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GCC Vows Tough Steps to Curb ‘Media Extremism’

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Jeddah: The Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) an economic alliance of six Middle Eastern countries””Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, the United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Bahrain, and Oman, are stepping up their awareness campaigns to alert young people about the dangers of extremism. According to Kuwait’s Information Minister, Sheikh Salman Al-Hamoud Al-Sabah, the new ‘Gulf Awareness’ programs would adopt a different approach with the aims of moving youth away from extremist and harmful views.
Al-Sabah’s remarks followed a meeting of the Gulf information ministers that concluded in Kuwait recently. The meeting discussed plans for combating extremism. Terrorism in the media has become a global phenomenon, he said.
A recent meeting of interior ministers of the European Union has stressed the need to boost monitoring mechanisms against media networking sites that support terrorism, he pointed out.
Gulf authorities will support educational and media awareness campaigns to prevent terrorist ideologies and extremist thoughts from spreading across the Internet via social networking sites.
GCC countries plan to launch educational and media awareness campaigns that challenge terrorist ideologies, and defuse extremism that is today spreading across the Internet through social networking sites.
While ruling out any censorship measures on social networking sites, the minister said GCC telecommunication companies would be required to develop accurate monitoring systems.
He said the conditions in the region have called for reviewing priorities and focusing on the phenomenon of extremism.
During the meeting, the GCC ministers also agreed to a proposal submitted by the Saudi cultural minister to “employ awareness and educational measures to challenge extremist and terror-related thoughts, an issue that has been threatening all members of the Gulf society.”