|Headquarters||Jeddah, Saudi Arabia|
|Official languages||Arabic, English, French|
|Membership||57 member states|
The Organisation of the Islamic Conference (OIC) is an international organisation with a permanent delegation to the United Nations. It groups 57 member states, from the Middle East, Africa, Central Asia, Caucasus, Balkans, Southeast Asia and South Asia. The official languages of the organisation are Arabic, English and French.
Since the nineteenth century, many Muslims had aspired to uniting the Muslim ummah to serve their common political, economic, and social interests. Despite the presence of secularist, nationalist, and socialist ideologies, in modern Muslim states, they have cooperated together to form the Organisation of the Islamic Conference. The formation of the OIC happened in the backdrop of the loss of Muslim holy sites in Jerusalem. The final cause sufficiently compelled leaders of Muslim nations to meet in Rabat to establish the OIC on September 25, 1969.
According to its charter, the OIC aims to preserve Islamic social and economic values; promote solidarity amongst member states; increase cooperation in social, economic, cultural, scientific, and political areas; uphold international peace and security; and advance education, particularly in the fields of science and technology.
The flag of the OIC (shown above) has an overall green background (symbolic of Islam). In the centre, there is an upward-facing red crescent enveloped in a white disc. On the disc the words "Allahu Akbar" (Arabic for "God is great") are written in Arabic calligraphy.
On August 5, 1990, 45 foreign ministers of the OIC adopted the Cairo Declaration on Human Rights in Islam to serve as a guidance for the member states in the matters of "human rights" in as much as they are compatible with the Sharia, or Quranic Law.
President George W. Bush announced on June 27, 2007 that the United States will establish an envoy to the OIC. Bush said of the envoy "Our special envoy will listen to and learn from representatives from Muslim states, and will share with them America's views and values." Sada Cumber became the US representative on March 3, 2008.
The Organisation of the Islamic Conference on March 28, 2008 added its voice to the growing criticism of the film 'Fitna' by Dutch lawmaker Geert Wilders, which features disturbing images of violent acts juxtaposed with verses from the Quran.
The ninth meeting of the Council of PUOICM was held on 15 and 16 Feb 2007 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.. The speaker of Malaysia's House of Representatives, Ramli bin Ngah Talib, delivered a speech at the beginning of the inaugural ceremony. OIC secretary-general Prof Dr Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu said prior to the meeting that one main agenda item was stopping Israel from continuing its excavation at the Western Wall near the Al-Aqsa Mosque, Islam's third holiest shrine. The OIC also discussed how it might send peacekeeping troops to Muslim states, as well as the possibility of a change in the name of the body and its charter. Additionally, return of the sovereignty right to the Iraqi people along with withdrawal of foreign troops from Iraq was another one of the main issues on the agenda.
Pakistani Foreign Minister Khurshid Mahmud Kasuri told reporters on 14 February 2007 that the Secretary General of OIC and foreign ministers of seven "like-minded Muslim countries" would meet in Islamabad on 25 February 2007 following meetings of President Musharraf with heads of key Muslim countries to discuss "a new initiative" for the resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Kasuri said this would be a meeting of foreign ministers of key Muslim countries to discuss and prepare for a summit in Makkah Al Mukarramah to seek the resolution of the Arab-Israeli conflict.
OIC created the Cairo Declaration of Human Rights in Islam. While proponents claim it is not an alternative to the UDHR, but rather complementary, Article 24 states "All the rights and freedoms stipulated in this Declaration are subject to the Islamic Shari'ah." and Article 25 follows that with "The Islamic Shari'ah is the only source of reference for the explanation or clarification of any of the articles of this Declaration." Attempts to have it adopted by the United Nations Human Rights Council have met increasing criticism, because of its contradiction of the UDHR, including from liberal Muslim groups. Critics of the CDHR state quite bluntly that it is “manipulation and hypocrisy”, “designed to dilute, if not altogether eliminate, civil and political rights protected by international law” and attempts to “circumvent these principles [of freedom and equality]”.
Human Rights Watch says that OIC has “fought doggedly” and successfully within the United Nations Human Rights Council to shield states from criticism, except when it comes to criticism of Israel. For example, when independent experts reported violations of Human Rights in the 2006 Lebanon War, “state after state from the OIC took the floor to denounce the experts for daring to look beyond Israeli violations to discuss Hezbollah’s as well”. OIC demands that the council “should work cooperatively with abusive governments rather than condemn them”. HRW responds that this works only with those who are willing to coöperate; others exploit the passivity.
In 1999 OIC adopted the OIC Convention on Combating International Terrorism. Human Rights Watch has noted that the definition of terrorism in article 1 as “any act or threat of violence carried out with the aim of, among other things, imperiling people’s honour, occupying or seizing public or private property, or threatening the stability, territorial integrity, political unity or sovereignty of a state” is vague and ill-defined, and includes much that is outside the generally accepted understandings of the concept of terrorism. In HRW's view, it labels, or could easily be used to label, as terrorist actions, acts of peaceful expression, association and assembly.
