Thursday, 15 April 2021 11:47 GMT

Arab media fuelling polarisation, complicating crises, feel experts

(MENAFN - Muscat Daily) Muscat-

Prominent speakers at an international peace-building symposium have said that Arab media rhetoric is fuelling political polarisation and complicating crises in the region.

This was discussed at a day-long 'Rapprochement and Human Harmony' symposium held on Tuesday.

The forum was held in the presence of H E Yousuf bin Alawi bin Abdullah Minister Responsible for Foreign Affairs and H E Dr Abdulmunim bin Mansour bin Said al Hasani Minister of Information. Organised by the Sultan Qaboos Higher Centre for Culture and Science (SQHCCS) at the Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque the symposium which is in its fifth year seeks to build harmony among religions and cultures focused on the role of media.

Dr Mohammed Sabir Arab professor of Modern Arab History at Al Azhar University and former Egyptian Minister of Culture said that even independent satellite channels are playing a negative role. He said that channel producers exploit religion for certain agendas and promote sectarianism describing it as a 'crisis'.

Dr Arab also said there is a conflict in worldviews between followers of different Islamic philosophers such as Ibn Taymiyyah and Al Ghazzali and Western philosophers such as Descartes. Prominent Arab current affairs commentator Abdel Bari Atwan said that media was fuelling political polarisation and complicating crises warning of 'dangerous coming months'.

Atwan is the former editor-in-chief of the London-based Al Quds al Arabi and currently editor-in-chief of Rai al Youm. Habib al Riyami secretary general SQHCCS said he is hopeful the symposium can highlight the positive role media can play to bridge cultures. 'These days we have all sorts of fake media that lead people to nowhere' he said.

'So what we are trying to do is just bring all to the right path to the right track in order to purify whatever is being produced by all sorts of media.' The event discussed issues like conventional and alternative media media regulations religious discourse in media free speech and media technology. The audience and speakers comprised a mix of religious political and media personalities. Other media speakers included Ghassan Ben Jeddou from the Lebanon-based Al Mayadeen TV and former director of Al Jazeera's Beirut office.

H E Jon Wilks UK's Ambassador to Oman H E Envarbik Fazelyanov Russia's Ambassador to Oman and Rev Christopher Howitz from the Protestant church in Oman were also present at the event.

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