Professor Abbasi: countering western culture requires Islamic Internet
Ali Eyvaz - Yeni Akit - Turkey
Dr. Hasan Abbasi, faculty member of Tehran University and advisor to President Ahmadinejad, in an interview with correspondent of Turkish daily yeni Akit, Ali Aivaz, said Turkey as a Muslim country should not count on western help for countering hostility toward Islam.
Dr. Abbasi said in order to counter sexual, economic, political and military terrorism we should enhance our joint potentials and forge closer ties among our media.
He went on saying that today for fighting communication and media terrorism we use filtering Internet contents but best way to do this is to expand our cyber facilities against the Internet systems of US Army adding that major works are underway in this respect.
Dr. Abbasi by pointing out that imperialism without taking up any weapon is launching terrorist attacks against Islam said today the Unites States and west not only have only various weapons of mass destruction at their disposal they also have more dangerous cyber weapons by which they have targeted Muslim world morally. They can do whatever they want by these weapons and today economy and morality are equally targeted by the west.
The Tehran University professor by saying that the American and British idols are crumbling added that the west under the pretext of defending democracy and freedom is interfering in the internal affairs of other nations and in order to create disorder make use of whatever scientific resources has at its disposal and use the concept of freedom as a tool to achieve its objectives. However, when anti-capitalism movement started in Britain, they immediately shut down Face Book and Tweeter outlets. They condemn such acts when it takes place in other countries and accuse them of violating human rights but when it comes to their own countries they start to justify their measures.
Dr. Abbasi said China and Russia have launched their independent Internet search engines because every country is vulnerable to Internet viruses and spying devices of the US. He urged Muslim countries to work on same systems as Russian and China otherwise they will become the cyber dustbin and backyard of America.
According to Professor Abbasi, anti-Islamism is the direct result of media and Internet publicity.
Dr. Abbasi said the United States through its technology is trying to change governments in Asia and Africa. This project was first implemented in Republic of Georgia and now it is targeting Islamic world. Washington is trying to reshuffle the governments through its media outlets and other communication facilities without even firing a single bullet.
He added that for every 13 American citizens there exists a porno site in total 25 million and concluded that Muslim nations are subject to American immorality assault and the weapon of immorality which the US government has employed is also poisoning American people.
Press Union of Islamic World was launched
Nejat daily- tajikestan - Seifzadeh
On October 29, 2011, meeting of the founding members of Press Union of Islamic World was held in Tehran attended by 143 media representatives from 48 countries.
Representatives of Muslim communities of Russia and Canada also took part in the said gathering which was held on the sideline of the International Exhibition of Press and News Agencies from Oct. 25 to Nov.2, 2011 in Tehran.
Iranian President Ahmadinejad, who is one of the initiators of the union, received the participants of this international gathering and by his logical and convincing speech showed them the right path. He said the Press Union of the Islamic World is not only a tribune for defending the rights of Muslims and promotion of Islam but its task is to secure social justice across the world including the United States and Europe.
President Ahmadinejad added that The Wall Street Movement and continuous demonstrations in Europe show that people of the Western World like their Eastern counterparts are suffering from lack of social justice.
Iranian President went on saying that establishment of the Press Union of Islamic World is a major contribution to promotion of democracy and pluralism all over the world. He said people of the world should have access to alternative voices and not to be confined to what is being published or broadcast by western media outlets. Other journalists who adhere to Islamic values and principle should have a chance to speak their minds in covering news events, said the president.
In Central Asian countries and Tajikistan in particular most of the news published and aired is taken from western or Russian sources and concerned officials in this region do not pay any attention to this shortcoming and the publication of news which most of them are contrary to their national and even governmental interest.
However it should be noted that the founding members of the union have signed an accord which will set up an alternative news outlet to counter the western arrogant and Zionists news media but unfortunately Tajikistan as a Muslim nation did not play an active role in this event except presence of representatives of two publications, Nejat and Safine Omid affiliated to Islamic Movement of Tajikistan.
It is not known why the concerned authorities of the country did not show much interest to this gathering while nowadays Tajikistan is not recognized as country and little is known about it being a Muslim nation.
In addition, the Russian alphabet has been a factor for our isolation and when we attend a meeting of this kind we realize more our marginalization because of using the Russian alphabets.
Using Russian alphabet is a disgrace for Tajiks because they speak Farsi but are not able to write in Farsi alphabets and this is very strange for those to come in contact with Tajik people.
Press Union launched against West’s ‘cultural onslaught’
By Hamed Chapman - ahmad versi
President Ahmedinejad standing left from Iraq, posing with Muslim journalists from 40 countries. A Press Union of Islamic World has been launched in Tehran to unite Muslim media against the ‘cultural onslaught’ from the West. The launch was made by Iranian Minister of Culture and Islamic Guidance, Mohammad Hosseini in presence of journalists from 40 countries on October 29. Hosseini said that the Western media aimed at “creating division” and expressed hope the Press Union will “thwart the monopoly” of the Western news agencies. “Establishment of the Union will make the world understand better about Islam, and the voice of the Islamic world would be heard and be taken seriously,” Iran’s Deputy Minister of Culture and Islamic Guidance, Mohammad Ja’far Mohammadzadeh, also said.
The aim of preventing the Western onslaught includes publishing information on Islamic culture, cooperation and exchange of information and training journalists.
