OIC Expelled Imran Khan For Criticising Ayodhya Ram Temple? A FactCheck
A viral message falsely claims that Imran Khan has been expelled from the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation
A viral message, stating that the Organisation of Islamic Co-Operation expelled Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan, is false. It further makes a false claim that the representative of the United Arab Emirates, the President of Maldives and the King of Saudi stood up to speak in favour of India.
The message states that above-mentioned three leaders stood up and spoke in favour of Hinduism. It further chastises Pakistan for regularly commenting on internal Indian issues like the Ayodhya Ram Temple. It also claims that Pakistan is generally unhelpful contrary to India and that Saudi Arabia passed a resolution to expel Khan from the OIC meeting.
To lend credence to the message, the message adds a link to a WION news story. BOOM found that the story, headlined 'Organisation of Islamic Cooperation snubs Pakistan on Kashmir again' is about the Kashmir issue, that makes no mention of the claims made in the message.
The message can be seen below.
It is being shared on social media widely.
1. What is the OIC?
The OIC is the second-largest intergovernmental body in the world after the United Nations, with 57 members, that is based in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, and describes itself by saying, "The Organization is the collective voice of the Muslim world. It endeavors to safeguard and protect the interests of the Muslim world in the spirit of promoting international peace and harmony among various people of the world". This can be read here.
The claim falsely calls this organisation the 'Conference of Islamic Countries'.
2. What is the OIC meeting in question?
BOOM checked WION's story mentioned in the claim and found that it is about the annual OIC conference of the foreign ministers of its member states titled 'United against Terrorism for Peace and Development'. It was the 47th session of the Council of Foreign Ministers and took place in Niamey, Niger from November 27 - 28, 2020. The WION article states that while Pakistan said that the issue of Kashmir would be on the OIC's agenda for its meeting in, an OIC release outlining its agenda had no mention of it; with the article dubbing this divergence as a "snub" to Pakistan.
3. Did any head of state or government attend?
As mentioned above, it was a meeting of foreign ministers, and did not include any president, prime minister or monarch, who head the governments of their respective countries. However, as the host, the President of Niger did inaugurate and address the OIC.
Further, BOOM looked at the documents produced from the meeting of the OIC under question - which was of foreign ministers of its members - to find that the leaders mentioned above were not present there. The resolutions and reports of the meeting show no reference to the Ayodhya Ram Temple, Hinduism or expelling Khan.
- Prince Faisal bin Farhan bin Abdullah, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Saudi Arabia, attended. Unlike the claim, the king of Saudi Arabia did not represent the country
- The United Arab Emirates was represented by Reem Al-Hashemy, Minister of State for International Cooperation. However, she did not speak on Ayodhya, temples, Hinduism or anything mentioned in the claim.
- Maldives was represented by Foreign Minister Abdulla Shahid, and not by the President of Maldives as mentioned in the claim
- Pakistan was represented by Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi, and not by Imran Khan, as claimed by the viral message
The meeting makes no mention of Imran Khan being expelled, or any reference to Indian temples, to Ayodhya, or Pakistan interfering in Indian matters. To the contrary, Pakistan's proposal to host the 48th such meeting of foreign ministers in Islamabad was welcomed. As an extension, Pakistan or Imran Khan have not been expelled from the OIC, and still remains a member. Only Syria was expelled from the OIC in 2012 at the near start of the Syrian Civil War.
The report of what transpired in the meeting can be found here.
However, the OIC did pass a resolution on the Jammu and Kashmir matter on the OIC, which India criticised, saying that the issue was India's internal matter and called the references unwarranted. The OIC has been generally supporting of Pakistan's stance on the issue, with routine references being made by the OIC to it.