Role of Islamic media in defending Islam
Posted in: Front Page
Written By: Zaid al-Alaya’a
Article Date: Jun 3, 2008 - 1:54:52 PM
Yemen Observer: http://www.yobserver.com
Media in the Islamic World have to play a better and more effective role in introducing the religion of Islam and in shedding more light on its teachings and values; it is necessary that it stands against the attacks targeting Islam and the attempts to distort its image, said Hassan al-Lawzi, Minister of Information in a speech.
In his speech at the opening of the symposium entitled “Islamic Press and Horizons of Media Work,” al-Lawzi talked about the Islamic channel al-Eman that Yemen is to launch in a few months, which hopes to cope with the role media needs to have regarding Islam’s morals and values.
“The main goals of al-Eman Channel are to spread and raise awareness about the Islamic religion in what regards faith and legislation, and also to discuss how Islamic teachings are actually away from extremism and fanaticism,” elucidated al-Lawzi.
Al-Lawzi explained that the channel will work to present Islam as a religion of peace, and to show Islamic culture and heritage in its strengths to create an intellectual, cultural development guarded with faith.
The Minister of Information also considered the challenges that media in the Arab and Islamic World have to face in relation to other media. However he stated that “no matter how dangerous and influential other media can be, the goals can be reached once a vacant space to break in is found.” Facing these challenges and overcoming them can only come from protection via presenting real and correct knowledge unleash responsible freedom, added al-Lawzi.
Al-Lawzi finally said that there is a great deal of potential among individuals in the Arab World and it is their talent that will enable them to play an important role in reflecting their identity and culture.
Judge Hamood al-Hitar, Minister of Guidance and Islamic Affairs, stressed the need to renew the religious discourse to meet the characteristics of today’s era as well as today’s technical revolution. Al-Hitar spoke about the great need of specialized media, comparing it to a preacher in the present calling on all Arab media to do their duty against the attacks on Islam and the distortion of this religion in Western media.
“It is in the duty of all Islamic and Arab media to present and show the real image of Islam as a religion of peace and cultural tolerance,” said al-Hitar.
Ahmed Abdul-Rahman al-Soyan, head of the Islamic Media Union and chief editor of the al-Montda magazine of Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, as well as organizer of this symposium said that the union is not a political or sectarian gathering but rather is an objective frame aiming at improving the profession of the press without marginalizing any parties.
Al-Soyan assured that the union is a way to cooperate with all sorts of publications and media ministries for the purpose of fruitful complementation.
Al-Soyan then called on all media to play a role that can enhance unity, which can contribute to civilization’s renaissance avoiding fanaticism, avoiding the spread of sectarian or racial conflicts.
“The union aims through organizing this symposium to take more care of the field of media that is seen as a means for breeding, raising awareness, education, domination and entertainment, and it also hopes to renew and advance media in general terms,” said al-Soyan.
Many working papers were presented in the event. Ibrahim al-Mosri, chief editor of the Lebanese newspaper al-Aman, spoke about principles of freedom calling for respect of social and political principles. Al-Mosri said that with freedom should come with responsibility, but absolute freedom can result in chaos. He then expressed his fear for print media whose status is threatened by other sorts of media. He called for more focus to be given to Friday sermons, a sort of media that Islam has given greater importance.
Atef al-Jolani, chief editor of the al-Sabeel Newspaper from Jordan, spoke of the challenges that media encounter in the Arab World economically, administratively, technically and stylistically. He said that the present challenges should provoke us to improve the profession. Al-Jolani pointed out at the failure of Western media in Arabic in dealing with the Arab mentality and which Arab media has proved capable of dealing with, avoiding any invasion. He finally rejected the idea that one media outlet can exist on the expense of another, and assured that all media outlets of all sort can co-exist
R’aft Marwa, chief editor of the Islamic Palestine Magazine, based in Syria, talked about the reality of the media in the Arab World and its different schools. Marwa then talked about the key role of the media and the nature of the relationship between citizenry and media in Arab countries. Marwa finally called for developing and bettering legislations concerning media to respond to the developments of today’s world and to allow for a wider freedom. Attendees then enriched the discussion with many views and debates on media, Islamic press and its role.