Use Pen to counter Islamophobia: Yvonne Ridley
Hyderabad, Jan 13: Award-winning British-born journalist Yvonne Ridley has called upon Muslims to join together and publish the truth to counter Islamophobia.
“Islam is not a threat to India and the humanity“, said Yvonne Ridley.
Addressing the ‘Spring of Islam’ conference here, organised by the Jamaat-e-Islami over video conference from London, she said more and more Muslims should join the media as it is the most powerful way to get the message out about the purity of Islam.
Speaking to a gathering of over 200 journalists she spoke via Skype from the UK,after being denied visa to visit India.
Ridley highlighted the need to remove misconceptions about Islam among media professionals. “Pen is mightier than sword, and Muslims should use it to remove the veil of ignorance and spread Islam and its teachings,” she said.
“Ambitious parents want their sons and daughters to become doctors, lawyers, scientists and engineers. Why don’t you encourage them to join the media as writers, photographers, filmmakers and documentary makers,” said Ridley, who was denied a visa by India to attend the conference.
She said by joining the media, Muslims can counter lies and distortion about Islam and can make people see Islam as a religion which promotes peace, encourages education and does not discriminate against women.
“We need to lift the veil of ignorance towards Islam from the face of the West and the best way is to create more and more journalists from within our ranks. Misinformation, deliberate or otherwise, and negative stereotypes, heighten tension and legitimise imperialistic wars, brutality and torture of Muslims,” she said.
“If the pen is mightier than the sword, and I truly believe it is, then we must arm ourselves and be prepared to use it as a potent weapon in the war of words,” she said.