Endorsing the launch later that afternoon, Iranian President, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, stressed to the participants of the Press Union on the impartiality in news dissemination. President Ahmadinejad described the creation of the Union an effective step in media affairs and said that the media have an important role in shaping the character of individuals and societies as well as relations between nations.
“Observing honesty and justice are the most important elements of news dissemination,” he told journalists from the 40 countries, which included The Muslim News Editor, Ahmed J Versi. They should have a “fair judgment even concerning enemies' news and do not have right to be careless, dishonest and cruel,” he said.
Speaking in the presence of the President, Versi told the participants about his experience of working in journalism for the last 30 years, which included monitoring the way the British media and Western news agencies report on Islam, Muslims and Muslim countries. “What I have found is that the Western media has been biased long before the terrorist attacks in the USA on September 11 2001. “However, anti Islam and anti Muslim reporting increased considerably since then,” he said. The Muslim News Editor said that every media has its “own biases and agendas.” Within these biases, the Western media give generally balance reporting, except when it comes to reporting on Islam, Muslims and Muslim countries, they are “not as objective or balanced.”
“They are generally Islamophobic in their reporting. It is worse when there is a terrorist attack, even if the terrorist attack has been perpetrated by a non Muslim,” he argued, citing the recent massacres carried out by a non-Muslim Norwegian in Oslo, when the media still tried to blame the killing of 77 people on a Muslim. “One British newspaper, even after it became known that he was a Norwegian, argued that he must be a convert to Islam,” he added.
“When it comes to those Muslim countries which don’t have good relations with the West like Iran, the reporting is hostile and not balanced. When it comes to reporting about Israel and Palestine, most Western media take a pro-Israel line,” Versi told other journalists. “That is one of the main reason, for example, why we began publishing The Muslim News newspaper in the UK in February 1989.
“We found that our voices were not heard in the media and reported mainly negative stories about British Muslims. There were hardly any positive stories of Muslims or their contributions to British society.”
Editor of The Muslim News Ahmed J Veri stressing the importance of free media
He said that there was a need for an alternative voice, alternative news sources in the face of the biased news. However, he added that such alternative news sources will carry a huge responsibility to ensure it is accurate, objective and be “able to speak truth to power.” It is an enormous project to overcome the many challenges and required huge manpower and financial resources to be sustainable and viable.
In a media driven age, Versi said the market is very competitive and it was very important to journalists to be “professional and be allowed freedom of expression and be a free and independent media to be credible.” He argued that the Union should also collaborate with the non-Muslim Western journalists and media institutions as there were many who are objective, understand the concerns of Muslims and write balanced reporting.
WHAT ARE WOMEN IN IRAN DEPRIVED?
Word has been making round in the main stream western media that women in Iran are oppressed by the Sharia laws of the Islamic Republic and deprived of their fundamental rights. A month ago, I travelled to Tehran to attend the 18th-International fair of Press and News agencies. I stayed there for close to two weeks, I tried to figure out what women are deprived in Iran that other women in the West enjoy.
On the first day to grand Mosalla centre where the ceremony of the fair took place, my first encounter was with a group of young men and women freely relaxing in the well maintained leisure park right in front of grand Mossalla centre. At the event, there were more female journalists taking pictures than men, as well as many female interpreters that freely attended to foreign journalist translating Persian. To inspire more female into the field of journalism, International Awards (Zeynab ward) female journalists of Islamic World are organized and outstanding female journalists recognized.
As a moral obligation, these ladies have their unique dress code. Majority of them dress in jeans, overcoats, boots and head scuffs. It is impossible to walk into a lady dressed in mini skirts or tight leggings with protruding g-strings as is in Western countries.
I travelled to Qum, located about 120km south of Tehran, along the way, you could see women freely driving as fast as men without any obstruction. The citizens of Iran I interacted with told me that over 600 women took part in elections that brought Ahmedinejad’s regime to power, although many of them didn’t make it to the august house, some of them made it and are in parliament and are doing well. The current Minister of health is a woman named Marzieh Vahid Dastjerdi, how can you say women are maginalised? Wondered one Iranian gentleman.
I went to “Royan Institute for reproductive biomedicine, animal biotechnology and stem cell research centre”,a young lady amazingly described high tech research activities in the institute. The institute consists of three research institutes each focusing on different fields of research. These include; Royan Institute for Reproductive Biomedicine, Royan Institute for Animal Biotechnology, Royan Institute for stem cell biology and technology.
I spoke to Hajara Mutetsi, a woman activist also the coordinator Pan-African-Muslim-Journalists- Association (PAMOJA) in the republic of Rwanda about the state of women in Iran. She said that Iran cultures are very strong, their norms very clear, systematic and crimes are fewer in communities. The West doesn’t understand Iran system and think Iran can be assimilate it into the international power structure so easily, which is wrong. Pan-African Muslim Journalists Association (PAMOJA) is an independent, professional networking group for journalists, committed to helping African Muslim journalists to seek and achieve excellence in journalism. “Our group is comprised of a dedicated team of Muslim journalists who can speak out and communicate the true meaning of Islam and Muslim affairs in all types of media. Our team include freelance journalists, television, radio, newspapers, newsletters, online among others”, Hajara added.
Given these facts, the realities of the Iranian society in regard to women are very different from what is depicted by the West.
Indonesia is ready to host second meeting of Press Union of Islamic World
By Margiono Mardjono
Iranian Ambassador to Jakarta during a visit to Association of Indonesian Journalists met and conferred with Mr. Mardjono the president of the union who spoke about his recent visit to Iran and attending the International Press Union of Islamic World.
