The 12th session of the Islamic Conference of Information Ministers of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation began in Istanbul on Saturday. At the beginning of the opening session, Saudi Arabia handed over the chairmanship of the conference to Turkey.
Saudi Media Minister Majid Al-Qasabi highlighted the challenges that the world is facing, and the need to coordinate efforts among OIC member states to confront them. He called for developing a trust-based road map with clear mechanisms to advance joint Islamic action. OIC Secretary-General Hissein Brahim Taha addressed the opening session of the conference, held under the theme of “Combating Disinformation and Islamophobia in the Post-Truth Era.”
He said that the session would discuss the challenges facing the information sector and its infrastructure in OIC member states, and cover media discourse through both traditional and social media networks which, he noted, have made it possible for people around the world to send and receive news and media content.
The session addressed other themes and issues, most notably the role of the media in supporting the cause of Palestine and Al-Quds Al-Sharif, the special media program highlighting Africa’s position and role in the Islamic world, and the project to launch the OIC award for distinguished media outlets and media professionals in the field of promoting dialogue, tolerance and intercultural harmony. Taha warned about an upsurge in terrorism and extremist discourse in some OIC societies. He added that under the cover of pseudo-Islamic slogans, segments of the young population have been lured into extremism.
The OIC chief stressed that media institutions and outlets, whether those affiliated with the OIC or those of member states, should promote informed and persuasive discourse, and diffuse news highlighting ambitious development, economic, tourism and cultural projects inspiring hope and optimism, rather than disseminate negative news stories.