Tuesday, 19 January 2016

Executive Council Meeting of World Muslim Congress Jeddah

Two-Day Executive Council Members
Meeting of the World Muslim Congress
in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia

Dr. Mozammel Haque

Two-day Executive Council Members Meeting of the World Muslim Congress (Motamar al-Alam al-Islami) was held in the Conference Hall of Al-Hamra Hotel, Jeddah Saudi Arabia, on 18-19 December, 2015. The Executive Council Members of the different branches of the World Muslim Congress (WMC) from various countries, such as Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, UK, USA, Australia, India and Nigeria etc attended the meeting. Diplomats from various Muslim Consulates also joined in the meeting. Saudi T.V. Channels and media personalities were also present. Muslim Ulema and scholars from within Saudi Arabia also made their presentations.

Opening speech by H. E. Dr. Abdullah Omar Nasseef
President of the World Muslim Congress
His Excellency Dr. Abdullah Omar Nasseef, President of the World Muslim Congress opened the meeting by welcoming the Executive Council Members and other participants and said that in the past Executive Council Members Meeting were held in other countries but this time Jeddah, Saudi Arabia was chosen for this important Meeting.

His Excellency Dr. Nasseef mentioned that unity of the Ummah is the dire need of the present-day difficult times. He emphasized that to deal effectively with the challenges faced by the Muslim Ummah; the Muslim religious leaders will have to come forward. He stressed on the importance of the role of Muslim leaders to guide and show the right path to the Muslim youth which is needed more than ever before.

Dr. Nasseef said that World Muslim Congress, since its inception many years ago, has provided an excellent platform for the Muslim World’s unity and to highlight and find solutions to resolve its various problems. The WMC is striving hard for the cause of world peace and understanding amongst various religious communities and propagating Islam and its worthy values in its true spirit.

Dr. Nasseef also mentioned that in order to make the organization and the performance of the World Muslim Congress more and more effective, inclusion of new blood in its organization and management was being considered.

The WMC’s President also stressed on all Muslim and non-Muslim Governments, political and social organizations as well as religious leaders of all faiths to guide their followers to spread justice, without  which there will be resentment and dissatisfaction, and to guide their followers to shun hatred and see things in their right perspective to create a congenial atmosphere for all to live together and, thus turn this chaotic world into a paradise of peace and tranquility for the present and coming generation.

After his opening remarks, His Excellency Dr. Nasseef invited speakers to make their presentations aimed at highlighting the difficulties, injustices and atrocities towards Muslims in various parts of the world and presenting and stressing for their possible solutions.

Proceedings of the Executive Council Meeting
Of the World Muslim Congress.
The Meeting started with the recitation from the Holy Qur’an. Then the President of the World Muslim Congress, His Excellency, Dr. Abdullah Omar Nasseef opened the meeting by welcoming the Executive Council Members and other participants as well as the diplomats and other both electronic and press personalities.

First Day – First Session
There were two sessions on the first day, on Thursday, 18th of December 2015. After the Opening and Welcoming speech by Dr. Abdullah Omar Nasseef, Sheikh Abdullah Bin Bayah spoke on building peace in the Muslim society. Saudi Media Mogul, the former Editor-in-Chief of the Jeddah-based English daily, Arab News as well as of the Saudi Gazette, Mr. Khalid al-Maeena, political and media expert, spoke on “How can Muslims confront Modern Day Challenges”.

HE Raja Muhammad Zafarul Haque,
Secretary General of the Motamar al-Alam al-Islami
His Excellency Raja Muhammad Zafarul Haque, Secretary General of the Motamar al-Alam al-Islami (World Muslim Congress) delivered his speech.

Senator Raja Zafarul Haque started with going back to the historical background of the foundation of the World Muslim Congress. He said, “During the Hajj season Late King Abdulaziz called a meeting of the leaders of Muslim world here. He cannot make anyone else as the Khalifa. Let us create an organization which will try to bring Muslims on one platform. Though it was agreed and later on in 1931 meeting was called by Amini Hussaini Mufti Azam of Palestine and there this gathering elected the Mufti Azam of Palestine, Al-Hajj Sheikh Amini Hussaini, as President. They also agreed there should be two Vice Presidents, one from Asia and the other from Africa. From Asia it was Allama Iqbal and from Africa it was louba Pasha, ex-president from South Africa. And Mr. Ziauddin Tabatabai from Iran he was made the first Secretary General, who later became the Prime Minister of Iran.”

