Statement by H.E. Dr. Ali Naseer Mohamed, Foreign Secretary of the Maldives at the Foreign Ministers of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation

Mr Chair, Mr Secretary General, and Distinguished Delegates,
Assalam Alaikum Warahmathullahi Wabarakaathuh,

Time and time again, the leaders of the Islamic world gather and lament the wide ranging, far-reaching conflicts in the Muslim world. We condemn them in harsh language; we mourn the loss of the many lives; and the ruins of the many cities and villages.

We here the cries of mothers and we see the anguish in the eyes of children, to the helplessness of societies and the destruction of beautiful countries, with vibrant histories and bright futures.

Just last month, we witnessed in horror, the harsh realities of the lives of our brothers and sisters living in Gaza. Wanton destruction, senseless killing of innocent people; an alarming number of children included, merciless subjugation of an entire population to lives without a future, devoid of the basic human rights and dignities.

The situation in Syria remains the same, three years on. Deadly violence, arrests, torture, and cruelty have become the norm there.

Today, we are witnessing conflicts around the entire Islamic world; Muslims are fighting Muslims; spurred on by worldly riches and the lust for power. Misled young people around the world, are committing acts of terror in the name of jihad. They have spread hate, and they have attracted hate, not only to themselves, but to the entire Ummah!

Islam is being associated with terrorism more than ever. Islamaphobia continues to grow, and grow fast and wide. Profiling based on religion and race is becoming commonplace. Regardless of size or might, no one is devoid of the effects of this rising trend. All Muslims must be concerned, must be worried, and must take action in correcting the negative bias, addressing the concerns that give rise to Islamaphobia.

And while we condemn radicalism and Islamaphobia and all the negative effects of this senseless discrimination, we must also reflect. We need assess and examine why Islam is being increasingly associated with radicalism, intolerance, terrorism, violence, and backwardness.

Islam is a religion of innovation. It is a religion of progress and development. It is a religion that calls for learning, for studying. It is a religion of science and of discovery.

Yet today, some of the leaders in the Islamic world continue to derive their power from the subjugation of their populations. Today we have to accept the reality that Muslim societies are on the brink of falling into an abyss of deep ignorance; unable to unleash our collective potential for creativity. The chaos and the upheaval we are witnessing in some parts of the Islamic Ummah are caused by the inability to exercise one's right to freedom from oppression, poverty and destitution, freedom of movement, and the right to think and advance the world.

Time and time again, we lament the wide ranging, far-reaching conflicts in the Muslim world. Let not this time be of waste. Instead of talking about, it is time that we take concrete measures to resolve conflict in the Islamic world.

Thank you, and Wassalam Alaikum Warahmathullahi Wabarakaathuh