'Istanbul Declaration' expresses concern over 'xenophobia, Islamophobia [and] anti-Muslim racism in Western countries'.
ISTANBUL (AA) – The Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) has called on Western states to take necessary measures against xenophobia and Islamophobia.
In its ‘Istanbul Declaration’ adopted on Friday by member states, signatories expressed “concern” over the rising tide of “xenophobia, Islamophobia, anti-Muslim racism in Western countries”.
Leaders of 56 member states met in Istanbul for the 13th OIC summit to discuss problems faced by Muslim people across the globe.
The summit hoped to increase unity and solidarity between Muslim countries in the fight against terrorism.
According to the Istanbul Declaration, member states condemn terrorism in all forms and manifestations, calling for “equal determination towards all terrorist organizations”.
The declaration said member countries were alarmed by the threat terrorism poses to peace and stability in many OIC states and “concerned about the power vacuum that eventually offers fertile ground to terrorist organizations like Daesh, Boko Haram, PKK/PYD/YPG”.
In the declaration, OIC “deplored” Iran's interference in the internal affairs of regional states and other member states including Bahrain, Yemen, Syria, and Somalia, and its continued support for terrorism.
The declaration also said the organization rejects "any attempt to affiliate terrorism with any nationality, civilization, religion or ethnic group".
Terror and Islamophobia were two prominent topics of the summit.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan called on member states to form an anti-terror body within the organization to solidify the fight against terror.
The declaration also rejected sectarianism and encouraged member states to fight against “sectarian and discriminatory policies and practices as well as at enhancing reconciliation among all Muslims”.
The declaration also expressed concern "at the unbearable sufferings of millions of Muslim refugees, particularly that of Syrian refugees".
Syria has been locked in a vicious civil war since early 2011, when the Bashar al-Assad regime cracked down on pro-democracy protests with unexpected ferocity.
Since then, more than 250,000 people have been killed and more than 10 million displaced, according to the UN.
Over the past year, hundreds of thousands of refugee have made short-but-perilous journeys in a bid to reach northern and Western Europe in search for a better life.