Reforming the organisation of the Islamic conference? Implications for religious dialogue and political pluralism in southeast Asia
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Islamic politics remains at the centre of international relations in the early 21st century, with important implications for regional processes in Southeast Asia, the Middle East and Eurasian-Central Asian affairs. One mechanism for the aspirations of states with Muslim majorities and communities is the OIC, the Organisation of the Islamic Conference, now with 57 members and several observers. The OIC also has organisational linkages with NAM (the Non-Aligned Movement), the UN, the League of Arab States, the Economic Cooperation Organisation, the AU (African Union) and indirectly with ASEAN. Likewise, the MNLF (Moro National Liberation Front) and Turkish Cyprus secured observer status, though not enjoying full international recognition. The OIC has claimed to represent nations with Islamic populations, Islamic minorities, and the community of Islamic believers (ummah) more generally. However, this representation has been complex and fragmentary, especially when it has involved 'permissive' intervention in national and transnational crises.
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