Jeddah (UNA) - Media experts, thinkers and religious leaders discussed building religious and media alliances to confront hate speech and extremism.
This came during the International Forum: “The Media and its Role in Fueling Hatred and Violence (Dangers of Misinformation and Bias),” which was launched on Sunday (November 26, 2023) in the city of Jeddah in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, under the patronage and in the presence of His Excellency the Secretary General of the Muslim World League, President of the Association of Muslim Scholars, His Excellency Sheikh Dr. Muhammad bin Abdulkarim Al-Issa, and His Excellency the General Supervisor of Official Media in the State of Palestine, Minister Ahmed Assaf.
Holding the forum comes within the close partnership between the Assistant Secretariat for Institutional Communication in the Muslim World League and the Federation of News Agencies of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation Countries, which represents an independent specialized body, within the framework of their common goals.
During the fourth session, which was held entitled “Religious and media alliances to confront hate speech and extremism,” the Secretary-General of the Islamic Spiritual Summit in Lebanon, Dr. Muhammad Nimr Al-Sammak, affirmed that the media is not just a news tool, but rather an educational tool, and therefore the role of the media goes beyond mere information to mental formation. , and the formation of societies, leading to the formation of national identities.
Al-Sammak warned of what is happening in some Western countries about exploiting the media to spread Islamophobia and distort the image of others.
The head of the Chair of the Alliance of Civilizations at the Euro-Mediterranean University in Fez, Dr. Abdelhak Idris Azouzi, explained that religion recognizes the finest in man, stressing the necessity of building alliances with the media in achieving international and international aspirations to achieve coexistence and criminalize hate speech.
He pointed out that clerics and the media can work together to bring about a media revolution that builds and does not destroy and establishes and does not undermine, calling for intensifying efforts globally to develop an accurate and comprehensive definition of hate speech, and to support organizations working in the field of combating hate speech.
For her part, Director General of the Ivory Coast News Agency, Oumou Valentin Barry, stressed that hate speech and violence should not benefit from the protection afforded to freedom of expression.
She explained that it is the responsibility of every media regulatory authority to commit firmly in this direction through campaigns to strengthen legal rules and the judicial system, and by supporting educational programs that focus on online behavior and encouraging media self-regulation initiatives.
Secretary General of the Federation of Journalists of Pakistan, Azeem Rana Muhammad, stressed that the purpose of journalism is not to create religious tension, but to stop it, adding that we should send a message from this forum to the whole world that journalism should be for peace and equality so that we can remove injustice and elements of hatred. From the community.
President of the African-Asian Journalists Union, Nizar Al-Khaled, said that the importance of establishing effective alliances and partnerships in exchanging information and experiences between religious and media institutions is to enhance mutual understanding and cooperation in correcting misconceptions that promote hatred and extremism.
Al-Khaled pointed out that cooperation between leaders, religious organizations, and media institutions is important because it helps build bridges of trust and understanding between different cultures and religions. When religious leaders are able to cooperate with media institutions in spreading messages of tolerance and peaceful coexistence, they contribute to reducing the level of escalation and tension between different cultures. .
Dinar Toktosunova, Strategic Director of the International Video News Agency “FIORE”, said that international federations such as the Union of News Agencies of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (UNA) can contribute to unifying efforts to enhance efforts to verify news and combat media disinformation, thus contributing to confronting violent and hate speech.
It is noteworthy that the forum witnessed the participation of a number of ministers, Islamic and international media leaders, and an elite group of ambassadors, religious, intellectual and legal figures, and leaders of international organizations.