Dr. Sultan bin Ahmad Sultan Al Jaber, Minister of State (Chairman of the Board of Director of National Media Council (NMC), on Wednesday stressed that the UAE media sector is playing a vital role in combating terrorism and extremism in line with the directives and vision of the country's leaders for countering violence and hate speech.
Al Jaber was delivering the UAE's opening speech at a meeting of the Council of Arab Information Ministers at the Arab League. The UAE is chair of the Council's 46th round of meetings.
He said, "The current circumstances in the Arab World underline the need for keeping the focus on the intellectual aspect of a UAE proposal on the role of media and directives from leaders for promoting positive thought and rejecting subversive thought that provokes racism and hate."
The proposal, which was endorsed by the pan-Arab council, highlights the role of the media and leadership in spreading the values of tolerance and peaceful co-existence, combating extremism and invigorating action to project these values and reflect the true essence of human civilisation, he noted.
He added that these values are also the optimal way to counter extremism and terrorism.
Al Jaber spoke about the UAE's relevant initiatives including the establishment of the Muslim Council of Elders to promote peace in Muslim communities and project the civilisational aspect of Islam, the Sawab Center to expose erroneous practices that distort Islam as well as shed lights upon the true spirit of this tolerant religion, and the Hedaya Center to counter all forms and manifestations of extremism and promote dialogue and co-operation.
Stressing the need for joint action to counter attempts to distort the image of Arab and Islamic civilisation as well as to uproot terrorist and extremist ideology.
He called for expanding the Arab Media Honor Code of Conduct to include online media and social media on which the Arab youth rely heavily as sources of information and news.
Al Jaber said this would immunise Arab societies against extremism and terrorism.
He also highlighted the importance of co-ordination between Arab countries to allow the media industry to play an effective role in highlighting major issues in the Arab region and the Arab Coalition's huge efforts against terrorism in Yemen and its recent success in countering al-Qaeda, as well as support Saudi Arabia's efforts to secure the Hajj season and keeping it as an non-politicised occasion.
At today's meeting, Bahrain became the chair of the next round of meetings of the Council of Arab Information Ministers.