Legal scholar Ben Saul of University of Sydney argues that the definition is subjective and ambiguous and concludes that there is “serious danger of the abusive use of terrorist prosecutions against political opponents” and others.
Furthermore, HRW is concerned by OIC’s apparent unwillingness to recognise as terrorism acts that serve causes endorsed by their member states. Article 2 reads: “Peoples’ struggle including armed struggle against foreign occupation, aggression, colonialism, and hegemony, aimed at liberation and self-determination.” HRW has suggested to OIC that they embrace “longstanding and universally recognised international human rights standards” – a request that has as yet not led to any results.
Contradictions between OIC's and other U.N. member’s understanding of terrorism has stymied efforts at the U.N. to produce a comprehensive convention on international terrorism.
On a meeting in Malaysia in April 2002, delegates discussed terrorism, but failed to reach a definition of it. They rejected, however, any description of the Palestinian fight with Israel with terrorism. Their declaration was explicit: "We reject any attempt to link terrorism to the struggle of the Palestinian people in the exercise of their inalienable right to establish their independent state with Al-Quds Al-Shrif (Jerusalem) as its capital." In fact, at the outset of the meeting, the OIC countries signed a statement praising the Palestinians and their "blessed intifada." The word terrorism was restricted to describe Israel, whom they condemned for "state terrorism" in their war with the Palestinian people.
Thailand has responded to OIC criticism of human rights abuses in the Muslim majority provinces of Pattani, Yala and Narathiwat in the south of the country. In a statement issued on October 18, 2005 secretary-general Ihsanoglu vocalised concern over the continuing conflict in the south that "claimed the lives of innocent people and forced the migration of local people out of their places". He also stressed that the Thai government's security approach to the crisis would aggravate the situation and lead to continued violence.
On 18-19 of April 2009, The exile Patani leader Abu Yasir Fikri (see PULO)was invited to the OIC to speak out about the conflict and present a solution to end the violence between the Thai government and the ethnicly malay muslims living in the socioeconomically neglected south, that has been struggling against Thai assimilation policy and for self governance since it became annexed by Thailand in 1902. Abu Yasir Fikri presented a six point solution at the conference in Jiddah that included getting the same basic rights as other groups when it came to right of language, religion and culture. In the solution Abu Yasir Fikri also suggested that Thailand give up their discriminatory policies against the Patani people and allow Patani to at least be allowed the same self governing rights as other regions in Thailand already have, citing that this does not go against the Thai constitution since it has been done in other parts of Thailand and that it is only a matter of political will. He also criticized the Thai governments escalation of violence by arming and creating Buddhist militia groups and questioned their intentions. He added Thai Policies of not investigating corruption, murder and human rights violations perpetrated by Bangkok led administration and military personnel against the malay muslim population was an obstacle for achieving peace and healing the deep wounds of being treated as third class citizens. 
Thailand responded to this criticism over its policies. The Thai Foreign Minister Kantathi Suphamongkhon said: "We have made it clear to the OIC several times that the violence in the deep South is not caused by religious conflict and the government grants protection to all of our citizens no matter what religion they embrace." The Foreign Ministry issued a statement dismissing the OIC’s criticism and accusing it of disseminating misperceptions and misinformation about the situation in the southern provinces. "If the OIC secretariat really wants to promote the cause of peace and harmony in the three southern provinces of Thailand, the responsibility falls on the OIC secretariat to strongly condemn the militants, who are perpetrating these acts of violence against both Thai Muslims and Thai Buddhists." 
India has also hit out at the OIC for supporting UN demands for a plebiscite in Kashmir. Further to this, during the 2008 Amarnath land transfer imbroglio the OIC's condemnation of the "ongoing excessive and unwarranted use of force against the Kashmiri people" was met by an Indian response that said: "The OIC has once again chosen to comment upon Jammu and Kashmir and India's internal affairs on which it has no locus standi...To call for international involvement in the sovereign internal affairs of India is gratuitous, illegal and only reflects reversion to a mindset that has led to no good consequences for Pakistan in the past."  The UN stated that it was "concerned" about the "violent protests" in Kashmir and the reaction from the Indian state and called for restraint from both sides. .
Kashmir is a disputed territory claimed by both Pakistan and India. The UN does not recognize either side's claims to sovereignty over Kashmir. HRW and Amnesty International have also been critical of human rights abuses in Kashmir.
The OIC system consists of:
The largest organ, attended by the Kings and the Heads of State and Government of the member states, convened every three years.
It meets once a year to examine a progress report on the implementation of its decisions taken within the framework of the policy defined by the Islamic Summit.
It is the executive organ of the Organisation, entrusted with the implementation of the decisions of the two preceding bodies, and is located in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. The current secretary general of this international organisation is Ekmeleddin İhsanoğlu, from Turkey, since January 1, 2005.