HE Zafarul Haque also mentioned, “The gathering was addressed and two things were mentioned. Number one, this organization will continue for a long time to come because the need of the Muslim Ummah to have such an organization. Number two, he said I placed before you the thought I feel that Muslims will not have the threat from non-Muslim so much as will face threat from deviated Muslims. Next he said if you want Muslim world to play a role in the world affairs you should look after yours and you should be well-educated and they should have full faith in their religion, its values and its teachings and that is the only way Muslims can face the world with courage and with success.”

“He was a visionary and you see different kinds of theories being put forward and organization brought balance and one goes back to his thinking even at that time, eighty-five years back,” said Mr. Zafarul Haque.

Speaking about the activities of the WMC, Secretary General Mr. Zafarul Haque mentioned, “We take up the Kashmir issue; we want democratic peaceful solution of Kashmir; ask the people of Jammu & Kashmir where they wanted to go; if the people of Kashmir was the first party in their fate which was to be determined; for that they should be asked to that solution has been adjusted and agreed upon by the Security Council. There was not one resolution; there were 23 resolutions; each one of them unanimous; India signed it, Pakistan signed it. There was an office in Geneva; it used to be called United Nations Human Rights Commission; now it is Human Rights Council. And we have an office in Geneva. We sent representatives to preside in these organizations.”

WMC Secretary General also mentioned about the Palestine issue. He said, “We talked about the Palestine issue; we propagated, we supported and we know the background of this issue because in 1917 when there was the First World War ending, the British Government Secretary of State made a declaration which is called Balfour Declaration on 2nd of November 1917. That Declaration is that we should encourage the Jews to come in Palestine and stay there because they were persecuted in Germany. American President wrote to Late King Abdul-Aziz that you should not oppose their settlement in Palestine as they are persecuted people by Germany. So you should have that. .You should have sympathy with them.”

“The reply which was given by Late King Abdul-Aziz is worth writing in golden letters. He said if some European powers have done some wrong with Jews we should not be made to pay the price. Our lands, Arab lands, our houses, our gardens they should not be occupied by them only because somebody else wronged with them. And everybody understood that he made a right decision and a right statement,” WMC Secretary General pointed out the background of the Palestine issue.

Senator Zafarul Haque also mentioned the important role of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in supporting the Palestinian cause. He said, “Saudi Arabia has played a very very important role in support of the Palestinians. During the period of King Fahad the Israeli government had made a law if Palestinian goes out of Palestine to Europe, to America or to any other countries for a short while even he cannot return to his home. So the right to return is also one of the demands of Palestinians. And they are buying and purchasing lands and houses in Jerusalem from the Palestinians because they were under the pressure and they wanted to live on lively outside. So they wanted to sale their lands. But it was the initiative of the Saudi Government and the Kingdom that whosoever wanted to sale their lands they should sell to Muslims and to Saudi Arabia and we will pay the price. Don’t give it to Jews.”

Raja Zafarul Haque also pointed out about the rights given to the womenfolk in Islam. He also mentioned about human dignity, human rights and basic principles of Islam.

Speaking about Muslim education, WMC Secretary General said, “Somebody mentioned that Muslims are not educated; but look at the Saudi Shoura Council; majority members of this Shoura Council; they are PhDs; PhDs in different fields of life. Most of them are educated from the West. No other elected body like the American Senate or the British Houses of Parliament or the Australian or Canadian, they are not educated as the Saudi Shoura Council members are.”

Dr. Ali Ghamdi, former diplomat
Dr. Ali al Ghamdi spoke on the Situation of Muslim in Kashmir and Stranded Pakistanis (Biharis) in Bangladesh. Speaking about the situation in Kashmir, Dr. Ali Al-Ghamdi highlighted the issue of Kashmir and explained its historical background and stressed that it must be solved according to the Resolution of the United Nations and that Kashmiri people must be given their right of plebiscite to voice their future.