During the meeting also attended by a dozen of managers of Indonesian newspapers and board of directors of Association of Indonesian Journalists, Mr. Margino expressed his thanks and gratitude for the hospitality rendered to him during the Tehran gathering and called the first meeting of the Press Union of Islamic World as a great success for Iran at the present circumstances.
He added that while in Iran I sow for myself the high spirit of Iranian people and their justice seeking struggle and the firmness and determination of President Ahmadinejad adding that Iranians despite all the international sanctions have been able to make considerable achievements due to their courage and determination.
President of Association of Indonesian Journalists said he had proposed holding of the second meeting of Press Union of Islamic World in Jakarta when he was in Tehran and the offer was welcomed by President Ahmadinejad and concerned Iranian officials. He called the help and assistance of Iranian Embassy in Jakarta and Iranian officials for organizing the forthcoming event.
Press Union of the Islamic World established in Tehran
By Abdul Mumin Giwa
At a special conference of the participants, it was agreed that the organization will be a "truly presvs organisation" which has an international flavour that does not depict an Iranian outlook alonev. It was also agreed by the participants that participants of the conference on the formation of the vunion from 38 countries should be more structured in organising its activities with full participvation of its members once the union is fully established next year.
The partivcipants also agreed that work on establishing the union should "start immediately" as the Muslivm media is racing against time as Muslims are continuing to be suppressed by the Western mvedia and their propaganda. Acknowledging the union as the brainchild of Iran, the 53 senior editovrs from the media and news agencies from Islamic nations also agreed that to portray a bettver image of the religion, the union should promote cooperation and collaboration with the non-Mvuslim media from non-Islamic countries, especially those who are unbiased towards Islam. v
They also suggevsted that the union coordinate closely with Muslim international non-governmental orgvanisations and human rights groups to help the plight of Muslims around the globe. v
Part of tvhe immediate activities of the union in the next three months is the establishment of a website ivn English, Arabic and Persian, as well as the formation of the various committees. The Iranian Mvinister of Culture and Islamic Guidance Muhammad Hossein was called upon by the participantvs to hasten the establishment of the website of the union in the shortest period of time to enable thevm obtain updates of news on Muslim communities around the world. In response, Mohamad saivd the website would be put up in three months time in English, Arabic and Persian. “A cevntral committee will begin its work immediately to coordinate the function of the union before thve first general assembly in a year's time” he said.
According to Movhammad Ja''afar, the secretariat of the union will be set up in Teheran and the annual meetings ovf the organisation will be held in the Iranian capital or other countries through coordination with tvhe secretariat. The secretariat, among others, will prepare the groundwork for cooperation amovng the media of the Islamic world and established international media.
It is also responsible ivn carrying out research and studies to present mechanisms and recommendations aimevd at improving professional ties among the Muslim media. Mohammad Ja''afar said the union is vbased on the Quranic and religious teachings, common identity and the need for unity of the Islamvic communities and promotion of Islam.
Also, according to the unionv's constitution, all Muslim press and media organisations engaged in the production and publicavtion of news are entitled to be members of the union, with the approval of the general assembvly. The areas of cooperation among the union members include exchange of production and techvnological experience, exchange of news, reports, commentaries and news photos, joint news prodvuction, training of editorial staff, exchange of news packages and cooperation on coverage of nevws events, and making use of the latest technologies in the technical sector and programming.v
President Ahmadinejad described thve creation of the union as an effective step in media affairs and said that media have an importanvt role in shaping character of individuals and societies as well as relations between nations. v
He said observing honesty and justivce are the most important elements of news dissemination, adding that media have status of judgves concerning others' work and thoughts and they should have a fair judgment even concerning venemies news and do not have right to be careless, dishonest and cruel. v
Ahmadinejad recommvended Islamic World Media persons to use accuracy, honesty and justice in their work and said thvat arrogant powers in their own media activities use incorrect measures, but we have no right evenv toward our enemies to disseminate inaccurate news or baseless analyses. v
He pointedv out that all nations have the right to live free, enjoy justice and exercise national sovereignty,v but when aliens interfere in nations' affairs, freedom and justice are gone.
Referring to Lvibya, the president said it seems that Libyan people should start again a long war against coloniavlism, because the occupiers are dividing Libyan national wealth and in this case if the media worvk only on conflicts, instead of the main issue, they have lost their way.
He added that if wve do not have a clear and accurate analysis of world developments, we might make mistake, addivng that those who are against us, when they ignore moral principle, it means that they are opposedv to human nature which is freedom, justice and fighting against cruelty.
President Ahmadinejavd described the Zionist regime as a very complicated organization which owns centres of powersv, wealth and media and continued that Europeans have been paying taxes to the Zionists for tvhe past 60 years and the Zionists are paying for propaganda, election competitions and politicalv parties expenses in the west.
The arrogant powers have av new plan and program to keep their dominance on the world, and they are doing it now under nvew pretexts.
According to some news and ivnformation, NATO intended ten years ago to move toward east and occupy the region and theirv main goal is to restore colonial era with new slogans, said the president. Ahmadinejvad said that the Zionist regime is a symbol of anti-human thought which is not committed tvo any religion and morality and they have just put a mask of Judaism on their face which is alieve. He added that vthe Zionist regime is a unity element for world arrogant powers, so they are united in defendving the regime.
