OIC leaders stress joint efforts to regain grandeur in S&T; fight Islamophobia

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ASTANA, (Kazakhstan) Sept 10 (APP): The leaders of the
Organization of Islamic Cooperation Organization Sunday
called for joint action plan to put the Muslim world back on
track of progress particularly in science and technology and
counter the growing challenge of Islamophobia, damaging the
Islamic world.
At the first OIC summit on science and technology being
held in Kazakh capital, the Muslim world leaders including
President Mamnoon Hussain, Turkish President Recep Tayyip
Erdogan and Iranian President Hassan Rouhani were unanimous to
believe that it was high time the Muslim states must include
education, science and technology in their top priorities to
protect the youth from being preyed by extremism and
terrorism.
The inaugural session of the two-day summit was chaired
by President of Kazakhstan Nursultan Nazarbayev which started
with the recitation of verses from Holy Quran after all the
participating leaders had family photo.
As the guests arrived at the Palace of Independence, the
host Kazakh president was there to receive them.
The representatives from around 56 OIC countries and
international organizations attended the summit besides the
representatives of non-member states like President of
Venezueal, Nicolas Maduro.
In his address, President Mamnoon Hussain, who is also
chairman of COMSTECH, an OIC standing committee on science and
technology, urged the Muslim world to gain self-sufficiency in
all fields which could put it back on track of progress and
prosperity.
The president, who arrived here Saturday on four-day
visit, said unfortunately, the Muslim world had been lagging
behind in the field of education and research which could be
judged by the facts and figures of the inventions and patents.
Therefore, it was inevitable for the Muslim states to include
science and technology in their priorities as without
achieving excellence in these sectors, the common man’s life
could not be uplifted.
President Mamnoon observed the Muslim world was faced
with new challenges in this modern era which required research
in social science and physics. Keeping the very fact in view,
COMSTECH, a standing committee of the OIC had been
established that had worked out 10-year programmes
participated by researchers and scientists from across the
Islamic world.
Under this project, special focus would be given to the
space sciences, marine biology, energy production,
agricultural technology, food security, climate change and
uniformity of industrial standards, he said.
He said Pakistan had been bearing the 90 percent
expenses of the said projects.
The president proposed a comprehensive framework to
ensure the speedy disbursement of funds for timely completion
of projects and stressed the effective role of Islamic
Development Bank and Islamic states.
In his opening remarks, Kazakh President Nursultan
Nazarbayev said terrorism and Islamophobia were damaging the
Muslim world the most.
He categorically rejected the notion that religion was
impediment to development and said the three pillars of the
modern science including algebra, numbers and algorithm were
the inventions of the Muslim scientists those provided the
basis to whole of modern sciences.
He proposed setting up a specific OIC Council to pursue
the goals of scientific research and education and special
fund to support the initiatives.
He said OIC summit also comprised the conferment of
maiden awards in the fields of science and technology to
recognize the efforts of Muslim scientists.
He also called for an effective Islamic financing and
special focus on green technology, cooperation in
agriculture.
The Kazakh president also suggested holding a dialogue
between the west and the Muslim world to address the challenge
of Islamophobia and clear the misunderstandings.
Nazarbayev told the gathering that Kazakhstan had given
up its nuclear programme for sake of peace in the region and
hoped that other countries would follow the idea.
Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan thanked Pakistan’s
government for effectively carrying out science and technology
projects under COMSTECH and extending support to holding the
first summit on science and technology.
He said Islamic civilization was all about knowledge and
research but they lost the grandeur after they gave up
learning. He said unfortunately, the spending on education in
Muslim world was less than 1 percent of their GDP contrary to
the developed world where stood at around 5.2 percent.
He said unluckily, our youth had to go to western states
to pursue their educational goals. However, he said Turkey
gave special focus on science and technology as it had so far
granted scholarships to around 9,500 students from OIC
countries.
He called for a framework to cur the cyber crime as
besides providing a wide forum for education and research, the
internet and social media were also contributing to
Islamophobia which needed to be addressed.
He said in current scenario, Muslim world needed unity,
not the separation and expressed his concern on the prevailing
crisis in the Gulf region, hoping it would end soon.
Turkish president also censured the Myanmar government
over the unabated persecution of Rohingya Muslims and
reiterated that his country would extend all possible
assistance to mitigate their sufferings.
He said his government was trying to assist Rohingya
Muslims with the cooperation of Bangladesh government and
urged the Muslim world to press Myanmar to end these
atrocities against Muslims.
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said Islam rules out
any extremism and terrorism and always advocated for
education, research and development.
He said today, Islamic world was faced with many
challenges including Zionist crime against Palestinian people,
killing of Muslims in Myanmr, human tragedies in Syria, Iraq
and Yemen had made the Muslim unity more inevitable.
He said Iranian universities attracted scientists and
researchers from across the globe and the country made
numerous achievements in the fields of science and technology
during the last decade.
He said around 2,400 universities were accommodating
around 4.8 million students and had been carrying out research
in various modern sciences like bio technology, nanotechnology
and others.
OIC Secretary General Dr Yousef bin Ahmad Al-Othaimen
thanked President Mamnoon Hussain, the chairman of COMSTECH for
helping to hold the first intra-OIC summit on science and
technology saying that OIC always gave special focus on the
modern education.
He said Muslim youth were faced with critical situation
owing to challenges of extremism, terrorism, poverty and
Islamophobia and emphasized for exchange of scholarships among
the OIC countries.
Among those who also addressed the inaugural session
included King of Morocco, President of Uzbekistan and
President of Guinea.