OIC organizing forum on Islamophobia

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ISLAMABAD, July 13 (APP): The Organization of Islamic
Cooperation (OIC) is co-organizing a forum in London from Saturday
for media experts and civil society representatives to explore
mechanisms for countering Islamophobia.
The experts will look at the phenomenon of Islamophobia from
a legal and human rights perspective and how it is covered and
handled or promoted in the media as well as the role of civil
society organizations in addressing racial discrimination, hatred
and denigration of religions.
According to OIC Jeddah office news release, the forum is
being co-organized with the Islamic Educational, Scientific and
Cultural Organization (ISESCO) and hosted by the Islamic Cultural
Center in London.
“This forum is being held in implementation of the updated OIC
anti-Islamophobia Media Strategy and its mechanisms, which was
adopted by the 11th session of the OIC Ministers of Information
Conference held in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia on December 21, 2016,” said
Maha Akeel, Director of Information and Communication at the OIC.
The OIC Media Strategy in Countering Islamophobia consists of
short, medium and long term objectives that include focusing on
interaction with media outlets, academicians and experts on various
related topics; producing content, publications and media literacy
programs; engaging with western governments in creating awareness;
and supporting efforts by Muslim civil societies in the west and
involving them in the elaboration of plans and programs to counter
Islamophobia.
“No doubt that there is a rise in Islamophobia in the west,
which is indicated in the latest OIC Islamophobia Observatory
report, and there is usually a spike in hate crimes against Muslims
following terrorist acts perpetrated by a Muslim,” said Ms Akeel.
“The forum will look at the role of the media and civil
society in countering Islamophobia from a legal and human rights
perspective because we cannot talk about the role of the media
without discussing freedom of the press and freedom of expression as
fundamental human rights,” she said.
“When talking about the role of the media it is within the
framework of its responsibility in the proliferation of stereotypes
and its ethical and professional standards in covering and handling
Islamophobic acts,” she added.
The two-day event will conclude with recommendations and some
possible projects for implementation.