Secretary General of the Organization of the Islamic Conference Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu consideres coordinated efforts as necessary to combat the rise of Islamophobia, intolerance and discrimination against Muslims


“We can not ignore the fact that religion was included in the agenda of international relations by extremists who take an active part in creating tension and threaten stability, harmony and even peace, by provocation and incitement on religious reasons,” he said, speaking on Thursday in the Permanent Council of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe.

“The goals and objectives of the OIC are not much different from the aims and objectives of the OSCE, as our organizations are committed to international peace and security,” said Ihsanoglu.

Strengthening of existing cooperation between the two organizations is a positive trend, he said, adding that Kazakhstan, which holds the presidency of the OSCE in 2010 and will chair the OIC in 2011, could facilitate such cooperation.

Growth of hatred and intolerance is “among the most serious threats to stability and peace and is a serious threat to security,” said the head of the OIC.

He urged the OSCE to pay special attention to the “imminent threat to the stability, cohesion and security” created on the basis of intolerance and extremism, and welcomed the intention to consider the problem of struggle against intolerance and discrimination against Muslims within the OSCE High Level Conference on Tolerance and Non-Discrimination, to be held in June in Astana.