OIC: Palestinian Suicide Bombing Attacks - Not “Terrorism”
Islamic nations ended a three-day meeting in Malaysia on Wednesday, condemning the worldwide scourge of terrorism and Israeli actions in the Middle East. Delegates refused Wednesday to label Palestinian suicide bombers as "terrorists" and rejected "any attempt to associate Islamic states or Palestinian and Lebanese resistance with terrorism".
Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) foreign ministers, whose talks were dominated by the crisis in the Palestinian territories, said the term terrorism could not apply to struggles or resistance of people under colonial or foreign occupation.
But, highlighting the sensitivity of the issue in the wake of the September 11 attacks in the United States, they added that the United Nations and an international conference would be better placed to reach a definition of terrorism.
"We reject any attempt to link terrorism to the struggle of the Palestinian people in the exercise of their inalienable right to establish their independent state with Al-Quds Al-Shrif (Jerusalem) as its capital," a declaration issued at the end said.
The OIC called the conference to dispel notions of a link between Muslims and terrorism after September 11's attacks by Islamic radicals in hijacked planes.
In a show of solidarity with Iraq, the final declaration also expressed opposition to unilateral action against any Islamic country in the name of the U.S.-led war on terrorism.
Malaysian Foreign Minister Syed Hamid Albar, conference host and OIC spokesman for the event, said the declaration, approved by consensus, had made clear their countries' stand on terrorism, Reuters reported.
"The Kuala Lumpur Declaration that we have just adopted demonstrates our collective resolve to combat terrorism and to respond to developments affecting Muslims...in the aftermath of the September 11 attacks," he said.
"The Israeli military action clearly demonstrates the practice of state terrorism," Syed Hamid said in concluding remarks to the conference.
An Arab delegate said attempts to include Palestinian groups for condemnation were rebutted.
"There have been some attempts to single out resistance groups like Hamas and Islamic Jihad for committing suicide bombers against civilians as acts of terror. But those attempts were quickly rejected," he said.
Malysian PM Mahathir suggested in the opening session all attacks on civilians should be classified as acts of terror. Mahathir said later during a meeting with Palestinian officials that his remarks had been taken out of context. (Albawaba.com)
© 2002 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)
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