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Brussels to host first Islamic-European Forum on cooperation to curb hate speech in media

Brussels to host first Islamic-European Forum on cooperation to curb hate speech in mediaRabat : The Islamic Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (ISESCO) and the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), in coordination with the Islamic Development and Research Academy (IDARA), will hold the Islamic-European Forum for Examining Cooperation Ways to Curb Hate Speech in the Media, in Brussels, Belgium, on June 29-30.

The forum, to be held at the Press Club Brussels Europe, aims to publicize the contents of the OIC Media Strategy to Counter Islamophobia and ISESCO’s Program for Training Media Professionals on Redressing Stereotypes about Islam and Muslims; diagnose the role of the media in propagating hate speech and Islamophobia; support cooperation and coordination among media professionals to promote human rights culture and distinguish between the freedom of expression and defamation of religions, reject racism and hate, and cater for coexistence needs; and explore ways to develop cooperation mechanisms among Muslim media professionals and their fellows from Western countries within the framework of the professional ethics and respect for international laws on media and communication.

The forum’s agenda features four main themes: stereotypes about the other in the media between the freedom of expression and respect for human rights; requirements for promoting communication and cooperation among media professionals; addressing reciprocal stereotypes; countering Islamophobia, and providing the conditions suitable for coexistence. In addition, a workshop will be held during the forum to assess and adopt the final version of the “Guidebook for Training Media Professionals to Cover Terrorist Acts”, prepared by the OIC General Secretariat.

The conference will come to close with the adoption of the “Draft Brussels Declaration on Curbing Hate Speech in the Media” and the “Draft Declaration of the Creation of the International League of Media Professionals to Curb Hate and Extremism”.

Participants in the event will include various media professionals from the OIC member states, European countries, experts in international law, press law and human rights, representatives of NGOs interested in the issues of dialogue, security and interfaith coexistence, as well as the director of the OIC Standing Committee for Information and Cultural Affairs (COMIAC).

The opening ceremony will be attended by the representatives of many diplomatic missions of Arab and Islamic countries accredited to Belgium, representative of the OIC Mission in Brussels, along with representatives of the Belgian ministries of justice and interior, the European Commission and the European Parliament.

The forum is organized as part of cooperation and coordination between ISESCO and the OIC General Secretariat to meet the challenges arising from the mounting Islamophobia and promote communication and cooperation between media professionals in the Islamic world and beyond. It also comes in implementation of the relevant resolutions of the Islamic conferences of information and culture ministers.

—AB/UNA-OIC

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