The president convcluded that unity among nations is the advice of the Islam great prophet Mohammad (PBUvH), because if Muslims are united, nobody or power would ever be able to defeat them and indvependent and free nations should find a substitute for the existing cruel system which is govevrning the world.
At the beginning of thev meeting, deputy Minister of Culture and Islamic Guidance presented a report on goals and process of establishment of the Islamic World Press Union and three of participants presented their own views on the union.
The formation of an Islamic press union came under special spotlight, when the Islamic world woke up to the point that the voiceless also need to be heard and the untold should be revealed.
The Press union was established as Tehran is hosting the 18th international Press and news agencies fair which has already brought together 600 press representatives from Iran plus 100 others from almost 50 world countries.
Analysts say the establishment of the press union of the Islamic world is a big step towards forming a bigger united front against the domineering powers of the West.The final statement of the conference was read out by Deputy Minister of Culture and Islamic Guidance, Mohammad Ja''afar Mohammadzadeh, who is also pro-tem organizing chairman of the union, before the participants and President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad at a ceremony at the president's office in Iran.
Canada - Maksud Djavadov
By our own correspondent
On October 29, Muslim researchers, journalists and editors gathered in Tehran to inaugurate the establishment of the Press Union of the Islamic World. The first general assembly session of the press union attracted Muslim media professionals from 38 countries representing different media outlets including Crescent International. At the forefront of strategic Islamic vision for over four decades, Crescent International offers its own analysis of the newly established Press Union.
It was a 10-day event. That is a pretty long time to formally establish the Press Union of Muslim journalists. In addition to discussing the work of the Press Union and its future activities, a number of related issues were also tackled. The formal talks revolved around the operational and strategic future of the new organization. The key concern for many delegates was to make the union truly international. Nasihin Masha, a journalist from Indonesia, repeatedly emphasized the need to hold Press Union meetings in different Muslim countries and proposed Indonesia as the next venue.
The delegates held interesting meetings with top officials of Iran’s Etela‘at newspaper and the Islamic Republic News Agency. Discussions centred on various problems faced by Muslim journalists and how to address them. Even though Muslim journalists face numerous problems worldwide, two themes dominated discussions: lack of systematic professional training and how to maneuver through restrictions imposed by authoritarian regimes in the Muslim world. Soleiman Kenawy, managing director of al-Akhbar paper and editor in chief of Sawt Azhar (the voice of Azhar) from Egypt was particularly interested in learning about Iran’s post-revolutionary experience in running its mass media apparatus after getting rid of the Shah’s cronies. Like most other journalists, Kenawy was eager to learn how the Islamic Revolution dealt with lack of competent human resources after the US-backed monarchy was overthrown.
Perhaps the most promising part of the union inauguration was that it provided Muslim journalists with great networking opportunity. It also gave them an excellent chance to discuss common strategies in countering the Western corporate media’s demonization of Islam with active backing from neo-colonialist and pro-Zionist regimes. Establishment of the Press Union was viewed by all participants of the first session of the general assembly as an important preliminary step in countering the global soft-war on Islam. However, for the new organization to fulfill its objectives fully, several crucial mechanisms must be implemented immediately.
To avoid the trap of becoming another organization on paper, the Permanent Secretariat and the members must make the Press Union an inclusive forum. It must not turn into a bureaucratic body. Instead, it must be for all committed Muslim journalists, and managed by them.
This does not mean Muslim governments should play no role in promoting or assisting the new body. Their role, however, must be limited because if the union becomes “landlocked” within a nation-state structure, its efficiency and global outreach will be limited. The union will end up functioning within the colonialist imposed construct of the modern “nation-state.”
Instead, the Press Union must become an international Muslim body that does not recognize colonial-imposed boundaries. The modern world with its technological advances and process of globalization provide an excellent environment for Muslim professionals to convert this new body into a truly Ummah-wide union. The practical way would be to create active representative offices worldwide with powers to take initiatives within the framework of the ratified charter.
For a unified strategy to counter the demonization of Muslims by the corporate media, the Press Union should provide Muslim journalists regular training courses encompassing a wide range of issues. However, these training courses must be flexible taking into account that journalists work in diverse socio-political and geographic locations. Nonetheless, the training programs ought to be designed in collaboration with union members and must be fairly standardized in order to pursue the same goals and strategy. Training programs must cover a wide variety of issues such as communication tools, terminological and conceptual strategies, writing techniques and so on.
Administratively the Press Union must be an active body whose activities are not limited to yearly gatherings where there is much talk but no real work. The Press Union Secretariat must keep in regular contact with union members and keep them engaged in its work as well as promote their work worldwide.
The Press Union must become a vehicle through which Muslim journalists can disseminate information to a global audience, and appeal for financial assistance in the form of grants, yearly awards and scholarships. The organization must aim to create simple and transparent administrative mechanisms that are user-friendly.
Another key area requiring serious attention relates to defending the rights of Muslim journalists. When secular journalists are targeted by oppressive regimes, Western-based institutions concerned with freedom of expression immediately spring into action. The same institutions however do not pay much attention to the plight of Muslim journalists that often face far greater risk to their lives. A recent case related to the arrest and fabricated charges against the editor in chief of www.islamazeri.az
Ramin Bayramov in Azerbaijan. The Islamic Press Union must spearhead a movement to defend the rights of those journalists that present the Islamic perspective on contemporary global issues.
