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By: Abdul Rasool Syed

The Muslim world is currently facing a plethora of myriad internal and external challenges. As for the internal challenges, it is marked with deep social, political and sectarian cleavages and also the ever-burgeoning economic blues. Externally, the most daunting, pervasive challenge that the Islamic world is confronted with today is the mushrooming islamophobia. Anti-Islam lobbyists have launched a nefarious campaign to undermine the swiftly growing influence of Islam by equating this religion of peace and serenity with terrorism and intolerance. Therefore, Islam, its founder Prophet Muhammad (SAW) and his followers, i.e. Muslims, are repeatedly subjected to constant censure by the Islamophobes.

Recent, highly condemnable attempt by a Dutch lawmaker, Geert Wilders to denigrate the Holy Prophet (SAW) through a cartoon contest bears testimony to the fact that Islamophobia is soaring at an exponential rate in the non-Muslim world, especially the West. In fact, it is recoil of the rapid growth and widespread embracement of Islam in the world, particularly in Europe. In its religious forecast for 2050, the PEW Research Center concludes that global Muslim population is expected to grow at faster rate than the non-Muslim population. Therefore, anti-Muslim forces are employing all their resources to thwart the spread of Islam.

Moreover, there is also a ubiquitous paranoia in the Western world that Islam may replace, as an alternate dispensation, their decades-old political, social and economic entrenchments and put, thereby, an end to their luxurious and immodest style of living.

Sadly, the role of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) – the Muslim world’s biggest and the world’s second biggest organization after the United Nations (UN) – to counter this negative propaganda against Islam has been dismal, to say the least. It has miserably failed in fulfilling the aspirations of the Muslim Ummah. It has done nothing worthwhile to effectively address the ills that plague the Muslim nations in a tangible form and to project the true, soft image of Islam – indubitably the very antithesis of what is being promoted by the anti-Islam forces. “A toothless paper tiger,” this is how the critics mention the OIC. The main objective for which the OIC was established in 1969 was to safeguard and protect the Muslims’ rights and interests globally, but that purpose has not been achieved yet.

Despite the fact that OIC member countries possess nearly 70 percent of the world’s energy resources and 40 percent of available raw material, their GDP is only 5 percent of the world’s total GDP. OIC member states host approximately 22 percent of the world population, 25 percent of the population of OIC countries does not have access to medical facilities and safe drinking water. Half the population lives below the poverty line classified as the poorest. No Muslim country is at higher rankings in the Human Development Index.

Read More: Can the OIC save Muslims?

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