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February 17, 2013, Sunday

An Islamic Nations Security Council

The Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), one of the largest intergovernmental organizations in the world, held the 12th summit for heads of state in Cairo last week.

Without Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the world would not have noticed this event. No serious decision and consensus has been reached at the meeting on the crises in Syria and Mali, the two major topics of discussion at the gathering. This shows the weakness of this organization.

Despite strong efforts by Ekmeleddin İhsanoğlu, who has been serving as the secretary-general for two consecutive terms, the organization still remains a relatively insignificant institution. Of course, there are many reasons for the ineptness and indifference of the OIC, whose members include nations that have the most strategic resources and critical territories in the world.

The primary reason is a lack of democratic governments in these countries and their manipulation by the Western powers. Unfortunately, Turkey, the most democratic and economically strongest member in the OIC, has not become powerful enough to have a strong influence in the international arena. The Egyptian democracy is still in its infancy. Pakistan is unable to rise due to ongoing domestic problems. Indonesia and Malaysia, which give the impression that they are set aside in the Islamic world have no assertive qualities to lead the Islamic nations in the Middle East that have strong civilizations and histories.

This leaves Iran. Whether this nation, which is on the agenda of discussions in world politics all the time, has been beneficial or harmful to the Muslim world is obvious.

What could the solution be? Perhaps through a structural reform, an Islamic Nations Security Council -- similar to the one in the United Nations -- could be created in affiliation with the OIC. Maybe some, in reference to the union of the D-8 nations created by Necmettin Erbakan, would say that such an attempt would not work.

Maybe all members of the Islamic Nations Security Council should be chosen from the D-8 nations. However, there are five nations that should serve as members in this organization. Turkey should represent the nations situated along the northern side of the Islamic world from Central Asia to the Balkans. Iran is the natural leader of the Shiite world. Indonesia is the representative of Muslims in the Far East and is the most populated Islamic nation as well.

Although it is struggling with some political and economic hardships, Egypt is the leader of the Arab world. And Nigeria is the representative of Africa. An Islamic Nations Security Council, which would have these states as members, would find solutions to the crucial problems of the Muslim world in the medium term.

The most critical problems in the world are being observed in the Islamic world. It is up to the Western powers to address these problems. Based on what reason and motivation would the Western nations rush to deal with these problems? On the contrary, they cause further instability and then withdraw as evidenced by their operations in a vast area from Afghanistan to Pakistan, from Somalia to Yemen and even to Mali. The other Islamic nations do nothing in these instances. The saddest part is that Qatar, with a population of 300,000, takes the initiative to resolve the problems in the Islamic world.

The media outlets in the Islamic countries barely covered the OIC summit last week. Those who covered the event published only the text of the speech of their leaders or focused on the sensational attention-grabbing or sensational attitudes and speeches by Iranian leader Ahmadinejad.

The summit will be held in Turkey in 2016. Solutions should be sought to make the organization more functional by the next summit. In this endeavor, the secretary-general should not be left to shoulder the responsibility alone.

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