JEDDAH: A meeting in Malaysia of some Muslim nations runs against the interests of the Islamic community, the head of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) said on Wednesday.
The four day summit got under way in Kuala Lumpur, but several countries, including Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Pakistan are not attending.
The event has faced criticism for being organized outside of the auspices of the OIC, the world’s second largest inter-governmental organization after the United Nations that is regarded as the collective voice of the Muslim world.
OIC Secretary-General Yousef Al-Othaimeen said that convening meetings outside the aegis of the organization would splinter Islamic solidarity.
“Any weakening of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation is a weakening of Islam and Muslims,” he told Sky News Arabia.
“It is not in the interest of an Islamic nation to hold summits and meetings outside the framework of the (OIC), especially at this time when the world is witnessing multiple conflicts,” Othaimeen added.
On Tuesday, King Salman spoke with Malaysia’s Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad and stressed the importance of joint Islamic action through the OIC.
At a dinner to open the event on Wednesday, Mohamad claimed the summit would aim to “do something” to improve the lives of Muslims and overcome Islamophobia.