OIC Members Pledge to Combat Religious Disinformation and Islamophobia at Conference in Turkey


The Organization of Islamic Cooperation on Saturday adopted a statement to counter disinformation and Islamophobia at a conference in Turkey, urging the media to promote informed discourse as the dissemination and access to information are generalizing.

The 12th session of the Islamic Conference of OIC Information ministers, who started in Istanbul on Saturday, saw the adoption of the Istanbul Declaration, according to an OIC statement.

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The statement aims to tackle systemic misinformation in the digital age where information sharing has become more democratized through social media platforms.

According to the statement, OIC members reiterated their unanimous support for the condemnation of all forms of extremism, violence, radicalization and terrorism.

Held under the theme “Combating Disinformation and Islamophobia in the Post-Truth Era”, the two-day conference saw the participation of ministers and high-level officials from 57 countries, seeking to deepen their cooperation in the fields of media and information in the Islamic world to combat the spread of religious misinformation.

At the start of the opening session on Saturday, Saudi Arabia handed over the conference presidency to Turkey.

In a speech, Saudi Acting Media Minister Dr. Majid bin Abduallah al-Qasabi mentioned the challenges currently facing the world, calling for greater coordination among OIC Member States to address them and develop a roadmap with clear trust-based mechanisms to move forward. joint action.

“There is a great responsibility on the shoulders of the conference, especially because media misinformation is on the rise and [this] generates great problems in light of the difficulty of accessing the truth around the world,” Turkey’s communications director Fahrettin Altun said at the conference, echoing al-Qasabi’s sentiment.

Separately, the OIC Secretary General, Hissein Brahim Taha, said the session aimed to discuss the challenges facing the media sector, especially in the member states of the organization, as well as examine the media discourse on religious issues.

Taha pointed out that tackling the problem of misinformation is especially crucial now with the rise of social media, which has enabled anyone to send and receive news and create media content.

In addition, the Secretary-General also noted that the continued upsurge in the discourse on terrorism and extremism has managed to “attract” younger segments of the population under “pseudo-Islamic slogans that have nothing to do with the Islamic religion”, according to the OIC. statement.

Disinformation and Islamophobia are currently among the most serious practices to falsify facts and mislead local and international public opinion, he said, adding that they seek to distort truth and noble values. of Islam.

Taha called on the media to relentlessly fight against these phenomena, urging the media and institutions to use informed and persuasive discourse to fight against these challenges and to focus on information that sheds light on the economic development and cultural projects of OIC Member States to inspire more hope and optimism.

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