OIC channel to confront Islamophobia, boost unity



JEDDAH: P.K. ABDUL GHAFOUR

Published — Wednesday 20 February 2013

Last update 20 February 2013 1:28 am

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The Organization of Islamic Cooperation yesterday emphasized its plan to establish an effective satellite television channel to confront Islamophobia and strengthen economic ties between member countries.
“We’ll hold a four-day meeting of experts at OIC headquarters here from Saturday to discuss various aspects of the project in order to present it at the next meeting of OIC information ministers,” said Essam Salim Al-Shanti, director of the media department.
“Our objective is to have a strong and effective media that can address the needs of the Muslim world having different languages with various cultural backgrounds,” he said.
The new channel will present its programs in English, Arabic French. “Its main objective is to project the true picture of Islam and confront the challenge posed by Islamophobia, especially in the West,” Al-Shanti said.
He said the channel would also work for promoting intercultural dialogue in order to bring the Eastern and Western cultures and the North and South closer.
“It will help exchange of knowledge between OIC countries, highlight the issues of Muslim minorities and promote joint Islamic action,” the OIC official said.
Expanding trade and economic cooperation among the 57-member group is another major objective of the proposed channel, which will telecast scientific, technological, health and educational programs.
“The OIC channel will work for realizing the 10-point objectives set by the third emergency Islamic summit held in Makkah in 2005,” Al-Shanti said, adding that it would also cover all OIC events and programs.
The channel project was first proposed by a meeting of OIC information ministers in Gabon last year.
Later, a foreign ministers’ meeting in Djibouti endorsed the project.
The fourth emergency Islamic summit in Makkah and the recent OIC summit in Cairo also wanted to make the channel a reality.

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