The following is the full text of the address of Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki at the Annual Coordination Meeting of the OIC Foreign Ministers in New York. In the name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful
Mr. Chairman, May I begin by thanking you for having convened this timely and important meeting and extending to you and your distinguished colleagues our gratitude for the excellent manner in which you have guided the work of our Organization.
It is indeed a pleasure for me to have the opportunity to address this OIC meeting and to exchange views on the most urgent and daunting challenges facing the Islamic World.
I have great hopes that, by taking stock of the past experiences and through cooperation among Islamic countries as well as pursuing the shared goals of the Muslim Ummah, we will be able to find solutions to the challenges besetting the Muslim nations.
Today, the mankind faces various and diverse challenges. Exhausted by a long period of injustices, painful experiences of devastating wars, foreign occupation, political tensions, unfair treatments and humiliation, nations across the globe seek for a new world free from these calamities, and for a better future for humankind free from fear, violence and injustice.
In the present turbulent world and with the prevalence of injustices, threats and tensions, and at a time when the big powers are adding to the world problems rather than solving them, and when mistrust in the international arena is on the rise and psychological security of societies is being targeted by an onslaught of political and propaganda designs, and at a time when the efficacy of policies and actions of the international organizations in the establishment of a durable peace and security is seriously under doubt, collective efforts by the peace-loving nations particularly the Muslim world to help find solutions to these burning challenges is more than ever essential.
Peoples across the globe are looking for a brighter and a more hopeful future featured by justice, compassion, and blossoming of all the God-given human talents and the prominence of faith in God and realization of the promise of God. In such a situation, Islam with peace, amity, justice, equality, and tolerance as the essence of its noble teachings, has a lot to offer to the world, and the Organization of the Islamic Conference has a great responsibility to discharge in this regard.
As the followers of the divine religion of Islam, it is our obligation to institutionalize the noble teachings that our holy Prophet has brought for the mankind, through international forums, including the OIC, in order to play a greater and more constructive role in promoting solutions to global challenges facing humanity and guaranteeing a more prosperous future for Muslim nations.
We should seriously address the plights of our brothers and sisters in Palestine, and other Muslims under the brutal occupation of the Zionist regime, and the challenges that foreign occupation and unilateral measures have brought about for the peoples of Iraq and Afghanistan. We should also be mindful and vigilant with regard to the schemes and ploys that are intended to target the tenets of our beliefs and sanctities by certain circles especially in the Western countries.
As we are all aware, the growing tendency towards Islamophobia is a critical issue facing the Muslim Ummah which requires our urgent attention and appropriate action. The continuation of this vicious phenomenon in various forms including through insulting Islamic sanctities and holy personalities, tarnishing the shining image of Islam and Muslims, and spreading hatred and prejudice against them, is a serious threat that requires a collective response by the Islamic world, particularly through this august organization. Muslims throughout the world in general and the Muslim communities in Western countries in particular, have been the target of not only massive propaganda campaigns, but outright social castigation and open violence – all under the pretext of freedom of expression or fighting terrorism.
We have been witnessing a growing trend in applying double standards by the Western countries with regard to the freedom of expression and thoughts. For them, insulting the holy Prophet or the very sanctities of Islam is justifiable under the pretext of freedom of expression, but at the same time, scientists and historians are prosecuted and imprisoned by them for expressing their views on certain historical issues.
Well-organized campaigns seem to have been launched to confront Islamic thoughts and to defame Islam and Muslims. The recent publishing of insulting and blasphemous caricatures depicting Prophet Mohammad (PBUH) in a Swedish newspaper is the latest example of such a pre-planned and offensive ploy. We strongly condemn the publication of offensive, provocative, irresponsible and blasphemous caricatures of the Prophet (PBUH) in the print and electronic media of some Western countries under the pretext of the freedom of expression and press freedom. In our view, such actions are taken to test the sensitivity and resolve of the Muslim countries in defending their values and sanctities. Therefore, the repetition of such atrocious behavior should in no way affect our determination to counter these measures and to defend our values and beliefs.
We are of the view that a legally binding international instrument to promote respect for all religions and cultural values and prevent intolerance, discrimination and instigation of hatred against followers of religions should be developed at the United Nations, and the OIC should spare no efforts to make this a reality.
The Zionist regime has continued and even intensified its heinous and barbaric crimes against the oppressed and defenseless Palestinian people in defiance of international law, UN resolutions and even the basic norms of decency. They are subjecting the Palestinian people including women and children to an untold and unprecedented violence, committing the most horrendous repressive acts to crush the legitimate struggle of the Palestinians. The said regime attacks villages, towns, refugee camps, hospitals, and only in the past several weeks has killed hundreds of civilians, including women and children with impunity while enjoying the unqualified support of the United States in the Security Council and elsewhere.
It is high time for the OIC members to rise more effectively in defense of the Palestinian people, adopt a unified position and urge the international community to counter the said regime’s state terrorism. The inhumane policies and practices of this regime against the defenseless Palestinians including its war crimes against those living in Gaza Strip has once again put on display the criminal nature of the said regime.
After its failure to suppress the Intifada of the Palestinian nation and following its defeat by the brave Hezbollah in Lebanon, the Zionist regime has attempted to create division among various groups in Palestine and Lebanon. In our view, all Muslim countries that can play an effective and positive role regarding the developments in Lebanon and Palestine, along with all Palestinian and Lebanese groups, should join hands and take every possible step to prevent this regime from succeeding in its policies to create divisions among
Palestinians and Lebanese.
We expect the Palestinian and Lebanese groups and political leaders to close ranks among themselves in order to materialize the aspirations of their peoples, to restore their inalienable rights and to liberate their lands.
The aggressive violation of Syrian airspace on 6 September 2007 by the Zionist regime is yet another showcase of this regime’s wicked policies and practices against the Muslim countries and the region. We strongly condemn this blatant violation of the Syrian sovereignty by the Zionist regime and express our solidarity with, and strong support for, the Government and people of Syrian Arab Republic in their resolute measures against such expansionist and aggressive policies and behaviors. The OIC and its member states should take every necessary steps to show that they are unambiguous and firm in their condemnation and rejection of this aggressive policy by the said regime, and in their support and solidarity with the Syrian people and Government.
Last but not least, I wish to reiterate our appreciation to you and other distinguished members of our Organization for the support you have all extended to our nation in its efforts to defend its inalienable rights to peaceful uses of nuclear technology. We are confident that this valuable support will continue in the future.