The Press Union of the Islamic World must become a platform to help Muslim journalists develop professionally and allow them to enhance their effectiveness in informing the global audience about Islamic solutions to contemporary problems. Members of the Press Union must establish their credibility with diverse audiences and one way is not to shy away from rational self-criticism. When President Mahmoud Ahmedinejad met the organization’s members, he explicitly stated that “members of the Islamic Press Union must base their work on honesty and justice… and have no right to disseminate inaccurate news or baseless analyses even about our enemies.”
In the absence of the Islamic Press Union, Muslim journalists may have felt a void. Its failure, however, would inflict even greater psychological damage. The Secretariat and members of the Islamic Press Union must prevent it from becoming another Organization of Islamic Conference (OIC) type body. The greatest threat to the Islamic Press Union may not be external but internal: administrative incompetence and lack of proactive initiatives with lofty goals. The Islamic Press Union must constantly keep its members engaged who in turn must keep the union’s secretariat alive and active. The way to achieve this is to act in a professional, transparent and organized manner.
Thoughts on Islamic World Press Union
Bangladesh - BSS News Agency - Momtaj Bilkis Banu
The Press Assembly of Islamic World was inaugurated by Minister of Culture and Islamic Guidance Mohammad Hosseini on October 29 in Tehran. It was a privilege to participate in the programme on an invitation from the Islamic Republic of Iran.
About 150 journalists including Managing Directors of the Islamic Press from 38 countries and managers of Iranian media took part in the programme attended by the Minister of Culture and Islamic Guidance Mohammad Hosseini.
The Minister, who made brief speech at the ceremony, announced that the Press Union of the Islamic World will be established right after the ongoing International Press Festival at the Imam Khomeini Mosalla. The minister said, "Our nation is proud to have been defending the school of Islam and the divine values" he said. "The press festival provides the opportunity for the world press to meet and exchange views but this is not sufficient and required a coherent organization," he said. He added that a permanent secretariate of the Press Union of the Islamic World will be established to help arrange more meetings in Iran or other countries. An international press festival was also arranged at the Imam Khomeini Mosalla on October 28. All the foreign countries which participated in the ceremony set up media booths.
The initiative to form the Islamic World Press Union is a welcome idea. This may build a bridge of friendship among the journalists of Muslim countries. Hosseini stressed the Islamic countries must stay united. This initiative can be successful when governments of Muslim countries will be involved to develop this idea into action. For example, individual journalists may form country committees or groups but it will require respective government's active patronage for technical and logistic support for audio-visual information and data exchange among Muslim countries.
Iran is a friendly country. The people of undivided India (now Bangladesh, India and Pakistan) until 1920 or so were deeply familiar with the Parsian language and literature for about nine centuries when Muslim emperors ruled the whole of Indian sub-continent. During that period, Parsian language (Jaban-e-Farsi shirin ast) was the official language. In the literary works of our two great poets Rabindranath Tagore and Kazi Nazrul Islam, there are many Farsi words. In fact, there are several hundred Farsi words in the Bengali language.
A permanent secretariat of the Press Assembly of Islamic World should be established to facilitate exchange of news and feature materials in words and audio-visual.
There is cogent rationale for a Press Union of the Islamic World. After the end of the Cold War the world’s peace loving people heaved a sigh of relief anticipating conclusion of global conflicts and battles emanating from rivalry of the two Super Powers that would usher in a peace and harmony.
Fukuyama, then a senior official at the US State Department, in his “The End of History'' (1989) speculated that liberal democracy may form a reasoned, directional and consistent history that would lead the greater part of humanity to liberal democracy. He had hindsight that the bitter enemies from WWI and WWII formed a common European civilisation. Huntington argued that history was far from its end, but that global conflicts would continue so long as the world was divided into greater “civilisations” such as the West and Islam. “It is human to hate,” wrote Huntington. Fukuyama’s optimistic philosophy for humanity is being crushed and pulverised.
Western media’s biased portrayal of Muslims
In their 1988 book titled “Manufacturing Consent: The Political Economy of the Mass Media”, political analysts and public intellectuals Noam Chomsky and Edward S. Herman, say, among other things, that the “Western media’s portrayal of Islam and Muslims around the world is a simple example of how the policies of the Western governments shape and specify the trajectory and strategies of the media outlets in these countries (see Chomskywatch wordpresscom 2011/01/25 presstv western-media-fueling islamophobia). As one looks at the image the Western media have depicted of the Islamic world, it can be clearly figured out that Islam and Muslims are conventionally associated with certain dogmatic and assertive stereotypes, including extremism, fundamentalism and violence.”
According to emiscocom-warsaw, Islamophobia is a form of intolerance and discrimination motivated with hatred and mistrust of Islam and its devotees. It is often manifested in combination with racism, xenophobia, anti-immigrant sentiments and religious intolerance. Islamophobic rhetoric associates Muslims with terrorism and portrays them as an international threat. “It makes stereotypical allegations about Muslims as a monolithic group of people whose culture is backward and incompatible with human rights and democracy,” says bigpeace.com dated 25 August, 2011.
Rejecting co-operation between Muslims and non-Muslims
Other examples of Islamophobic rhetoric in political discourse, the media, schools, work place and in the religious sphere involve, but are not limited to: Calling for banning and/or restricting visibility and practices of Islam in public space on the grounds that Islam is not a religion but an oppressive ideology; dehumanising and demonising Muslims as a collective "other" defined only on religious basis, leading to the racialisation of the "Muslim category"; describing Muslims as a demographic time-bomb; advocating collective expulsion of Muslims based on the accusation that they are enemies within; denying contributions that Muslims made and have been making to the society and world; rejecting any possibility of co-operation between Muslims and non-Muslims.
