OIC to hold forum on media role in combating hate speech

Updated 22 October 2017
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OIC to hold forum on media role in combating hate speech

RIYADH: The OIC Independent Permanent Human Rights Commission (IPHRC) will hold its 4th international seminar on “The Role of Media in Combating Hate Speech” at the Hotel La Tour Hassan Palace, Rabat, Morocco, Oct. 23-24.
“The IPHRC is mandated to address issues concerning Islamophobia and hate speech which are serious violations of human rights and an affront to human dignity,” Maha Akeel, the director of the OIC information department, told Arab News on Saturday.
Akeel added that at present “we are witnessing an increase in anti-Muslim rhetoric and violent acts in Europe and the US.”
She added that the seminar is “part of the OIC’s and IPHRC’s efforts to confront this phenomenon and contribute to mitigating the negative effect it has on society, while promoting tolerance, understanding and multiculturalism.”
“And of course, the media plays a big role in that so this seminar will focus on that,” Akeel said.
The Saudi Press Agency (SPA) reported that the symposium will focus on analyzing the role of the media and professionals in promoting freedom of expression in a responsible manner.
The seminar will be attended by OIC members and observer states, including their national human rights institutions, experts from different relevant international and regional organizations, senior officials of the UN, Moroccan state ministries and media representatives.
KSA calls UN for action against hateful media
During the 72nd session of the UN General Assembly, Saudi UN official Yasser Al-Dabaan urged the UN to seek accuracy, ensure credibility, enforce precision and rely on official news platforms to obtain the information used in its reports and statements.
“The UN Department of Public Information must not rely on media that encourages hate speech, promotes extremism, violence and destruction, threatens countries’ security and stability, and spreads falsified reports,” Al-Dabaan said in a meeting of the Special Political and Decolonization Committee (Fourth Committee).
“Saudi Arabia has launched many communication initiatives through several ministries, including the Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ Communication and Media Center, which communicates with the world in 18 languages, and the Global Center for Combating Extremist Ideology,” he added.
Al-Dabaan also highlighted that Saudi Arabia, through its traditional and new media, is working hard on instilling the values of moderation, justice and transparency, in addition to combating extremism and its ideology, promoting peaceful dialogue and increasing women’s contribution to the media industry.
“Saudi Arabia reaffirms its support for the UN’s efforts and the undersecretary-general for global communications, as well as its transparent cooperation with all UN agencies, IGOs and INGOs in communicating and providing information,” Al-Dabaan concluded.


Pilgrimage planning for Hajj season unveiled

Updated 32 sec ago
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Pilgrimage planning for Hajj season unveiled

  • Chief of the Presidency of the Two Holy Mosques Sheikh Abdulrahman Al-Sudais said the presidency was keen to prepare early for the season this year
  • Al-Sudais said that the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia welcomes pilgrims from all countries of the world and from different sects

JEDDAH: The Presidency of the Two Holy Mosques started implementing its plan for the pilgrimage season this year, which lasts for two months from the beginning of the current Dhul Qadah month until the end of Dhu Al-Hijjah.

Sheikh Abdulrahman Al-Sudais, chief of the Presidency of the Two Holy Mosques, said the presidency was keen to prepare early for the season this year.

Al-Sudais said that the presidential plan seeks to achieve a number of goals, including helping pilgrims perform their rituals with ease and tranquility and preparing all facilities.

He highlighted the availability of important services, including seminars by a number of high-ranking scholars and teachers, distribution of the Holy Qur’an and religious pamphlets, translation of Friday sermons into 10 languages and arranging visits to the Prophet’s Mosque.

A total of 210 doors in the Grand Mosque and 100 doors in the Prophet’s Mosques have been prepared as well as 28 escalators in the Grand Mosque and four escalators in Prophet’s Mosque. There are 38 doors for people with special needs and seven for women. There are seven bridges and a special entrance for funerals. There are also 25,000 Zamzam water containers in the Grand Mosque and 23,000 in the Prophet’s Mosque.

It also translates speeches into sign language for the deaf and provides services for those with special needs, such as golf carts to transport elderly pilgrims, and regulating the entry and exit of worshipers.

He said that the number of people circulating Kaaba in all the floors of the Grand Mosque has reached 107,000 an hour.

Air conditioning has been installed in the basement and ground floor and many other areas have finished. Thousands of fans have been installed in the Two Holy Mosques and their yards.

The area around the Two Holy Mosques has been equipped with more than 8,441 toilets, as well as more than 6,000 ablution units.

A number of different TV and radio programs and films have been made highlighting the efforts made by Saudi Arabia in the service of the two Holy Mosques and the holy sites and services provided to the guests of the House of God.

Al-Sudais said that the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia welcomes pilgrims from all countries of the world and from different sects. He stressed that the Kingdom is keen to provide the best services for all pilgrims in order to help them perform their rituals in comfort, ease and security.