By P.K. ABDUL GHAFOUR | ARAB NEWS
JEDDAH: A senior official of the Makkah-based Muslim World League (MWL) has called for the establishment of strong media organizations by Muslims in order to challenge stereotypes of Islam and Muslims that link them to terrorism and extremism.
“Our efforts in this respect are still meager compared to the strident smear campaigns we are facing around the world, especially in the West,” said Hassan Al-Ahdal, director general for media and public relations at the MWL.
“We have to hold seminars and conferences in various parts of the world inviting non-Muslims to correct this perception. We should also have a strong media, including satellite channels and news agencies that can influence public opinion and take our viewpoints to people across the world,” he said.
Speaking to Arab News, Al-Ahdal reiterated MWL’s condemnation of the 9/11 terrorist attacks in the United States and emphasized that the event has nothing to do with Islam and Muslims. “Terrorism has no religion and terrorists could be found among followers of all religions,” he said, adding that Islam has prohibited the killing of innocent people.
He commended the interfaith dialogue initiative launched by Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah, saying it would bring followers of different religions closer and strengthen world peace and stability.
“The initiative will bridge the gap between the East and West and promote understanding between the various cultures. We need to strengthen this initiative by holding more meetings between leaders of various faiths,” he said.