CAIRO - Facing growing smear campaigns against the tenets of Islam, a pan Islamic organization has announced its plans to launch a new satellite channel to fight Islamophobia and promote and disseminate the values of true Islam.
We have a number of important proposals to strengthen Islamic media activities, Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu, Secretary-General of Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), told a conference of information ministers from the Islamic world, Arab News reported on Friday, April 20.
They including the launch of an OIC satellite channel, he added.
Meeting in Gabon, representatives from the 57-member organization were attending a two-day conference titled Session of Information Technologies in the Service of Peace and Development.
The OIC chief called on Muslim businessmen and women to finance the new channel as well as to invest in major media organizations that are already successfully making substantial profits.
Those investments would help exchange information and news of the Islamic world and project the true picture of Islam, he said.
At the meeting, the OIC also approved a Turkish proposal to establish a broadcasting watchdog for the 57 Muslim countries.
The decision effectively empowers the OIC with new tools to promote broadcasting of a positive image of the Muslim world on member-countries' television channels
Attending the conference, Riyad bin Kamal Najm, deputy information minister for media affairs, welcomed the new proposals to empower Islamic media.
He said the OIC media should highlight Islamic issues, confront anti-Islamic stereotypes and work for the success of Islamic causes.
The President of the Republic of Gabon, Ali Bongo Ondimba, also urged the media of the Muslim world to be first in line to promote and disseminate the values of true Islam.
The OIC will use the international satellite TV channel to project the voice of the Muslim world, report on Islamic causes and stand up to the repeated defamation campaigns against Islam and Muslims.
"Particularly in this age of globalization, where so many voices are rising which claim to speak on behalf of Islam, and where defamation campaigns have multiplied against our noble faith and its symbols, it has become more necessary than ever to give serious consideration to the idea of launching an international satellite TV station under the umbrella of the OIC," said the draft resolution cited by RTT news.
The OIC, the second largest international organization after the UN, has set out a strategy to combat what it calls rising intolerance against Islam and Muslims in the West.
The OIC labeled the emergence of Islamophobia as a contemporary form of racism and xenophobia motivated by unfounded fear, mistrust and hatred of Muslims and Islam.
It also added that Islamophobia manifested itself through intolerance, discrimination, hostility and adverse public discourse.
The pan Islamic organization resolution added that negative stereotyping and racial discrimination has resulted in stigmatizing Muslim minorities in the west.
As such, Islamophobia is an affront to the human rights and dignity of Muslims, the resolution pointed out.
Established in September 1969, the OIC aims at promoting solidarity among Muslim countries.