JEDDAH, 21st December, 2016 (WAM) — The growing phenomenon of terrorism and the development of its methods and techniques have led to the exploitation of traditional media and discourses by terrorists and their proponents and financers, Dr. Adel bin Zaid Al-Teraifi, Minister of Culture and Information of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, told the 11th session of the Conference of Information Ministers in the Member States of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation, OIC.

The meeting started in the Saudi city of Jeddah under the theme “New media to counter terrorism and Islamophobia.”

In his opening speech, Al-Teraifi, also the Chair of the current session, expressed his hope to see the session come up with a modern Islamic Media Charter dedicated to combating terrorism and Islamophobia.

The Saudi Minister said the draft resolution on the role of media in combating terrorism, submitted by the delegation of Saudi Arabia, has been welcomed and supported by the OIC Member States as it called for condemning and criminalising the media which promote, incite to, support and fund terrorism.

Teraifi called for setting up specific mechanisms for co-ordination of media policies among the media outlets in OIC countries regarding counterterrorism issues and the development of media legislations governing the works of satellite channels and media institutions, and also demanded closure of satellite channels and media organisations supporting terrorist groups.

Dr. Yousef Al-Othaimeen, Secretary-General of the OIC, also explained that the conference addressed the role of traditional and modern media and their impact on these phenomena, which target the pillars of international peace and security.

He said that terrorist groups utilise all available media houses to spread extremist ideology and misleading messages. They also seek to attract young men and women, and lure them to join their organisations or terrorist elements that provide logistical support.

“The role of the media in this regard is to fight this terrorist ideology through the use of the same media and the same social media by specialist journalists in order to direct messages that would expose the terrorist ideology and show the real image of Islam, which calls for tolerance, moderation and peaceful coexistence among the people of the world,” he added.

Al-Othaimeen said that the conference deliberated on the key challenge facing the media sector in the organisation and in its Member States, namely the development of the sector to enable it to catch up with the rapid changes in social media with an aim to reach different segments of the society.