Friday, October 30, 2009
A demand for ‘respect’
By Deborah Weiss
The secretary-general of the Organization of Islamic Conference (OIC) recently delivered a little-reported speech at the United States Institute of Peace. In it he demanded that the United States give the Muslim world “respect.” But precisely what does he mean by that?
The OIC comprises 57 states with Muslim majorities, and is expected to expand to 60 states. It is the second-largest nongovernmental organization, surpassed only by the United Nations. It is without exception the most powerful Muslim organization in the world, often voting as a bloc on international issues.
In his claim to power, Secretary-General Ekmeleddin Insanoglu enjoys expansive authority to speak on behalf of the OIC, conferred to him by the OIC charter. He boasts of speaking as the voice of the Muslim world, representing 1.5 billion Muslims. “We have an edge on all Islamic movements, and enjoy respect from all of them” he noted.
Indeed, according to Mr. Insanoglu, the push for Shariah (Islamic) courts was a movement nobody paid much attention to originally. It was he who brought those pushing for this change into the fold, and now they are making great strides. Proud to credit himself with this accomplishment, Mr. Insanoglu boasted that Sheikh Sharif, the former head of the Shariah courts movement, is now president of Somalia and is supported by both the OIC and the United States.
In a mild-mannered voice, Mr. Insanoglu observed that we are moving toward a global world order. He believes a shift in power is inevitable within 10 years.