The Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) has strongly condemned the abduction of more than a hundred girls on Tuesday from their school in North Eastern Nigeria, and called for their immediate release and safe return to their homes.
Secretary General Iyad Ameen Madani stressed the importance of girls’ education and the role of women in Islam, and insisted that there was no excuse whatsoever for this criminal action which tarnishes the good image of Islam, a tolerant and moderate religion that rejects extremism in all its forms and manifestations. Madani reiterated the principled position of the OIC against extremism and terrorism as well as prejudices against women, and restated the solidarity of the OIC with the authorities in Nigeria in their efforts to combat violent extremism.
In a related development, Madani expressed concern about the recently conducted national population census in Myanmar and the government’s decision not to allow census respondents to self-identify as Rohingya, stating that this decision does not conform with international census standards as set by the United Nations Population Fund nor does it conform with basic human rights principles in terms of non-discrimination.
He said that as a result of lack of adherence to principles of international law and infringement of the rights of the Rohingya people, a wave of condemnable violence again erupted including the burning of several Rohingya homes and the arbitrary detention of women.
He expressed concern at the deteriorating situation of humanitarian aid workers in Rakhine State and regretted the reported attacks on their persons. He urged the government of Myanmar to enforce the rule of law in Rakhine, hold all perpetrators accountable, ensure the safety of those providing necessary assistance and humanitarian aid and prevent further escalation of violence.