In a First, Indian to Attend Organisation of Islamic Nations’ Meet
Haji Syed has been invited to address the Islamic Conference Youth Forum for Dialogue and Cooperation on 4 October
In a recognition of the country's Muslim community, the second-largest in the world, an Indian has been invited to attend a prestigious conference of the Organisation of Islamic Countries' Islamic Conference Youth Forum for Dialogue and Cooperation (ICYF-DC).
Haji Syed Salman Chishty of Dargah Ajmer Sharif has been invited to address the ICYF-DC's Third Islamic Conference of Youth and Sports Ministers opening in Istanbul on 4 October.
This is a great honour for India and Indian Muslims. I shall speak on ‘Empowering Youth for Peace, Solidarity and Development’, which is the main theme of this global conference to be attended by representatives from 52 countries.Haji Chishty, 27th direct descendent-custodian of the Sufi saint, Hazrat Khwaja Moinuddin Chishty
The recommendations of the conference will be included in "The OIC 2025 Action Plan", encompassing the adoption of the OIC Youth Strategy, he said.
Haji Chishty said that under the leadership of its Secretary General, Iyad Ameen Madani, the OIC has declared youth engagement in the Islamic world as one of its key priorities and the member-states have made investing in youth their main priority.
This is the first time India – which is home to the world's second largest Muslim population after Indonesia – has been invited to the OIC forum. In fact, since nearly a decade, India's application for an OIC membership or getting observer status has been denied due to Pakistan's objections," explained the 33-year old Haji Chishty.
He said Russia, which is not an Islamic nation but has a substantial Muslim population, has been granted observer status at OIC. So why should India not get membership or at least an observer status, he wondered.
By current projections, he said, India is expected to house the largest chunk of the world's Muslim population by 2050 – from the existing 176 million or 11 percent of the world's Muslims, to over 300 million. India will be followed by its neighbour Pakistan (9.9 percent), Indonesia (9.3 percent), Nigeria (8.4 percent) and Bangladesh (6.6 percent).
Under such a changing scenario, it would be unjust for Indian Muslims to be deprived of a voice in a major forum like the OIC to share their aspirations and expectations on the world arenaHaji Chishty
He said the latest development came after pursuing with the OIC authorities for over two years since the last ICYF-DC held in Istanbul in 2014, even as the OIC has acknowledged that one-third of the Islamic population by 2050 would comprise youth.
Haji Chishty is also in communication with the Indian government to revive its application for OIC membership and simultaneously lobbying with the OIC leadership to grant India some kind of formal entry.
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