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

Media Statement
by Lim Kit Siang

(PenangMonday): 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.

He said that despite a host of problems and constraints, Muslims must not allow themselves to be hostages of the past and the OIC (Organisation of the Islamic Conference) must lead the ummah to create and transform the present for the future.

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.

In response to Abdullah’s call, the OIC Summit as well as the UMNO and PAS leaders should end their thunderous silence in the past three days on the historic award of the Nobel Peace Prize 2003 to the first Muslim woman and Iranian, Shirin Ebadi,  for her advocacy of democracy, human rights, women’s rights and children’s rights.

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