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Tuesday, October 02, 2001

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Attacks on U.S. terrorist act, says OIC

DUBAI, OCT. 1. The head of the world's largest Muslim organisation today said the body was ready to help come up with a definition of ``terrorism'' to distinguish it from national resistance to foreign occupation.

Mr. Abdelouhed Belkaziz, Secretary-General of the 56- nation Organisation of the Islamic Conference (OIC), said the body was ready to help clarify the difference and seek a definition.

Mr. Belkaziz said in a statement the suicide attacks on the World Trade Center in New York and the Pentagon in Washington were clear acts of terrorism opposed to the teachings of Islam.

``It is important to distinguish terrorism carried out by some groups or individuals from national resistance against occupation and colonisation'' he said in a clear reference to what Palestinians call their legitimate struggle against Israeli occupation.

``The organisation is ready to participate in any effort aimed at agreeing on the definition of terrorism,'' he added.

The Saudi-based OIC, which represents the world's 1.2 billion Muslims, was due to hold an emergency summit in Qatar next week to seek a united stand on any U.S. military action against Muslim Afghanistan, which is harbouring the chief suspect behind the September 11 attacks, Osama bin Laden.

Mr. Belkaziz said the OIC strongly condemned the ``terrorist operations'' against New York and Washington as they ``contradicted completely'' with Islam and its teachings. Most Arab and Muslim States have condemned the suicide-hijack attacks on the U.S., but some have deplored what they see as attempts by some in the West to link Islam with terrorism. The U.S. President, Mr. George W. Bush, repeated on Friday after meeting Jordan's King Abdullah that his war against terrorism was a fight against evil, not against Islam.

- Reuters

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