He further emphasized that both the nuclear powers must do their best to find a permanent solution to the burning issue of Kashmir to avoid any more wars between them and in the larger interest of world peace.  He also stressed that atrocities and killings of Kashmiri people must be stopped and they must not be suppressed. And the United Nations and world powers must also play their role for the sake of justice and human rights. He hoped that wisdom will prevail and the right of self determination will be given to the Kashmiri people to solve this very old issue of the humanity.

Dr. Ali Al-Ghamdi also drew attention to the issue of repatriation of stranded Pakistanis left over in Bangladesh since 1971 after the break up of Pakistan and the creation of Bangladesh.  He said that Mr. Nawaz Sharif, the present Pakistani Prime Minister, had promised during his last tenure that he would bring back the stranded Pakistanis, but the matter is still un-solved. He also shed light on the role of Rabita Trust, which was established under the leadership of His Excellency Dr. Abdullah Omar Nasseef, the then Secretary General of the Muslim World League (Rabita al-Alam al-Islami) in conjunction with General Ziaul Haq, the then President of Pakistan in July 1988 to repatriate and rehabilitate the stranded Pakistanis in the Punjab province of Pakistan. 

Dr. Ghamdi, through the forum of World Muslim Congress asked Senator Raja Zafar ul Haq, the leader of the House in Pakistan Senate & the Secretary General of World Muslim Congress, to convey the wishes of the Executive Members Meeting to Prime Minister of Pakistan, H.E. Nawaz Sharif to do his national duty and expedite the Resolution about stranded Pakistanis in Bangladesh and questioned why no attention to solve their problems and to bring them to Pakistan had not yet been paid.

He stated that the delay in bringing them to Pakistan is like denying the very principles of the creation of Pakistan. They had migrated to Pakistan   not to Bangladesh. They have every right to be rehabilitated in Pakistan. Pakistani Government and authorities must feel their pathetic plight and over 40 years of terrible sufferings in Bangladesh and take immediate steps to resettle them in Pakistan. He said that if 20 crore Pakistanis did not have a cup of tea for a month there would so much funds that they could be easily re-settled in Pakistan. And Rabita Trust already had collected funds for their repatriation and rehabilitation and Pakistan Government and people must, out of Islamic feelings and brotherhood, put their share and solve this issue thinking themselves in their place of plight and misery.

Dr. Rayan Fawzi Arab spoke on the importance of Dawah in these difficult times of the Ummah. After him, Mr. Mohammad Yahya al-Asadi delivered his speech on the situation in Palestine.

Second session
After the break for refreshments and Maghreb prayers, the second session started with the presentation of Ms. Ambia Parveen on the situation of the Rohingya Muslims. Dr. Tasneem Zaman spoke on the Empowerement of women and Dr. Tariq Javaid Abbasi spoke on Islam, Extremism and the Role of Muslim leaders.  

Dr. Tariq Javaid Abbasi
Dr. Tariq Javaid Abbasi spoke on the Role of Muslim leaders and organizations in combating extremism. He said to combat terrorism and to spread peace and tranquility, besides the Governments and political organizations, and peace-loving public, the religious and faith leaders have a prophetic role to play as they can use their influence negatively or positively.  In that spirit, allow me to share with you what I believe to be the role of religious leaders in enhancing commitment to respect and value people of diverse faiths, and promoting peace and harmony amongst faith communities.

Dr. Abbasi said, “I believe religious and faith leaders have not spoken enough about justice and peace. Perhaps they represented their government’s policies and ignored justice; maybe they were concerned only with their own internal problems and interests and ignored the burning issues of the world. For example, how many countries suffer now under oppression, lack of human rights, social injustice, occupation, newest form of colonialism and the like? Religious leadership has not spoken enough about this.”

“If religious leaders will only raise their voices in a concerted way, they will become a beautiful, effective symphony of justice that will disrupt injustice and end violations of human rights,” he said.

