Islamic states reject terrorism tag
KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia (CNN) -- Condemnation of Israeli actions in the Middle East has taken center stage at a special meeting of the Organization of Islamic Conference (OIC) in Kuala Lumpur.
Most of the OIC's 57 Muslim member states are struggling to define the difference between a terrorist and freedom fighter with the aim of pushing the United States to adopt one standard before they fully commit to its global war on terror.
Delegates at the Kuala Lumpur conference agree attacks by Israeli forces are acts of terror but remain undecided on whether or not suicide bomb attacks by Palestinians should also be labeled terrorism.
There is anger and frustration among the delegates at the special meeting, called to define terrorism, as the violence in the Middle East escalates.
In a strongly-worded statement, the OIC condemned Israel's military actions and called on the United Nations to protect the Palestinian people.
"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," foreign ministers from the OIC said in a declaration.
"We reject any unilateral action taken against any Islamic country under the pretext of combatting international terrorism," the statement said.
"We will work towards the early convening of an international conference under the auspices of the United Nations to formulate a joint organised response of the international community to terrorism in all its forms and manifestations," it added.
Delegates criticized what they called a double standard in US foreign policy -- pushing the US to reign in Israel, or risk the failure of its global war on terror.
"The continuation of this double standard means the aggravation of tension in the Middle East and creates a poisonous environment which causes acts of terrorism," Palestinian Authority Foreign Minister Farouk Kaddoumi said.
Kaddoumi was critical of US policy regarding Iraq, calling it another example of a double standard. He said the US embargo has only resulted in civilian deaths in Iraq.
"They have to stop all these actions and aggression against Iraq and the Palestinians. These two things which might aggravate the Palestinians, the Arabs and the Muslims," he said.
Iran asked member nations to sever ties with Israel, but stopped short of supporting Iraq's call for an oil embargo against the US in support of Palestine.
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