Note: The table can be sorted alphabetically or chronologically using the "><" icon.
|Afghanistan, Islamic Republic of||1969||Suspended 1980 - March 1989|
|Algeria, People's Democratic Republic of||1969|
|Chad, Republic of||1969|
|Egypt, Arab Republic of||1969||Suspended May 1979 - March 1984|
|Guinea, Republic of||1969|
|Indonesia, Republic of||1969|
|Iran, Islamic Republic of||1969|
|Jordan, Hashemite Kingdom of||1969|
|Kuwait, State of||1969|
|Lebanon, Republic of||1969|
|Libya, Socialist People's Libyan Arab Jamahiriya||1969|
|Mali, Republic of||1969|
|Mauritania, Islamic Republic of||1969|
|Morocco, Kingdom of||1969|
|Niger, Republic of||1969|
|Pakistan, Federal Democratic Republic of（Islamic Republic of）||1969|
|Palestine, represented by the Palestine Liberation Organisation||1969|
|Saudi Arabia, Kingdom of||1969|
|Senegal, Republic of||1969|
|Sudan, Republic of the||1969|
|Tunisia, Republic of||1969|
|Turkey, Republic of||1969|
|Yemen Arab Republic||1969||From 1990 as Republic of Yemen united with People's Democratic Republic of Yemen|
|Bahrain, State of||1970||From 2003 as Kingdom of Bahrain|
|Oman, Sultanate of||1970|
|Qatar, State of||1970|
|Syrian Arab Republic||1970|
|United Arab Emirates||1970|
|Sierra Leone, Republic of||1972|
|Bangladesh, People's Republic of||1974|
|Gabon, Republic of||1974|
|Gambia, Republic of the||1974|
|Guinea-Bissau, Republic of||1974|
|Uganda, Republic of||1974|
|Cameroon, Republic of||1975|
|Comoros, Union of (previously Federal Islamic Republic of) the||1976|
|Iraq, Republic of||1976|
|Maldives, Republic of||1976|
|Djibouti, Republic of||1978|
|Benin, Republic of||1982|
|Brunei Darussalam, Sultanate of||1984|
|Nigeria, Federal Republic of||1986|
|Azerbaijan, Republic of||1991|
|Albania, Republic of||1992|
|Kyrgyzstan, Republic of||1992|
|Tajikistan, Republic of||1992|
|Turkmenistan, Republic of||1992|
|Mozambique, Republic of||1994|
|Kazakhstan, Republic of||1995|
|Uzbekistan, Republic of||1995|
|Suriname, Republic of||1996|
|Togo, Republic of||1997|
|Guyana, Republic of||1998|
|Côte d'Ivoire, Republic of||2001|
|Suspended or Withdrawn|
|Zanzibar||Jan 1993||Withdrew August 1993|
|Bosnia and Herzegovina||1994|
|Central African Republic||1997|
|Northern Cyprus Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (as 'Turkish Cypriot State')||1979||Official 2004|
|Thailand, Kingdom of||1998|
|Observer Muslim Organisations and Communities|
|Moro National Liberation Front||1977|
|Observer Islamic institutions|
|Parliamentary Union of the OIC Member States||2000|
|Islamic Conference Youth Forum for Dialogue and Cooperation||2005|
|Observer International Organisations|
|League of Arab States||1975|
|Organisation of African Unity||1977|
|Economic Cooperation Organisation||1995|
|1st||September 22 - September 25, 1969||Morocco||Rabat|
|2nd||February 22 - February 24, 1974||Pakistan||Lahore|
|3rd||January 25 - January 29, 1981||Saudi Arabia||Makkah Al Mukarramah and Taif|
|4th||January 16 - January 19, 1984||Morocco||Casablanca|
|5th||January 26 - January 29, 1987||Kuwait||Kuwait City|
|6th||December 9 - December 11, 1991||Senegal||Dakar|
|7th||December 13 - December 15, 1994||Morocco||Casablanca|
|1st Extraordinary||March 23, 1997||Pakistan||Islamabad|
|8th||December 9 - December 11, 1997||Iran||Tehran|
|9th||November 12 - November 13, 2000||Qatar||Doha|
|2nd Extraordinary||March 5, 2003||Qatar||Doha|
|10th||October 16 - October 17, 2003||Malaysia||Putrajaya|
|3rd Extraordinary||December 7 - December 8, 2005||Saudi Arabia||Makkah Al Mukarramah|
|11th||March 13 - March 14, 2008||Senegal||Dakar|
The OIC members have a combined GDP (at PPP) of USD 10,140,000,000,000. As upto 50% of economic activity may occur in the grey or shadow economy, the actual output could be higher by a great deal. The highest GDP in OIC belongs to Gulf Cooperation Council with a GDP exceeding USD 1,239 billion on a nominal exchange rate basis. The GDP of GCC would have been higher using this method if their currencies were not pegged to the US dollar (except for Kuwait) when US$ plummetted in value. It is observed that the GCC wields an inordinate amount of influence in maintaining the status of US$ as the world's reserve currency, with more than 50% of global foreign exchange reserves stored in this paper currency. See also Fiat money. Individually, Islamic Republic of Iran has the largest GDP based on Purchasing Power Parity with an estimated economy anywhere from 1,300 international dollars to 1,727 international dollars. Possibly its actual output remains somewhere inbetween the two extreme estimates. The richest country on the basis of GDP per capita is Qatar at USD 103,204 per capita.
Organisation of the Islamic Conference