion. I urge all OIC members not only to condemn acts of terrorism, but also to take decisive and concerted action to prevent extremists and terrorists from abusing our religion and tarnishing its image.
We must prevent our mosques and madrassas from being misused to propagate extremism and hatred. Terrorist groups must not find safe haven, sanctuary, funding or sponsorship in our countries.
Our religious scholars and Ulema must effectively engage in our common struggle against extremists, who undermine the Ummah’s progress and stability.
In this context, my delegation urges Ulemas across the Islamic world to take example from Sheikh Abdul Aziz, Mufti-e-Azam of Saudi Arabia, whose sermon on the day of Arafat recalled that suicide attacks are prohibited in Islam and anyone who attempts or carries out such attacks will not be forgiven by Allah.
To address these challenges, we not only need strong political unison but also sustained effort at raising our standard in human capital and economic development.
My country Afghanistan has been a victim of violence for many years. Over the past decade, we have made great progress to provide safer, healthier and more prosperous lives for the Afghan people. However, terrorism and extremism, emanating from outside our borders, remains the number one concern of the Afghan people, and the biggest challenge for our region. Terrorism continues to inflict great suffering on the peoples of Afghanistan and Pakistan. We can best defeat this threat through sincere cooperation. As far as Afghanistan is concerned, we are committed to working with our neighbor to ensure peace and security for our peoples and the region.
As the presence of the international forces in Afghanistan comes to an end next year, we are continuously consolidating our institutions of state and strengthening our security, social, political and economic prospects for the future. As part of this effort, we have extended a hand of reconciliation and peace to the Afghan Taliban and other groups that are currently engaged in armed opposition.
Ladies and gentlemen,
Coming to other major issues of the Islamic world today, Afghanistan stands in full solidarity with, and in support of the Palestinian people in their quest for an independent Palestinian State. We call for the unity of the Palestinian people, and reiterate our support for all international efforts that would bring the Palestinians closer to achieving their long-cherished aspirations of freedom, independence and peace. We also condemn the continued development of Israel settlements in Palestinian lands which, we believe, could make the achievement of peace more difficult.
Afghanistan deplores the dispossession of Rohingya Muslims of their political and legal rights, and their disproportionate suffering from inter-communal violence. We call upon the Government of Myanmar to address their plight, including the restoration of their legal status.
The conflict in Syria renders peace and security in the Middle East precarious. All OIC members must work to bring an immediate end to the suffering and conflict in our brotherly country. We must ensure that the international approach to the Syrian crisis is guided by the full respect of the Syrian people’s sovereignty, and upholds their right to determine their own future.
Before concluding, I wish to recognize the hard work of His Excellency Professor Ekmeleddin Ehsanoglu and the OIC Secretariat towards advancing the interests of the Ummah with international and regional organizations, and building awareness of Islam as a religion of moderation, tolerance, and coexistence.
I pray to Allah (SWT) that this Summit gives renewed impetus to our collective efforts towards realizing our common goals of peace and shared prosperity.