Terror is one of the prominent issues where Muslim countries should increase their unity and solidarity, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said on Tuesday.
“The Islamic world should take a stand against terror. It is a duty for all Muslims,” Cavusoglu said during an opening speech at the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) Foreign Ministers’ meeting in Istanbul.
“This disease tries to set Muslims against one another. Unfortunately, some terror organizations use our religion’s name. So, their damage to Muslims increases. Islam means peace. We will not let some murder circles to abuse our religion,” Cavusoglu added.
Foreign ministers from OIC member countries are meeting in Istanbul to prepare for a wider summit that will take place on Thursday and Friday.
Turkish FM Cavusoglu said the summit was taking place at a delicate time when the Islamic world is going through many challenges, including sectarianism, civil war and terror.
Cavusoglu said such challenges prevented Islamic countries from addressing problems that Muslims have been facing in the world.
“There has been a dramatic increase in bias against Muslims and Islam in the world. Islamophobia and xenophobia have been on the rise. As a result of these, [Muslims] face injustices and violence,” Cavusoglu said.
“The Muslim world should criticize itself,” he added.
The international meeting, with the theme ‘Unity and Solidarity for Justice and Peace’, is expected to discuss the situation in numerous Muslim countries, including Syria, Yemen, Palestine, Iraq, and Azerbaijan, as well as the fight against terrorism.
President Recep Tayyip Erdogan will host the OIC summit which presidents and prime ministers from over 30 countries will join.
“The summit convenes at a critical time when the Islamic world needs to be in unity and solidarity to confront the challenges, risks and threats it has been facing and to look for viable solutions to the issues and problems that have been jeopardizing the justice and peace that the people of the Islamic world rightfully deserve,” the OIC has said.
The summit will hand over the chairmanship of the OIC to Turkey for the coming two years.
Founded in 1969, the OIC consists of 56 member states and represents the collective voice of the Islamic world.