All smiles as Muslims unite for peace
The OIC says a campaign of defamation and denigration is one of the greatest challenges facing the Muslim world today.
First thing this morning I was wearing my Texan boots
US envoy Sada Cumber
There were more than 20 heads of state attending, but obviously no invitation letter was sent to George Bush.
The US president is viewed by many here with scorn, largely because US foreign policies are judged in much of the Muslim world as being anti-Islamic.
President Bush says the US is misunderstood and so he has appointed the Pakistan-born Sada Cumber, a Muslim businessman from Texas, as the first US special envoy to the Islamic organisation.
"My role is to share the common core values of America. The pure ethics of America does not allow any of us to have anything but deep respect for all religions, including Islam.
"So the perception [that the US government is anti-Islam] is probably a misconception," the Pakistan-born envoy told the BBC, adding that he had been widely welcomed at the summit.
Stars and stripes
Building bridges will be a tough job for Mr Cumber who will represent US interests on controversial subjects like Iraq.
But the man, who believes he was chosen because in the business world he has a track record of quick success, says he brings a positive message from Mr Bush.
"He's personally told me that he is prepared to engage with every one of the Muslim leaders to make sure we have freedom, stability and prosperity in all regions and he's committed."
When I point out that he has perhaps deliberately chosen not to pin a stars-and-stripes badge to his lapel or to wear stars-and-stripes socks to the world's largest summit of Muslim leaders, Mr Cumba has a surprising response.
"First thing this morning I was wearing my Texan boots on which is a huge logo: 'Texas Wide Open For Business'".
"I see you are not wearing them now," I point out.
"I was on my feet so much I had to take them off and put on some more comfortable shoes."
But does he not think Texan boots in an Islamic Conference could cause a bit of a stir?
"Absolutely not. People get a kick out of it. People look at them and say, 'Wow these boots are good.'
"Americans are always welcome, you know that."
Over HERE at Arab News they write:
|Editorial: Defeating Islamophobia |
14 March 2008
The news that the US has appointed an observer to the Organization of the Islamic Conference probably shocked many Muslims. After all, the general view across much of the Muslim world is that the US is riddled with Islamophobia. Many will therefore question Washington’s intentions, seeing the appointment not a move “to promote mutual understanding between the US and Muslim communities”, as the Americans claimed, but rather a deception, simply to pretend that is the case.
Oh it's a DECEPTION ALL RIGHT!!! Under those cowboy boots was a campaign button for Rudolf Guiliani! No wonder his feet hurt! We know about Rudy right? The biggest Islamophobe presidential, WOOPS, I meant DEFUNCT presidential candidate there was.
What was one of the top items on the agenda at the OIC summit?
Read: Statement on Islamophobia Issued by the OIC Ambassadorial Group at the UN in New York on 29 February 200
UPDATE: From this article
Delegates at the 57-nation Organisation of the Islamic Conference (OIC) in Dakar, Senegal, said a final communique would focus on the threat of "Islamophobia" facing the world's around 1.5 billion Muslims.
But it would recommend cooperation and dialogue with the non-Muslim world to defuse a potential clash of civilisations stoked by Western fears over Islamic terrorism and Muslims' anger at perceived insults against their faith. "The Islamic Ummah (community) is moving in a moderate direction and almost on a progressive path, we're all moving in the same path," said Sada Cumber, who was appointed by President George W. Bush last month to be the U.S. envoy to the OIC.Cumber said the risk from religious bigotry and extremism came not so much from a clash of civilisations, as from "a clash of ignorance on the part of Muslims to learn more about America and us, the Americans, to learn more about Islam"