Thus Islamophobia includes the perception that Islam has no values in common with other cultures, is inferior to the West and is a violent political ideology rather than a religion. What a contemptible, blameworthy ignorance about Islam! A former research scientist at NASA and professor of physics at Trinity University in Texas, Dr. Michael Hart in his The 100, a ranking of the most influencial persons in history, asserts that Muhammad was "supremely successful" in both the religious and secular realms. He also believed that Muhammad's role in the development of Islam was far more influential than Jesus' collaboration in the development of Christianity.
Iran has a very rich artistic and literary heritage; E.G. Browne’s Literary History of Persia runs to 2,256 pages. This scribe had a wish to write on the great poet Muhammad Hāfez-e Shirāzi, poet Shaikh Muslih-al-Din Sadi and Poet Firdausi Tusi. One of the world’s greatest writers, George Bernard Shaw said, "If any religion had the chance of ruling over England, nay Europe within the next hundred years, it could be Islam… I have always held the religion of Muhammad in high estimation because of its wonderful vitality. It is the only religion which appears to me to possess that assimilating capacity to the changing phase of existence which can make itself appeal to every age. I have studied him - the wonderful man and in my opinion far from being an anti-Christ, he must be called the Savior of Humanity… I believe that if a man like him were to assume the dictatorship of the modern world he would succeed in solving its problems in a way that would bring it the much needed peace and happiness.”
Even in countries with freedom of religion and a free press, the dominant religion exerts some amount of influence on the media. In nations where Christianity is the majority faith, for instance, “reporters tend to focus on the activities of the Christian community, to the exclusion of other faiths”. According to the Wikipediaorg’s article Media coverage of the Arab–Israeli conflict, “prejudiced journalists may intentionally or unintentionally distort reports due to political ideology, national affiliation, anti-Semitism, anti-Arabism, or Islamophobia”.
Reflections of Turkish journalist about establishment of Press Union of Islamic World
Noray Mert, journalist and columnist of Turkish mass circulation, Milliyet Daily, in an article published in her newspaper headlines "campaign against terrorism by Iran" has written that last week I visited to attend the formation of the Press Union of Islamic World and this visit provided me with an opportunity to become familiar with the latest development in Iran.
She has described the objective behind the gathering of Muslim journalist on the occasion of foundation of the Press Union of Islamic World as establishing strong ties and close cooperation among the media of Muslim World against the hegemony of western media.
Before going to Iran I had this impression that most of journalist invited to Tehran gathering are from Lebanon, Syria and Iraq but it was not so and journalists from other countries including Uganda, Nigeria, Indonesia, Malaysia, Seri Lanka as well as countries of Central Asia and other Arab countries were also invited to the meeting, the Turkish journalist has written in her article.
According to Noray Mert, the conference has not been about Iran but was devoted to review of the hegemony of the capitalist world and new colonialism. If there was no sporadic mention of the need for solidarity among Muslim countries and casual reference to Zionism one would think that has taken part in anti-capitalism conference.
It is natural that Iranians are following the campaign against capitalism quite seriously and always reiterate that by solidarity they don’t mean solidarity against Christianity or any other religion but unity and solidarity of world oppressed nations against the oppressors.
One of the other topics brought up in the Tehran gathering was campaign against terrorism but other topics such as threatening of human life by capitalism and monopolism, environmentalism and economic crisis were also reviewed by the participants as new form of terrorism.
A meaningful video clip
According to Turkish journalist in the beginning of the conference a short video footage was screened about the Arab Uprising (Arab Spring) which showed the close relations of the deposed dictators of Libya and Egypt with the west.
She has also touché on the speech by president Ahmadinejad about the Arab Spring which according to her the main part of the speech was devoted to advancement of NATO towards the east namely Iran, Syria and Iraq. President Ahmadinejad in his speech recalled the experience of disintegration of the Ottoman Empire and occupation of Iran during First World War by the western power and reiterated that Iran has no intention to interfere in the internal affairs of any country.
The Turkish journalist has concluded his article by writing that during the conference she had exchanged some words with Arab journalists about the regional developments but they did not want to engage in discussions about Syria and Turkey and some of them were critical of Turkish recent policies.
Turkish Journalist Ali Aivaz, writes about his experience about Tehran Gathering of Muslim Journalists
Turkish journalist Ali Aivaz of Yeni Akit daily was among the Muslim Journalists invited to the founding meeting of the press union of Muslim World.
This Turkish journalist who also represented the Waqtim News Agency, in an article about Tehran gathering and the international press exhibition has written that despite very rainy days, large number of press and news agencies took part in these events and crowds of Iranian people visited the exhibition.
According to Ali Aivaz, the Daily Yeni Akit and Waqtim News Agency are familiar names in Iran adding that despite heavy filtering of news sites in Iran according to Mr. Mohammadzadeh, Deputy Culture Minister for Press and Information the website of Waqtim News Agency is easily accessible in Iran and Iranians consider the Yeni Akit daily a publication which reflects the problems of the Muslims courageously and outspokenly.
