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Iyad Ameen Madani

OIC to continue work with Bangladesh -xtremists won’t be allowed to hijack Islam

OIC chief leads a five-member delegation on the three-day visit .Secretary General of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) Iyad Ameen Madani today assured that his organisation would continue to work with the present government of Bangladesh,
About the election on January 5, Madani said OIC has welcomed the results of the election and look forward to working with the officials of the government of Bangladesh.

“OIC doesn’t get involved in domestic politics of any member state…whoever is in power represents Bangladesh…the OIC looks forward to working with the officials of the government of Bangladesh,” he told reporters at the foreign ministry.

The OIC chief came up with the remarks after separate meetings with Foreign Minister AH Mahmood Ali and Secretary M Shahidul Haque.

Welcoming the results of the January 5 elections, Madani said he is here to listen to the leaders in terms of their vision for the OIC and the priorities of OIC in the future.

Responding to a question, the OIC chief said they see two challenges for the Muslim Ummah. “One is sectarian violence, which is between Shia and Sunnis. This is really a situation where there will be no winners and there will all be losers. We’ve to confront this as Muslims, as member states.”

He said the OIC has to play a role in this regard as there is a need to confront those voices of extremism that give themselves a right to talk on behalf of Islam.

“We cannot allow them to hijack Islam. Islam is a religion of tolerance, a peaceful coexistence of prosperity, scientific knowledge of free mind. We cannot allow ourselves to be taken away by literal translation of narrow minded extremism. This is the two challenges,” he added.

Madani arrived here at 3:50am today by a flight of Etihad Airways on a four-day official visit.

This his first visit to Bangladesh after assuming the office of secretary general recently and the purpose of the visit is to strengthen the existing cooperation between the OIC and Bangladesh, according to the foreign ministry.
Iyad Ameen Madani has said Muslims cannot allow the extremists who interpret Islam from narrow perspective to hijack Islam.

The OIC chief made the statement after holding meetings with Foreign Minister AH Mahmood Ali and Foreign Secretary Md Shahidul Haque on Sunday.

Terming Islam as a religion of tolerance, he said: “We cannot allow ourselves to be taken away by literal translation of narrow minded extremists.”

Madani also termed conflict between Shiah and Sunni, and Sunni and Sunni as sectarian violence.

He said OIC would not get involved in domestic politics of any country.

Madani is scheduled to meet Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina at Jatiya Snagsad Bhaban at 6:30pm today after holding a meeting with Finance Minister AMA Muhith.

He will also meet Education Minister Nurul Islam Nahid, apart from visiting some educational institutions.

The OIC secretary general is scheduled to meet President Abdul Hamid at Bangabhaban at 7:30pm tomorrow.

Madani, a former minister of Saudi Arabia, assumed office as the 10th secretary general of OIC on January 1 this year after his election in the 12th OIC Summit held in Cairo, Egypt in February 2013.

Bangladesh is among the first few countries that the secretary general decided to visit after taking over charge of the OIC General Secretariat.

The OIC is the second largest international organisation, after the UN family, which groups 57 Muslim-majority countries spread over four continents.

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