What Was Saudi Arabia's Goal In Hosting Islamic Conference?

Article Summary
Saudi Arabia convened a meeting of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, ostensibly to mend divisions among Islamic countries. But Talal Salman questions the urgency of convening this Islamic summit, particularly in Mecca and during the last ten days of the holy Ramadan — with the notable absence of a public agenda. 

Suddenly — without any warning, introduction or announced agenda — Saudi Arabia called on the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) to convene for an extraordinary summit. The invitation had an element of holiness, in terms of both its timing and its location. It was held during the final ten days of the holy month of Ramadan in Mecca, next to the sacred Kaaba building.

The scene of the summit is ideal for conclusively resolving the open conflict between the tribes of political Islam. The vast majority of invitees represent marginal countries of Asia and Africa, whose importance lies in their numbers rather than their economic capabilities and political clout. The host country “owes favors" to many of these countries’ rulers, who would be forgotten if not for their occasional appearances on occasions such as these. These rulers cause overwhelming procedural chaos, since some have been forgotten due to their long terms in power, while others are newcomers, who "lack a profile,” and have risen to power through one coup after another.

There are two opposing camps — which I will describe frankly and without the usual considerations of hospitality and etiquette. The camp of faith, led by the “Kingdom of good” (Saudi Arabia), is comprised of those with which it has gained favor through donations in a gluttonous manner in these difficult times. The other camp — those whose adherence to Islam is doubted (Iran) — wants to disturb world peace by confronting the American “symbol of evil” and “throw the usurper Zionist entity” into the sea. It hopes to achieve its goals by exporting the revolution, ensuring its continuance and building more nuclear reactors that threaten the safety of all human existence (unlike those nuclear reactors in Israel, the great American friend, or in some countries of Europe).

What’s more, the camp of faith has been strengthened thanks to the help of the Almighty. Thus, the forces of true Islam rose to power in Egypt, Tunisia and Libya, which has light crude-oil reserves. The Syrian regime came to be the only side that has abandoned religion; they did so under the banner of Arabism, which is a form of atheism. It is a regime that has lost its source of strength, and thus collaborated against its own people with the emperors of Persia and Al-Khazraj tribes, who provide it with mass-murder weapons which do not spare any city or village across Syria.

The Arab League, under the Gulf presidency, has made quite some effort to confront this bloody dictatorship. It expelled Syria from its haven, and sought to drag its dictatorial regime in front of the UN Security Council. This prompted the foreign ministers of Muslim countries to follow in the footsteps of their fellow Arabs, and expel this OIC “founding state” from the haven of countries of the true religion.

Now, the time has come to punish Iran’s mullahs. The Islamic states — which are feeling refreshed by the air of the US-commended Arab Spring — must face the same punishment that has been bestowed on the Damascus tyrant. They must be expelled from the OIC or at least have their memberships frozen. If such a punishment cannot be imposed, Tehran must at least be disciplined, and subjected to a collective and effective boycott by the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) summit, set to be held in a few days (August 30–31).

Is it necessary to refer back to history, and recall that the OIC — whose name has changed but not its function — was born through “Caesarean surgery,” supposedly in response to Israel’s burning of the Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem. But the truth was very different: The OIC was born out of necessity to put political Islam on the face of Arabism, especially since the historical Arab leadership, represented by Gamal Abdel Nasser, was feeling the impact of the defeat of the 1967 war with Israel.

Therefore, it can be said, without embarrassment, that the OIC was born from the Arab defeat. The West advised oil-rich Arab countries, led by Saudi Arabia, to take the lead with an Islamic slogan, for which alliances had been fabricated by Britain and the US. There were also attempts to replace it with Arabism, but the fact that the book of God, the Koran, was delivered in Arabic led to the failure of this effort, yet did not completely eliminate the idea. When the Arabs were defeated in the face of the Israeli enemy, the Arab-Israeli conflict was overlooked and there was a recourse to the true religion, which was described as the “origin.” So, “political Islam” came to be an emergency exit for those seeking to escape the burden of confronting the Israeli project.

In other words, the OIC is the legitimate child of the Arab defeat, and the legitimate father of the peace treaties with the Israeli enemy.

This begs many legitimate questions regarding the urgent need to convene this Islamic summit, particularly in Mecca and during the last ten days of the holy Ramadan, with the absence of a public agenda. Perhaps the summit was held to coincide with the NAM summit, whose date was set long ago.

This is especially true given that repeating the decision to suspend Syria’s membership at the OIC — after having already been suspended from the Arab League — will not help formulate a solution to the bloody crisis. This conflict has almost consumed this “brotherly state,” its people, history and vital role in the region.

All of this is happening at the expense of Palestine: a sacred cause and homeless people that is wandering aimlessly across the world. The Palestinian people are also suffering in their own country, from which they are continuously being expelled. Yet, they insist on their right to their land, to Jerusalem and the Aqsa Mosque in particular. During the last Friday prayers, a quarter of the Palestinian people crammed inside the Aqsa Mosque for prayer, at the mosque that “has blessed us around it.”

Concerning the horrible atrocities facing Muslims in the State of Myanmar, it is no longer taken seriously and is it not appropriate that it be used by a summit which brings together the Islamic ruling elite as a pretext for holding an international conference. This is especially true since the refreshing revolutionary winds of the Arab Spring, which was newly imported from the US, did not blow over Myanmar.

In short: It is a conference of war between Muslims, under the Islamic banner.

Such a summit cannot provide a more honorable service to Israel, the US administration and the West, at the expense of the Arabs under the slogan “Palestine first,” which then became “all Muslims,” and which, if translated under a Syrian pretext, becomes “Iran.”

It is a conference for the new major sedition.

We hope that Saudi King Abdullah agreed with whoever advised him to hold the summit out of good intentions, and not out of confusion.

Found in: syrian crisis, syria crisis, organization of islamic cooperation, oic, arab league, arab-israeli conflict, arab

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