Arab League concludes its regular meetings in Dubai

- Arab League concludes its regular meetings on the role of media in countering terrorism and hate speech, issues recommendations

The Arab League concluded on Tuesday its regular meetings held in Dubai to discuss the role of media in combating terrorism and hate speech. The three-day meetings, which commenced on 17 November, were jointly hosted by the Dubai Press Club (DPC) and Watani Al Emarat Foundation, in collaboration with the Secretariat General of the Arab League.

The third day of the event, which concluded today with the 22nd meeting of the Permanent Media Committee tasked with reviewing the role of media in countering terrorism, was chaired by Director of Technical Administration of the Council of Arab Information Ministers at the Arab League Dr. Fawzi Al Ghweil.  The meeting was held to discuss and approve the recommendations made in research papers presented on the first two days of the meetings.

The recommendations issued during a workshop titled “The Role of Media in Promoting Moderate Islamic Discourse and Combating Terrorism”, focused on the part played by media and religious discourse in instilling positive values and promoting tolerance in society. The workshop called on the Arab League Educational, Cultural and Scientific Organisation (ALECSO) to work with ministries of education and other concerned authorities in member states to review educational curriculums in order to ensure they instill the values of tolerance and combat the spread of terrorist ideologies among youth.  

The recommendations stressed the need for Arab TV channels to identify religious figures who can address the dangers of terrorism and extremist fatwas. It was recommended that member states establish research centers and promote research studies that reflect the views of the Arab League on ‘regional media security’.

Other recommendations included encouraging state and private media to use new media tools to raise awareness in their societies, especially among youth, on the risks of visiting sites that promote terrorism. Member states were advised to intensify their efforts to block websites operated by terrorists and any other social media accounts that incite hate speech. The workshop outlined the benefits of community awareness programmes launched by cultural institutions, civil society organisations and non-governmental entities, and the critical need for media to refrain from featuring content on terrorist crimes.

The General Secretariat of the Arab League will share with member states a UAE research paper, presented on the second day of the meetings, which highlighted the role of soft power in countering terrorism. The General Secretariat called on member states to develop policies and plans for media institutions and ensure media address the impact of extremist ideologies.

Member states were urged to address any loopholes that could be exploited by terrorist organisations and work to enhance the professionalism of media in dealing with the impact of terrorism. The recommendations also stressed the importance of instilling values of patriotism and loyalty.

The recommendations also called on the Secretariat General to continue communicating with Arab and Islamic organisations to mobilise efforts to achieve the objectives outlined by the research papers at the workshop.

Dr. Fawzi Al Ghweil expressed his appreciation to all those who contributed to the success of the meetings and the representatives who presented research papers. He said the papers contained useful insights, experiences and recommendations which will be submitted to the Council of Arab Information Ministers.

He further expressed his appreciation to the UAE and Dubai, in addition to Dubai Press Club, Watani Al Emarat Foundation and participants in the meetings. He wished everyone success in taking steps to strengthen the role of media in combating terrorism and promoting the values of peaceful coexistence in Arab societies.

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