The Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) is to hold a media workshop in Brussels on Feb 15 to 16 pertaining to the ant-Islamic campaigns against Islam featured in some newspapers and media institutions, primarily in the West.
The objective of this first-of-its-kind workshop is to develop media-related mechanisms to address these smear campaigns, the OIC said in a statement.
The two-day workshop will take the form of a series of brainstorming sessions to develop mechanisms for cooperation with external partners and to develop an action plan to address the phenomenon of ant-Islam media campaigns.
"The workshop will represent a quantum leap in media action, as it discusses, beyond rhetoric, the practical steps to address the phenomenon of Islamophobia," the OIC said.
Muslim as well as non-Muslim leading civil society organisations, journalists, intellectuals and academicians are among the participants of the workshop.
The idea to organize a media workshop was first noted at the Mecca OIC Extraordinary Summit of 2005 and was shaped by the OIC Ten Year Programme of Action and the Islamic Conferences of Information Ministers (ICIM) in the years that followed.
The OIC said the recommendations of the workshop will be presented for endorsement and implementation to the 9th session of the Islamic Conference of Information Ministers (ICIM) which will be held in Libreville, Gabon (west central Africa), in April 2012.
The organisation noted that the workshop is of particular importance as it will be held only weeks before the convening of the United Nations Human Rights Council meeting in Geneva in March, at which Resolution 16/18 will come to a vote for the second time after its unanimous endorsement in the previous session.
Resolution 16/18 aims to combat intolerance, negative stereotyping and stigmatisation of discrimination, incitement to violence, and violence against persons based on religion or belief.
The resolution was an outcome of bilateral talks between the OIC and a number of Western countries, including the U.S. Two meetings were held in Istanbul and Washington, respectively, to develop operational mechanisms to implement the resolution at the level of the United Nations.
Reports say Resolution 16/18, which was adopted by the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva in March 2011, was backed by U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton at the most recent Istanbul Process Conference in Washington in December.
This is widely viewed as a significant step forward in OIC efforts to advance the international legal concept of defaming Islam.
"OIC to Hold Media Workshop to Address Smear Campaign Against Islam" Bernama February 13, 2012
"OIC to host media workshop in fight against Islamophobia" Today's Zaman February 12, 2012
Reproduced with permission from Islam Today