Excerpt:

As its annual "defamation of religion" resolution loses ground at the United Nations after a decade of successes, the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) is urging its members to close ranks on an issue, which it calls vital for the defense of Islam.

Foreign ministers from the 56 mostly Muslim-majority countries that make up the OIC plan to discuss the issue when they hold their 2010 session in the Tajikistan capital of Dushanbe next month.

In the Saudi city of Jeddah this week, the Islamic bloc's powerful secretary-general, Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu, told senior officials preparing for the Dushanbe meeting that he hoped OIC member states would "lend particular attention" to the religious defamation issue.

He voiced dismay about the declining support for the resolutions, and the fact that some countries, which he did not identify, were "thinking of reconsidering the subject."


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