Jeddah- Secretary General of Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) Dr. Yousef bin Ahmed al-Othaimeen said that it is worth taking a moment to review the escalating sectarian tensions and hostility towards Islam and Muslims, two phenomena spreading in our region and threatening the interests of the Islamic nation.
In an interview with Asharq Al-Awsat in the organization’s headquarters in Jeddah, Othaimeen said that the urgent meeting for the foreign ministers, which was recently held in Makkah, stressed that whoever supports Houthi and Saleh militias, provides them with arms and works on smuggling ballistic missiles and artillery for them is an accomplice in the attacks against the sanctity of the Islamic world and a major supporter of terrorism.
The organization is keen on fostering friendly relations among nations, especially that security-related challenges cannot withstand more tensions or sectarianism, Othaimeen told Asharq Al-Awsat.
He focused on the sectarian agendas spreading in some of the member countries at a time when hostility against Islam and Muslims is increasing and leading to catastrophic damages from which Muslims and Islamic countries suffer.
Othaimeen called for uniting efforts to create an economic and social environment that attracts young people to positively contribute to their societies and push them away from ideas and feelings of marginalization, exclusion, resentment and intellectual and civilizational alienation, thus reducing their attraction to terrorist and criminal organizations disguised under the mask of religion.
When asked about how the OIC has supported the Palestinian cause and Jerusalem, Othaimeen said that Palestinian cause tops the priorities of the organization’s movements, contacts and political consultations with leaders and officials around the world, as it seeks to enhance the responsibility and commitment shown by the international community to achieve peace and reach a two-state solution.
He further noted that the organization works on coordinating the stances and efforts put by the member countries in international arenas, especially in the United Nations and its affiliated bodies, to gather political support in favor of the Palestinians’ rights and condemn and combat Israeli occupation policies imposed on them.
With the persistent complaints of Iranian interference in the internal affairs of neighboring countries and some member countries in the organization, Asharq Al-Awsat asked Othaimeen whether OIC should start dealing with Tehran’s leaders in a different way and reveal its practices in supporting terrorism and militias in Yemen, Iraq and Syria.
Othaimeen answered by saying that the charter of the OIC calls for strict adherence to the principle of non-interference in the internal affairs of any country and for good neighborliness.
He confirmed that the organization has issued many statements condemning Iran’s interference in the affairs of another member state.