OIC has woken up!

LO AND behold, the OIC has finally woken up to what has been going on in Lebanon. At its meeting in Malaysia yesterday, the highest body representing the world’s 1.5 billion Muslims and 57 Muslim countries, demanded an immediate ceasefire in Lebanon and a role for Muslim countries in the proposed UN peacekeeping force for the country.

The very fact that the OIC chose to hold its ‘emergency’ meeting nearly three weeks after Israel’s offensive on Lebanon speaks volumes about the seriousness of the organisation and its ability and willingness to respond to a huge crisis like the war on Lebanon.

True to their recent history, instead of responding in one voice to the devastating offensive on Lebanon that has outraged the whole world, the Arab and Muslim states chose to wait and watch. Even when they decided to speak, it was mostly to throw mud at each other. Rather than exploring the ways and means to help the unfortunate people in Lebanon, they pursued their own interests.

So is it any wonder then that every time the OIC meets in grand style and passes solemn resolutions, the world community merely yawns and looks the other way.

That said, we must emphasise that the OIC call for immediate ceasefire is the only reasonable and sensible way to end this crisis. The proposed international peace keeping force —which even Israel has agreed to —should be put together and it can indeed help in enforcing peace and improving the situation in Lebanon.

However, everyone involved —Lebanon, UN, US and Israel —knows that it will be weeks, even months, before such a force is put on the ground in Lebanon. This is exactly why Israel is pressing ahead with its invasion of Lebanon. It has sent in at least 10,000 troops into southern Lebanon who have destroyed several potential Hezbollah ‘targets’ which included hospitals and civilian shelters.

Israel has made no secret of the fact that it wants to wipe out Hezbollah or at least hit it so hard that it is not in a position to resist or take on the ruthless might of the Jewish state any more. And the US and its neo-con and Jewish-controlled establishment perfectly understand and support this strategy.

Would the world allow this to happen? Although given the recent history of the Middle East and the remorseless conduct of the world powers, there’s little hope of the world coming to Lebanon’s rescue. Israel will, in all likelihood, get away with murder once again —albeit it won’t be a cakewalk considering the stiff resistance being put up by the Hezbollah fighters.

But if the world is really keen to see this conflict does not widen to other parts of the world further broadening the dangerous gulf between the West and the Muslim world, it should intervene to stop this war. As Abdullah Badawi of Malaysia, the current chair of the OIC, emphasised yesterday, Lebanon could swell the ranks of the extremists. As a matter of fact, the outrage over the world community’s inability to stop the destruction of Lebanon is not limited to the fringe groups. It has outraged the whole of Muslim world and peace-loving people everywhere. The world will have to reap dangerous consequences of this dangerous dithering on Lebanon.

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