Ummah's contrasting extremes pose challenge to OIC's unity

His Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam highlighted the two contrasting extremes - one of development, confidence and success and the other of suffering to the point of deep despair - which pose a direct challenge to the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation's (OIC) unity.

His Majesty said this in a titah at the Fourth Extraordinary Session of the Islamic Summit Conference held at the Al Safa Palace in Mecca on Tuesday evening.

Upon arrival at the Al Safa Palace, His Majesty was greeted by His Majesty King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud, the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

His Majesty King Abdullah called for the conference to be convened with the aim of examining the situation in many countries of the Islamic world; intensifying efforts to confront the situation; and addressing the sources of discord and division therein. The session also hoped to reunify the Islamic Ummah and promote Islamic solidarity.

His Majesty first expressed his condolences to the government and people of the Islamic Republic of Iran on the recent earthquake that hit some parts of the country. At the same time, His Majesty also offered his deepest thoughts and prayers to Muslim brothers and sisters who are facing grave economic, political and security challenges.

His Majesty acknowledged that the current situation of the Ummah presents two contrasting extremes which pose a direct challenge to OIC's unity.

His Majesty highlighted that one of the extremes represents purpose, development, confidence and success, which is seen all over the world in many forms, namely commercial, political, industrial, social and cultural.

This, at the highest level, demonstrates that people can master all aspects of the globalised world with enormous success. This also shows that ordinary families and communities are coping with these challenges with confidence.

In this regard, His Majesty noted a number of international projects such as the United Nations Millennium Development Goals and OIC's Ten-Year Programme of Action are gradually taking effect.

On the other extreme, His Majesty stated that the Ummah continue to suffer to the point of deep despair as seen in the mass media on a daily basis. His Majesty also voiced deep concern over the alarming humanitarian situation as what is more worrying is the absence of clear direction on how assistance can be given.

In this regard, His Majesty commended the timely invitation by His Majesty the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques for member countries of the OIC to meet and address the situation concerning the Muslim Ummah in this holy and blessed month of Ramadhan. His Majesty added that it is time for the member countries to meet, unite and help.

In concluding his titah, His Majesty assured of Brunei Darussalam's support to the initiative of His Majesty the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques for the Centre for a Dialogue for Islamic Doctrines in Riyadh and commitment to contribute in whatever way it can to help unite the Ummah and show that no brother or sister is forgotten. This will hopefully restore confidence in a shared future of peace and prosperity.

Accompanying His Majesty to the event were Pehin Orang Kaya Laila Setia Dato Seri Setia Awang Haji Abdul Rahman bin Haji Ibrahim, the Minister of Finance II at the Prime Minister's Office; Pehin Datu Seri Maharaja Dato Paduka Seri Setia (Dr) Ustaz Haji Awang Abdul Aziz bin Juned, the State Mufti, and other senior officials.

After the meeting, His Majesty consented to attend a Sahur Banquet with other leaders attending the Fourth Extraordinary Session of the Islamic Summit Conference hosted by His Majesty King Abdullah. It took place at the Mina Palace in Mecca. - Borneo Bulletin (16 August 2012)