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al-fateh
05-02-2006, 01:48 PM
Muslim world urged to set up Islamic Journalism Center
5/2/2006 11:30:00 AM GMT


Malaysia's Information Minister called for the establishment of an international Islamic centre for Muslim journalists, Bernama reported.

"This centre can be set up along the lines of several international journalism institutes that are already in existence, offering training and fellowship programs," Datuk Zainuddin Maidin said at the opening of a five-day workshop for Muslim and Arab journalists in Kuala Lumpur.

The minister said the proposed Islamic journalism center will allow Muslim journalists to discuss common issues and organize events for non-Muslims to educate them about the Islamic religion.

He added that encouraging non-Muslim journalists to take part in the center's programmes would combat Islamophobia.

Zainuddin also said that Muslim journalists must have an open and analytical mind in order to prove to the world that Islam is a peaceful and tolerant religion.

"There is no denying that there is an agenda to belittle Islam and Muslims among certain quarters in the West, using the media,

"Various tactics, including deception, are used in the onslaught against Muslims to work up their emotions because these people know full well that Muslims would respond in full agitation when their religion is attacked.” Zainuddin said.

This tactic was used to divert the attention of the Muslims from the killings of their brethren as in the case of the offensive cartoons of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH), he added.

The Malaysian minister also said that Muslim states must develop their media to become credible and effective channels for the dissemination of news and information about Islamic activities and events.

Serious efforts should be made to strengthen the Jeddah-based International Islamic News Agency (IINA) so that it could play a key role in the distribution of news concerning the Islamic world, he said.

"We should make full use of our media organisations to expess our views and opinions about our culture, our society and above all, our religion, so that others may know what Islam is really all about," he said.

Zainuddin also said that Malaysia could host the international Islamic journalism centre and that it could provide financial aid for its establishment.

He said that Malaysia, which was acknowledged by the world community as a model Islamic state, was a suitable location to show how Muslims and non-Muslims could live together in peace. "If the centre is established here, we hope to show the world the example of a developed Islamic nation, Muslims who are `Hadhari' and able to live with people of other faiths.

"We don't want to fight with the west (by setting up this centre), we only want to inform (the international community) about the real situation in the Islamic world," he said.

Zainuddin also stressed that the objectives of the centre wouldn’t differ from those of other Western journalism institutions. "This centre will organise journalism courses like other journalism institutes in the west. We don't want it to be regarded as a centre to spread Islam".
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