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OIC information ministers call for combating disinformation, Islamophobia

Islamabad, October 23 (KMS): The Information Ministers of Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) emphasised the importance of cooperation among the member states in developing necessary mechanisms to fight disinformation and Islamophobia in all its manifestations.

According to details, this was emphasized in Istanbul Declaration adopted by the 12th Session of the Islamic Conference of the Information Ministers of OIC held in Istanbul.

The declaration also underlined the need for devising short, medium and long-term strategic processes in the total fight against disinformation.

The declaration said that the conference recognised the importance of focusing on specific issues and possible scenarios in the short term, multidimensional crisis communication and management and mechanisms to check the accuracy of the information in the medium term, and news content, media literacy and digital media literacy in the long term.

The conference took into consideration the Final Report of the 12th Islamic Conference of Information Ministers, which aimed to promote OIC Member States’ contributions and cooperation in the area of media and information, a press release of the OIC Secretariat said.

The Istanbul Declaration underscored the need to combat Islamophobia/hatred against Islam in all its manifestations by presenting the truth about the magnanimous religion of Islam in an effective manner, utilizing new and emerging platforms and technological innovations.

Underscoring the perils of disinformation as a destructive weapon, the declaration said, it was easy to wield and require complex measures to counter, targeting the noble religion of Islam and the need to combat this phenomenon and highlighting the risks it posed particularly in countries with Muslim communities and minorities.

It recognised the necessity of raising awareness against disinformation and fake news through social norms. The declaration highlighted the importance of combatting disinformation, which posed a serious threat to their countries and societies in the new digital era, as encapsulated in the theme chosen for the conference.

“Recognising that terrorism has no particular identity and that correlating this term with other identities is a product of disinformation and condemning all manifestations of violence, extremism, fanaticism and terrorism which distort the noble messages of human cultures,” the declaration said.

The conference mulled over the significance of media and information in all its forms in shaping the local, regional, and international public.

The conference also called for a renewed commitment to the noble objectives of the OIC and support for all its initiatives and activities, particularly in the communication and information domains with a view to encouraging unity, solidarity and cooperation in the Islamic World.
It urged the media outlets in the Member States to raise global awareness about deliberate acts of destruction and desecration of Islamic cultural and religious heritage in non-Muslim countries, especially in those areas where indigenous Muslim communities were subjected to ethnic cleansing.

The conference welcomed the progress towards the operationalization of the OIC Media Forum (OMF) and called upon media entities and institutions in the Member States to join the OMF.

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