A seminar on combating Islamophobia was held on Wednesday in the presence of Dr. Bashir Al-Ansari, Director of Dialogue and Communication Department at the General Secretariat of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, Dr. Ahmad Al-Maslamani, Egyptian writer and thinker, Dr. Mohamed Abdel Fadil, professor at Al-Azhar University, and Mohammed Muhiq, Ambassador of the Republic of Afghanistan in Cairo.
In the beginning, Dr. Mohamed Abdel-Fadil, Professor at Al-Azhar University, discussed the causes of Islamophobia and recommendations for countering and curbing this phenomenon, pointing at its escalation and implications on the Islamic countries and Muslims.
Professor Abdel-Fadil enumerated the reasons of Islamophobia, most notably the impact of Western media on Islam representation, creating a state of concern and fear through television programs broadcasted on European and foreign channels. He added that Al-Azhar has spotted reports and articles published in Western newspapers, which feature ignorance of the essence of Islam and isolation due to failing to grasp the true perception of Islam.
Dr. Bashir Al-Ansari thanked the Arab Republic of Egypt and noted the efforts made by the Organization in confronting the phenomenon of Islamophobia.
Al-Ansari revealed that fighting against terrorism is one of the most important issues being dealt with by OIC. He pointed out that the Organization has its own methods of combating Islamophobia, as it has established two independent units (Islamophobia Observatory and Outreach Center) and organized the current Festival to review the OIC’s experiences.
Al-Ansari emphasized that the greatest threat to the East-West relationship is the indoctrination of hatred through Islamophobia. “The hatred has many victims, including our sons and daughters. I hope that Egypt, with its international and regional influence, will cooperate on this issue through Al-Azhar,” he said.
In turn, the Ambassador of Afghanistan in Cairo, Mohammed Muhiq, talked about the causes of extremism and the resulting terrorism in his country, referring to the responsibility of educational systems, their weaknesses and differences between memorization and indoctrination. Regarding the spread of that phenomenon, he called for including the subject of philosophy in schools curricula.