Istanbul/ New Delhi: The 12th Session of the Islamic Conference of Information Ministers (Combating Disinformation and Islamophobia in the Post-Truth Era) held here on October 22 adopted the Istanbul Declaration. The conference welcomed Resolution No. 76/254 on “International Day to Combat Islamophobia” adopted by the United Nations General Assembly on 15 March 2022.
The OIC Information Ministers in attendance at the Conference in Istanbul stated that they also applaud the United Nations General Assembly’s adoption of Resolution No. 76/227 on “Countering disinformation for the promotion and protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms” on December 24, 2021.
Being aware of how crucial it is to fight disinformation, which poses a severe threat to our nations and society in the new digital era, as expressed in the Conference’s theme (Combating Disinformation and Islamophobia in Post-Truth Era), they stated.
The Conference observed that taking into account that the media and information, in all of its forms, are some of the most crucial forces that influence local, regional, and global public opinion.
It further stated that the necessity to combat this issue and emphasise the hazards it poses, especially in countries with Muslim communities and minorities; highlighting the dangers of disinformation as a damaging weapon that is easy to use and requires complicated procedures to counter.
Recognizing the necessity of raising awareness against disinformation and fake news through social norms.
Affirming the principle of consolidating joint Islamic actions among OIC Member States, especially in the area of media and information, and of its constant support for the Palestinian cause and Al-Quds in international fora;
Recognizing that terrorism has no particular identity and that correlating this term with other identities is a product of disinformation;
The conference condemned all manifestations of violence, extremism, fanaticism and terrorism which distort the noble messages of human cultures.
Considering the OIC Member States’ contributions and collaboration in the field of media and information, and taking into account the Final Report of the 12th Islamic Conference of Information Ministers adopted 11-point charter as follows:
1. Emphasize the importance of cooperation among Member States in developing necessary mechanisms to fight disinformation and other related challenges of the Post-Truth era, and devising short, medium and long-term strategic processes in the total fight against disinformation.
2. Recognize the importance of focusing on specific issues and possible scenarios in the short term, multidimensional crisis communication and management and mechanisms to check the accuracy of the information in the medium term, and news content, media literacy, and digital media literacy in the long term.
3. Underscore the need to combat Islamophobia/hatred against Islam in all its manifestations by presenting the truth about the magnanimous religion of Islam in an effective manner, utilizing
new and emerging platforms and technological innovations.
4. Stress the crucial role of media in Islamic countries in exposing the Israeli aggression against the Palestinians and call for illuminating the legitimate cause of the Palestinian people to end the Israeli occupation of the Palestinian territories.
5. Highlight the importance of international solidarity and assistance to support refugees, and people seeking shelter, particularly in the OIC Member States.
6. Commend the efforts of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation towards the advancement of the mission of Islam and promote dialogue between the Islamic culture and the world’s other cultures.
7. Commend the constant efforts and initiatives of the OIC Secretary General and his contacts within and outside the Islamic world, contributing thereby to giving the Islamic voice a prominent position in international fora, and request that he renders his good offices and fully utilize the capacities of OIC and its organs to coordinate implementation of decisions and recommendations adopted by this Conference towards combating disinformation and Islamophobia in the Post-Truth era.
8. Call for a renewed commitment to the noble objectives of the OIC and support for all its initiatives and activities, particularly in the communication and information domains with a view to encouraging unity, solidarity and cooperation in the Islamic World.
9. Call for Media outlets in the Member States to raise global awareness about deliberate acts of destruction and desecration of Islamic cultural and religious heritage in non-Muslim countries, especially in those areas where indigenous Muslim communities were subjected to ethnic cleansing.
10. Welcome the progress towards the operationalization of the OIC Media Forum (OMF) and calls upon media entities and institutions in the Member States to join the OMF.
11. Extend appreciation to the People and Government of the Republic of Türkiye for their generous hospitality during the 12th Session of the Islamic Conference of Information Ministers.