The Turkish journalist has quoted Mr. Mohammadzadeh as saying that Muslim media should be present in all parts of the world and should have closer ties and interactions because the world is in dire need of peace and justice. The journalists and media working on Islamic topics and developments are fully aware that peace and justice is only attainable through Islam and that's why we should make the larger masses aware of such reality.
The Turkish journalist then has written about the large number of foreign media and journalists taking part in the founding meeting of the Press Union of Islamic World including countries such as the Philippines, Republic of Azerbaijan, Venezuela, Cuba, Egypt, Tunisia, Sudan, Kuwait, China, Albania, Turkmenistan, Greece, Tajikistan and so on and descried the gathering as a good opportunity for exchange of views among representatives of Islamic media.
The same Turkish daily in a separate article has quotes some parts of the interview conducted by the Yeni Akit reporter with Dr. Hasan Abbasi a university professor and presidential advisor. Dr. Abbasi has been quoted as saying that setting up Islamic Internet is a prerequisite for confronting terrorism by western media and the cultural onslaught. He has added that Muslim countries should have their common internet, media and technologies in order to safeguard Islamic values against western plots.
Dr. Abbasi has added that one can not counter the Islamo-phobia campaign launched by the western media through receiving assistance from the west and we should mobilize our native potentials to fight the economic, political and military terrorism launched by the west.
He has said that the west and the US in particular are using Internet as weapon against our values and through this communication medium are changing governments in various parts of the world. Dr. Abbasi has recommended establishment of a separate Internet by Muslim nations an idea that has been contemplated by countries such as Russia and China.
Iranian Armenians live freely in Iran and enjoy lots of rights
Managing Director of Foreign Media Department of Ministry of Culture and Islamic Guidance, Mohammad Javad Aghajari in an interview with a journalist from Republic of Armenia said "Armenians in Iran enjoy freedom".
He went on saying that according to Iranian Constitution, the Armenians have two seats in Iran's Islamic Consultative Assembly (Parliament) and this shows that Armenians have a comfortable life here and have no problem.
Mr. Aghajary who is one of the organizers of the 18th International Exhibition of Press and News Agencies said the Armenian lawmakers are entitled to same rights and privileges as other representatives and in general Armenians like other Iranians live in peace and tranquility.
Answering a question about whether holding of this kind of events in Iran has a financial reward for the country he said reporters can work for promotion of economic ties among nations.
He added that upon returning to your home country you write articles about Iran and introduce our country to your fellow countrymen. Culture is a basic factor and cooperation is formed in a step by step process. Your writings will help Armenian traders and business people to become familiar with Iranian firms and companies. If you introduce Iran to your people I am confident that our economic ties with your country will improve. Two Armenian news media took part in 18th Tehran International Press Exhibition.
Revolution in Tunisia will boost country's tourism industry
Tehran- Jalileh Faraj, correspondent of Tunisian daily Al-Fajr talking to Armenian journalist said recent election in Tunisia has brought social dynamism and vibrancy to her nation.
According to Tunisian journalist, people of her country have achieved exactly what they wanted adding that lots of changes have taken place in the country. One example of such changes is that before the uprising I could not wear head scarf when attending university but now I am free to have head cover.
She went on saying that her country is currently enjoying peace and tranquility and people are getting ready for tourism season.
According to Jalileh Fajr, situation in Tunisia is even more secure than before and tourists will once again return to the country because Tunisia is now known to be the first Arab country which freed itself from the clutch of dictatorship and gave signal to others.
Answering a question about the possibility of present rulers becoming dictator themselves, she said whoever takes the power into his hand will not be as bad as Zeinalabedin Bin-Ali.
Iran will support Islamist Movements seeking Peace and Justice
Deputy Culture Minister for Press and Information, Mr. Mohammad Jafar Mohammadzadeh speaking to participants of the 18th International Exhibition of Press and News Agencies in Tehran said I congratulate all nations who have triumphed against the dictators and praise all those who work for this end.
Referring to events taking place in Syria, Mr. Mohammadzadeh said no one except the people of Syria should determine their destiny and only the Syrian people themselves should decide who is going to rule their country.
Emphasizing that Iran does not interfere in internal affairs of any country he said the flames of instability will engulf Europe, Mr. Mohammadzadeh said Islamic Republic of Iran will support and respect the wishes of any nation.
Rights of religious and ethnic minorities should be respected by all governments
Oct. 20, 2011
Tehran- Deputy Culture Minister for Press and Information speaking in a news conference on the sideline of the 18th International Exhibition of Press and News Agency said all governments across the world should uphold the rights of religious and ethnic minorities.
Mr. Mohammad Jafar Mohammadzadeh said Iran can be taken as a role model in this respect because the rights and freedom of religious and ethnic minorities in Iran is secured in country's Constitution.
Talking about the aspirations of all religions, Mr. Mohammadzadeh said all world religions crave for justice adding that Armenians have two representatives in Iranian Parliament and have their own schools and churches as well as newspaper named "Alik".
Responding to a question by Ghanaian reporter who complained about infringement of the rights of Muslims in his country and asking Iranian help, Mr. Mohammadzadeh said Islamic Republic of Iran opposes al kind of injustice and discrimination.
Meeting of representatives of the Pres Union of Islamic World members in Iran
Tehran- Meeting of the representatives of the Press Union of Islamic World was held in Tehran on Oct.29, 2011. 143 representatives from 65 countries including Russia and Canada attended this gathering.