Dr. Abbasi also mentioned that God calls us to seek together the values our faith traditions hold in common, such as justice, peace, forgiveness, respect, toleration, understanding and love.

Speaking about extremism, Dr. Abbasi said, “We understand and agree that there are people who has been very successful in brainwashing some of the Muslims, but the number is limited because of their movement restrictions and media access. However, there has been another entity very active in brainwashing the whole nations about their behaviours towards Muslims. I place both media and the extremists in the same category, both are involved heavily in their dirty work, one can be seen as non violent and other as violent, but both causing huge damage to the society. One legal form of brainwashing, and one illegal.”

Speaking about Islamophobia, Dr. Abbasi said, “In the west as well as USA Islamophobia is high on agenda, Muslims are the targets of hate crimes, especially Muslim women who wear the Hijab and men wearing Islamic clothing who are easily identifiable as Muslims. Muslims women have been complaining about the increase in anti Muslim propaganda in the media, resulting people spitting on them, pulling the hijab off their heads, calling them terrorists. People are being programmed to behave in a certain way towards Muslims.”
“There are around 1.6 billion Muslims around the globe, and 0.0000001% are promoting and practicing twisted form of religion, and the rest, in a greater percentage we are all law abiding peace loving community living amongst people of other faiths without any issues whatsoever,” he said..

Dr. Tasneem Nusrat Zaman
Dr. Tasneem Nusrat Zaman spoke on the Empowerment of Women in Islam. She mentioned, “Throughout history we witness the derogatory condition of women. In most societies they were nothing more than commodities, to be bought and sold, without any rights at all, buried alive when born, and burnt with the death of her husband.”

Dr. Zaman how the Holy Qur’an empowered women. She quoted from the holy Qur’an:
(Verily, the Muslim men and women, the believing men and women, the men and the women who are obedient (to Allah), the men and women who are truthful, the men and the women who are patient, the men and the women who are humble (before their Lord Allah), the men and the women who give Sadaqat (i.e. Zakat, and alms, etc.), the men and the women who observe Saum (fast), the men and the women who guard their chastity and the men and the women who remember Allah much with their hearts and tongues Allah has prepared for them forgiveness and a great reward (i.e. Paradise).)
[Al Ahzab, 35]

Dr. Zaman mentioned, “In spite of the Qur’anic injunctions men have always assumed some superiority over women and have dominated the world and relegate women to the background. Cultures and civilizations have always given legality to male superiority and have accordingly developed myths and conventions that tend to provide the fuel to legitimize them. Through time women have consistently, if grudgingly, borne the brunt of this male domination. Such inequities have been a feature of all human societies, from antiquity to our contemporary times.”

Dr. Zaman has reproduced a long quotation from Samana Siddique, a Chicago-based writer. She said, “In order to continue the process of the strengthening women in the Muslim community, which  has been recognized as a long term process, and to avoid the negative connotations Samana Siddique, a Chicago based writer and content manager at Sound Vision suggests some simple ways to begin:
1. Recognize and validate traditional women’s roles; 2. Address domestic violence and family abuse head on; 3. Acknowledge and recognize women volunteers, specifically; 4. 4. Teach Women’s Studies….Islamic style; 5. Set up an Aisha bint Abu Bakr Scholarship; 6.Incorporate stories of Muslim women in Friday Khutbas; 7. Make sure sisters are represented in the mosque, Islamic center or organization’s leadership; 8.Drop unIslamic double standards in word and action; 9. Start a Muslim women’s debate club and 10. Give them the info they need to seek knowledge.

