Ana Sayfa INTRODUCTION

Introduction

With the completion of the establishment of the TASAM Institute of Islamic Countries, it is planned that activities concerning Islamic Countries will be intensified and the scope of the activities launched in October 2007 at the Congress of Education in Islamic Countries will be widened to include other problems faced by Islamic Countries through intensive analysis and research. In this context, the Think Tanks Forum of Islamic Countries was held in January 28 - 30, 2010 following the Congress of Vocational and Technical Education in Islamic Countries in 2009. One of the decisions unanimously taken during the forum discussions was the establishment of the Islamic States Think Tanks Platform (ISSTP). It is hoped that this platform will contribute to the unification of intellectual activities concerning Islamic countries.
Thanks to conjunctural changes and advances in technology, it is hard to come across a country in today's increasingly global world which is not in contact, directly or indirectly, with another country. In parallel with the global developments, Islamic countries go through momentous political, sociocultural and economical changes.
Islamic countries are facing many problems in the 21st century and their solution lies in, first and foremost, focusing on carrying out wide-ranging reforms such as encouraging tolerance and moderation, modernization, education, science and technology, developing trade, spreading good governance, improving human rights and preserving the family structure prescribed by Islam.
Success of the Islamic countries in these areas of activity depends on common defense of common interests and rights; cooperation and coordination of activities carried out to solve issues confronted by Islamic countries; active participation of Islamic countries in global political, economic and social decision-making mechanisms and increasing economic and commercial cooperation moving towards a union between Islamic countries. At the same time, making progress in preserving Islam's authentic image, cultivating dialogue with the members of other civilizations and religions, taking necessary steps to reach peaceful resolutions to disagreements and conflicts between Islamic countries, improving good governance, democracy, human rights and fundamental freedoms on national and international levels are very important.
Developments at every level of civilization concern civil society as much as states. In order to overcome the problems we face and offer new insights by looking at the developments from wider and different perspectives and bring forward new multidimensional offers to realize maximum gains, it has become imperative today for scientists and intellectuals, analysis and strategy experts to come together in order to compile and process current information about their countries, regions and the entire world and develop proactive, effective and realistic dialogues.
Especially, with contributions by think tank representatives working in their individual disciplines, monitoring political, sociocultural and economic developments taking place in state and civil society on global and regional scales and gathering existing knowledge and evaluating it together and developing constructive dialogue for today and the future will be possible. Otherwise, it will neither be possible to solve any potential problems nor to effectively interpret new opportunities encountered.
We believe that the Islamic States Think Tanks Platform established towards bringing together distinguished think tanks representatives from Turkey and other Islamic States will make important contributions to building a "Civilization of Peace".
Süleyman ŞENSOY
Chairman, TASAM

 

 

Announcements

1. The 6th Think Tanks Forum of Islamic Countries convened in Islamabad during 6-8 March, 2015. The Forum was hosted by The Turkish Asian Centre for Strategic Studies (TASAM), The Pakistan Senate Defence Committee, Pakistan China Institute and the Konrad Adenauer Stiftung (KAS). The Forum had broad representation from various parts of the Muslim world and the 6th Islamic Think Tank Forum decided some new, landmark initiatives to institutionalize the Forum as the principal platform for intellectuals, thinkers, opinion leaders and heads of the think tanks of Muslim countries.

2. The Forum wishes to thank the President of Pakistan, H.E. Mamnoon Hussain, the Adviser to Prime Minister on Foreign Affairs and National Security, Mr. Sartaj Aziz and the Chairman of the Senate of Pakistan, Senator Syed Nayyer Hussain Bokhari for graciously accepting the invitation to address the Forum, especially lending prestige and strength to this important global conference.

3. The Forum decided that in the 21 st Century, which is seeing shift in the balance of economic and political power away from the West to the East with the "battle of ideas" predominant, it is important that the Think Tanks Forum play the role of a bridge between cultures, countries and continents. Hence, it was decided to change its name from Islamic Think Tanks Forum to the World Islamic Forum (WIF).

4. The World Islamic Forum will also promote a narrative of Islam based on realities on the ground and the facts as the exit, namely, presenting and promoting Islam as the religion of peace, harmony, balance, tolerance and coexistence.

5. The World Islamic Forum would also develop an outreach to communities and countries outside the OIC as well so that there are partnership and coalitions developed on common platforms in the current geo-political scenario.

6. The Forum participants condemned extremism and terrorism in all its forms and manifestations and clearly state that terrorism has no religion, caste, creed or colour. The fight against terrorism and militancy is in fact a struggle to reclaim the rightful legacy and the essence of Islam which was clearly enunciated by the Holy Prophet (PBUH), both in his teachings as well as actions under his leadership.

7. The Forum also condemned Islamophobia emerging in certain European countries and urges that it should be considered a crime similar to anti-Semitism under existing laws of various countries of Europe.

8. The Forum reaffirmed its commitment to uphold the equality of all persons, irrespective of religion, gender, caste, colour or creed and termed any discrimination against any ethnic group or community or violence on the basis of hatred, prejudice and bigotry or hate speech as a crime against humanity.

9. The Forum also rejected any threat or use of force to resolve issues and said international law and the UN Charter are paramount and the forum supports the inviolability of existing state borders and frontiers of all countries.

10. The Forum also supports durable peace, stability and security with the resolution of long standing disputes in various regions including Palestine, Kashmir, Cyprus and Nagorno Karabagh.

11. The Forum seeks promotion of regional economic cooperation, particularly in the field of education, energy, education and economy as well as the establishment of infrastructure and mechanisms that help in bringing out the best of the creative talent of people especially the youth and women of various countries who are in the vanguard of much -needed change and reform in Muslim society.

12. The Forum urges Muslim regimes and leaders to bridge the gap between elite and street by involving civil society and providing equality of opportunity to promote fundamental rights.

To institutionalize the World Islamic Forum as the voice of Muslims intellectuals, opinion leaders and thinkers, the World Islamic Forum decided on the following institutional mechanisms:

a) A permanent 5 -person Steering Committee to be formed to coordinate the activities of the Forum and to develop an institutional voice with civil society organizations, NG0s, think tanks and academia in different parts of the world as well as deciding on the agenda and activities of the World Islamic Forum annual conferences.

b) The Wiseman Board of the Islamic Forum should be renamed as the Eminent Persons Group (EPG) of the World Islamic Forum.

c) The international secretariat of the World Islamic Forum be hosted at Istanbul with TASAM while the regional secretariat for Asia be established at Islamabad hosted by the Pakistan China Institute as well as in other regions of the world.

d) The World Islamic Forum activities will include a dynamic and interactive website in the English, Turkish, Arabic and French languages, preparation of research reports and studies on issues facing the Muslim Umma and participation at various international conferences which concerns the Muslim World.

e) Istanbul Islamic Awards are a welcome development and these should be an annual feature.

f) World Islamic Forum decided to hold a 'Muslim Women's Summit' in Kuala Lumpur in September 2015.

g) World Islamic Forum decided to convene its next conference in Tehran, Islamic Republic of Iran in 2016.

The Forum concluded with a vote of thanks to the hosts of the Forum in Islamabad especially the Pakistan China Institute, the Pakistan Senate Defence Committee, TASAM and the KAS for hosting what turned into an historic event that will go a long way in winning the "battle of ideas" and presenting a positive narrative about Islam and Muslims that is badly needed in the present times.


6-8 March 2015, Islamabad


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