The so-called Islamic summit, which has started in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, is stirring up debate because of the countries participating in it.
Iran; Malaysia; Turkey, and Qatar are attending the summit, whereas Pakistan and Indonesia are absenting themselves.
The withdrawal of Pakistani Prime Minister, Imran Khan, from the event is giving rise to expectations that Malaysia’s efforts to form a new Islamic bloc will fail.
On December 17, the office of the Pakistani prime minister said Khan would not participate in the summit. It said the Pakistani prime minister conducted a conversation over the phone with Malaysian Prime Minister, Mahathir Mohamed, in which he apologized for not attending the summit.
Pakistan, the statement said, does not seek to substitute the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, which is based in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.
Mohamed, for his part, said his country does not plan to replace the organization with another entity.
However, Malaysia, he said, only wants to find new solutions to the problems facing the Islamic world.
Pakistan’s withdrawal limits participation in the summit to Qatar, Turkey, and Iran, in addition to the host country.
Pakistan said it would not attend the summit, only a day before it kicked off, even as it initially accept the invitation sent to it by Malaysia.
Nourhan al-Sheikh, a political science professor at Cairo University, said the summit is a purely Muslim Brotherhood gathering.
“Malaysia sent invitations to specific countries only to ponder the conditions of the Muslim Brotherhood,” al-Sheikh said. “The countries invited are directly linked to the international organization of the Muslim Brotherhood.”
She told The Reference that Mohamed is allied to the Muslim Brotherhood’s party in his country.
He also hosts a large number of Muslim Brotherhood figures in his country, she said.
Al-Sheikh noted that Turkey acts as the leader of the Muslim Brotherhood in the world.
“It acts as an incubator of the organization,” al-Sheikh said. “Qatar is also the official sponsor of the same organization.”