Re-Structuring of the Executive Organization
Of The World Muslim Congress
The Re-Structuring of the Executive Organization of the World Muslim Congress was discussed by its Executive Council Members and they felt that including new blood, by adding highly educated, talented, capable and energetic younger people, was necessary. It was unanimously decided to make the following appointments to re-organize the Executive Council set up to foster/strengthen numerous activities and functions of the Congress to make the over-all performance of the organization more and more effective. The appointments were announced by Mr. Malik Khan, Member of the Congress from USA:-

New Office Bearers of the Motamar al-Alam al-Islami
1. Dr. Omar Abdullah Nasseef
     Asst Secretary General for Europe and Americas
2. Dr. Mohammad Abdullah Nasseef
     Asst Secretary General for Africa and Middle East
3. Dr. Sale al Aed
     Asst Secretary General
4. Mr. Raja Muhammad Ali-
     Asst Secretary General for Asia and Pacific

1. Dr. Tanweer Hasan Zaman
2. Dr. Mozammel Haque
3. Dr. Tariq Abbasi
4. Dr. Tasneem Zaman

Adoption of the Final Communique
Of the Executive Council Members Meeting
The Executive Council Members Meeting adopted the following Communique:
The final communiqué of the Members of the Executive Council of the meeting of the Motamar al Alam al Islami (World Muslim Congress) held in Jeddah, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, on the 7th-8th Rabi ul Awal 1437, corresponding to 18th & 19th of December 2015.

The Members of the Executive Council have adopted the following communiqué to
1.Thank Allah Subhanahu Wa Taala for the success of the meeting.
2. Thank the Custodian of the two Holy Mosques King Salman bin Abdul Aziz al Saud for his continuous support for Islamic and Muslim causes.
3. Appreciate the initiative of Custodian of the Two Holy Mosque King Salman bin Abdul Aziz for setting up 34 state Islamic military coalition to combat terrorism
4. Condemn the killing and torture of innocent people by Daesh and other terrorist groups in the name of Islam.
5. Declare that the killing and torture of innocent people of any community by Daesh and other terrorist groups is against the teaching of the Holy Quran and Sunnah the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him)
6. Declare that killing and torture of innocent people of any community by any individual or group is against the teaching of the Holy Quran and Sunnah Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him)
7. Condemn Islamophobia and all Islamophobic and racist attacks on Muslims in various parts of the world.
8 Urge governments of all countries where Islamophobia is common to take strong and effective measures to protect Muslims.
9.Appreciate the support of various communities against Islamophobia and attack on Islam and Muslims
10. Urge all Islamic centres and masjids to regularly hold workshops and educational programmes to prevent radicalization of the youth
11. Condemn the production of the film on the Holy Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) and urge for its removal from the You Tube
12. Condemn the production of any derogatory material, digital or otherwise on the Holy Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him)
13. Appreciate all the countries that have accepted Syrian refugees who have to flee their country and taken shelter in various countries to be saved from persecution.
14. Urge the Indian government to take action in protecting the minority community from intolerance and persecution of the majority Hindu community
15. Urge the Indian government to agree to the plebiscites on the issue of Kashmir and condemn the regular excesses by the Indian troops on the innocent people of Kashmir.
16. Condemn the persecution and killing of the Rohingiya Muslims and urge the new elected government to take positive action in protecting them.
17. Urge the world conscience to condemn the regular killing of Palestinians and find a final solution to the problem and establish a sovereign Palestine state.
18.  Condemn the desecration of the Al-Aqsa Mosque in Palestine.
19. Condemn the attack and desecration of any place of worship, be it a mosque, church, synagogue or temple.
20.Urge the Pakistani government to repatriate the stranded Pakistanis who are living in camps in Bangladesh for the past 44 years especially the divided families.
21. Urge the Bangladesh government to stop the execution of Islamic personalities through courts which are not following international norms of judiciary trial.
22. Urge Muslims anywhere in the world to adopt the Islamic code of conduct in all matters and channel all protests through peaceful means.
23. Urge all Muslims to participate in Dawah activities to promote the true spirit of Islam to various non-Muslim community in a practical and peaceful manner.

The Meeting concluded its business thanking Allah-Almighty for the success of the Meeting and greatly thanked His Excellency Dr. Abdullah Omar Nasseef, the President of the World Muslim Congress, for the warm hospitality extended to them during their stay at Jeddah, and highly appreciated the efforts of His Excellency Dr Abdullah Omar Nasseef and of the members/staff of World Muslim Congress, President’s Office at Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.