It took India exactly 50 years for India to receive another invitation from what would later become the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) after in 1969 due to then Pakistan President Yahya Khan’s lobbying against their neighbouring country of India which led to the Industrial development minister Fakhruddin Ali Ahmed face disinvitation at a time when he had already arrived in Rabat, Morocco the host of the 1969 Conference of Islamic Countries.
In the foreign ministers’ meeting that is said to take place over two days of March 1-2, India’ External Minister Sushma Swaraj will be an attendee after she received an invitation from UAE’ Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan.
The roots of the Organisation lies in a sad incident, On 21 August 1969 a fire took place at the Al-Aqsa Mosque, Jerusalem. Amin al-Husseini, the former Mufti of Jerusalem, called the arson a “Jewish crime” and called for all Muslim heads of state to convene a summit. Just over a month later on 25 September 1969, a summit took place in which representatives from 24 Muslim majority countries participated.
On that day a resolution was passed which stated,
“Muslim government would consult with a view to promoting among themselves close cooperation and mutual assistance in the economic, scientific, cultural and spiritual fields, inspired by the immortal teachings of Islam.”
What were still an unclear confluence, 3 years later come out as a rather official unit. In March 1970, the inaugural Islamic Conference of Foreign Ministers held in what would be the eventual headquarters of the Organisation, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. In 1972, the Organisation of the Islamic Conference was seeded.
The Organisation of Islamic Cooperation has currently a total of 57 members, and with the lone exception of Palestine, all our also the member states of the United States. OIC is the second largest inter-governmental organisation in the world following the United Nations and has over 1.9 billion as the collective population of the member states.
India is neither a member nor an observer of OIC, despite having the third largest number of Muslims in the world.
The current Secretary-General of the OIC is Yousel Al-Othaimeen from Saudi Arabia.