THE OIC AT A GLANCE

Asia

Background

According to foodanddrinkjournal, the OIC is an international organization of 57 states in which Islam is either the state religion or the religion of the majority of the population or a large minority. The organization claims to represent the Islamic world. The OIC was founded on September 25, 1969 in Rabat, Morocco as the Organization of the Islamic Conference. The OIC’s charter was adopted in February 1972.

Renaming

On June 28, 2011, the name was changed to “Organization of Islamic Cooperation”. At the same time, it was decided to set up a human rights body based in Jeddah (Saudi Arabia).

Goals

Islamic solidarity, cooperation of the members in political, economic, social, cultural and scientific areas, fight against racism and colonialism, protection of the holy places of Islam, support of the Palestinians for their homeland rights, promotion of understanding between Muslim and non-Muslim countries.

Members (57)

27 member states in Africa, 16 members in Asia, 2 members in South America and 2 members in Europe / Eurasia. You will find a table overview of the members at the bottom of the page.

Observer (5)
Bosnia & Herzegovina, Russia, Thailand, Central African Republic and the Turkish-occupied northern part of Cyprus.

Main organs

  • Summit conference of heads of state and government as the highest body (at irregular intervals – usually every three years)
  • Foreign ministers’ conference (annually) makes most of the political decisions and prepares the summit conferences
  • Secretary General with permanent secretariat (approx. 140 employees) as the executive body
  • Human Rights Committee (since 2011)

Activities

From the beginning, the OIC advocated the evacuation of Arab territories by Israel and the recognition of the rights of the Palestinians and the PLO as their sole legal representative.

At the meeting of foreign ministers in Malaysia at the beginning of April 2002, the participants supported the demand for a Palestinian state with Old Jerusalem (Al-Quds) as its capital.

Failing to find a common definition of terrorism at this meeting, the ministers demanded that a world conference should formulate “a jointly organized response by the international community to terrorism in all its forms and manifestations”. At the same time, the participants underlined that the OIC would endeavor to establish an internationally recognized demarcation between terrorism and resistance against “occupying and colonial powers”.

Overall, however, the OIC did not turn out to be a relevant block in international politics and was also not very successful as a mediator within the Islamic camp.

The OIC supports education in Islamic communities worldwide, among other things by co-financing the (national) Islamic universities (among others in Niger, Uganda and Malaysia).

Comment

The OIC was never able to achieve the ambitious goals of Islamic solidarity and cooperation in the economic, social, cultural and scientific fields. On the contrary:

  • Islamic expressions of solidarity are usually nothing more than lip service
  • Instead of cooperation, relations within the Islamic camp were characterized by wars between the member states (e.g. Iraq-Iran 1980-1988, Iraq-Kuwait 1991) as well as numerous ethnic or religious-denominational conflicts within and between states
  • The vision of an Islamic world community (umma) has so far proven to be a fiction.

The OIC has done little to promote understanding between Muslim and non-Muslim countries. To this end, the member states would first have to implement “good governance” in their own countries, exercise tolerance and uphold human rights. The establishment of the human rights body in Saudi Arabia, of all places, speaks for itself.

The OIC, like the Arab League, simply slept through the “Arab Spring” at the beginning of 2011. Whether a fresh wind will blow with the renaming of the organization remains to be seen…

Table
members of the OIC (57)

Africa (27)
Egypt, Algeria, Benin, Burkina Faso, Djibouti, Ivory Coast, Gabon, Gambia, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Cameroon, Comoros, Libya, Mali, Morocco, Mauritania, Mozambique, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Somalia, Sudan, Togo, Chad, Tunisia, Uganda
Asia (26)
Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Brunei, Indonesia, Iraq, Iran, Yemen, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Qatar, Kyrgyzstan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Malaysia, Maldives, Oman, Pakistan, “Palestine” (Palestinian Territories), Saudi Arabia, Syria, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, UAE (United Arab Emirates)
South America (2)
Guyana, Suriname
Europe (2)
Albania, Turkey (Eurasian)

Observer (5)
Bosnia & Herzegovina, Russia, Thailand, Central African Republic and the Turkish-occupied northern part of Cyprus.

OIC