Iranian President, Mr. Mahmoud Ahmadinejad the founder of this union spoke to the participants at the opening session of union.
According to Sergei Markos an expert of cultural affairs and representative of a Russian media President Ahmadinejad in his speech said that this union has not been formed only to defend the rights of Muslims and publicize Islam but is duty bound to campaign against injustice in the world and Europe and the United States in particular.
Markos has added that Iranian President by referring to Occupy Wall Street Movement has stressed that continuous strikes in Europe show that most of the citizens in western countries like people of the east are also suffering from lack of social justice.
As Quoted by Russian Journalist, President Ahmadinejad has added that formation of this union is a major step toward real pluralism and democracy in the world. The Press Union of the Islamic World will provide the media audience across the world an opportunity not to rely on western media as the single source of news but have access to an alternative source of information about news events and see that journalists working in accordance with Islamic principles provide news coverage.
The Russian journalist has added that unfortunately the media of the Islamic world so far have devoted their news coverage to domestic audience but in recent years a number of Iranian media such as Al-Alam (Arabic TV news channel) and Press TV (English channel) have targeted overseas audience. According to Markos in near future Iran will launch new TV channels in Chinese, Russian and Spanish languages.
In the final statement issued in Tehran gathering, it was stated that in order to counter the hegemony and monopoly of western, Imperialistic and Zionist media, an international union of news media is an essential requirement.
Source: News from Armenia- News.am
Armenian News Daily to take part In Tehran press exhibition
Tehran- 18th International Exhibition of Press and News Agencies was inaugurated on Tuesday Oct. 25, 2011. Representatives of more than 100 news media from over 50 countries have taken part in this international event.
Iranian Minister of Culture and Islamic Guidance while welcoming the gusts said organizers of this exhibition are not after political objectives but expect the media especially the foreign news outlets to cover the Iranian news more carefully and fairly.
Representatives from Muslim and Non-Muslim nations including a number of journalists from Armenia are attending this exhibition which consists of more than 600 stands.
18th International Press Exhibition came to conclusion
Representatives of more than 100 international media from 50 countries had taken part in this exhibition. Some of the participants in interviews with correspondent of "Armenian News" daily talked about their ideas and findings.
Seyyedi abubakri yousef glomia, representative of Tanzanian daily "The African" said this exhibition was a good opportunity for exchanging of views with other foreign colleagues and he had learned a lot from this event.
Polish journalist, Siloster Shaferz, talking to his Armenian colleague said establishment of the Press Union of Islamic World will open new horizons and it may pave the way for establishment of the International Union of Journalists.
He said the main mission of journalists is to inform the public and fill the information gap through mass media and by doing so they can prevent clashes of civilization.
Taj Bai Akramev, Uzbek journalist said he has been impressed by the exhibition adding that I could not imagine that such a large number of journalists can be gathered under one roof.
The Correspondent of Armenian daily the "Armenian News" writes that he has asked Mr. Mohammad Javd Aghajary to comment on the achievements of the exhibition and Dr. Aghajari in response has said the foreign journalist should comment about the exhibition but only after returning to their home country adding he as one of the organizers of the exhibition believes that this year's exhibition was a success.
Syrian stand in Tehran Press Exhibition was widely welcomed by visitors
On Tuesday October 25, 2011, 18th International Exhibition of Press and News Agencies attended by large number of media from more than 60 countries including Syria was inaugurated in Tehran.
At The Syrian stand which was warmly welcomed by visitors to the exhibition, Syrian official news agency (SANA), Althawra and Teshrin dailies, provincial publications and Al-Baath Daily were presented.
It is worth mentioning that news outlets of Syria was awarded as the top stand among all foreign press and news agencies attending the exhibition
Syrian stand in Tehran Press Exhibition was awarded as the best
Syrian stand in 18th International Exhibition of Press and News Agencies was awarded as the best one among the foreign press and news agencies attending the exhibition. In Tehran press exhibition more than 600 newspapers and news agencies and 80 internet news websites from more than 50 countries were represented.
The Syrian stand received the award as the result of positive evaluation by the committees assessing the performance of the foreign media attending the exhibition. Activities of the Syrian media in Tehran press exhibition was described as unique.
Syrian official news agency SANA, Teshrin, Althawra, Alvahda and Al Baath dailies and SAdi Al savaq, Alfarsa and Zafaf weeklies were represented in Syrian stand.
Lotfollah Forozandeh, Iranian vice President for development of human resources presented the award to correspondent of SANA in Tehran and described the performance of this year's exhibition as very satisfactory both in quality and quantity. He said more than one million people visited the press and news agency exhibition and underlined the importance of signing of exhibition's "Charter" because this charter has a moral and professional characteristics.
The Iranian official said that media and information must have and intrinsic critical flavor and by improving the skills of their staff play a vanguard role in countering the attacks aimed at the culture and identity of regional nations and promote their quality to serve this objective.
Mr. Mohammadzadeh, Deputy Culture Minister for Press and Information in his speech at the closing ceremony of the exhibition emphasized the need for improvement of the quality of press in order to face the regional challenges and media campaign launched by the media of the domineering powers.
He also underlined the importance of the role of media in conveying transparent information to the public and described the exhibition as a cultural, social and professional event which will serve to consolidate friendship among the nations.
Iranian Deputy Culture minister added that the motto and message of this year's exhibition is economic expansion and quality and quantity improvement of media and said media should be harbinger of peace, justice and freedom in the world.