Ebadi’s 2003 Nobel Peace Prize – OIC Summit as well as UMNO and PAS leaders should end their thunderous silence after Abdullah’s call to Muslim ummah to awaken from their slumber and sleepwalking
by Lim Kit Siang
Deputy Prime Minister Datuk
Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi said today that the Muslim ummah had been
sleepwalkers in the world’s history and politics for a long time and the
time has come for it to awaken from their slumber and strive to preserve
their life, independence and belief as a united force.
In his speech for the
opening of the International Conference on "The Ummah at the Crossroads: the
Role of the OIC", jointly organised by the Institute of Diplomacy and
Foreign Relations, Universiti Teknologi Mara's Institute of Knowledge
Advancement and the MRSM Former Students Association of Malaysia (Ansara),
Abdullah said that Muslims must lead in the creation of a new society devoid
of hatred and violence.
The OIC should not sleepwalk on the award of the 2003 Nobel Peace Prize to Ebadi and the issue it has precipitated – the compatibility of Islam with democracy, human rights and women’s rights.
Ebadi’s Nobel Peace Prize award should inject greater poignancy and urgency to the need for the OIC to address the “Three Deficits” relating to (i) freedom; (ii) empowerment of women and (iii) knowledge, identified by the first Arab Human Development Report of the United Nation Development Program (UNDP) in July last year as the major causes for the shocking lack of human development in 22 countries in the Arab region – which also constitute the core segment of membership of the OIC.
* Lim Kit Siang, DAP National Chairman