Stop labeling Terrorists as `Islamist’

Stop labeling Terrorists as `Islamist’

Jeddah, KSA: Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Bangladesh Information Minister Hasanul Haq Inu has strongly urged the governments and other statutory entities of the world to cease labeling terrorists as Islamists.

The minister in his speech at the inaugural session of 11th Islamic Conference of Information Ministers (ICIM) of OIC member states in Jeddah on Wednesday said, ‘Some misguided unscrupulous fanatics’ resorting to terrorist acts in the name of Islam, does in no way allow calling those fanatics as Islamists. Islam is a religion of peace and does not endorse terrorism.’

‘But different quarters have been using the term ‘Islamist Terrorist’ that leads to taint the image of Islam. Let us from this conference, urge all governments and other statutory entities of the world to abandon misusing the term `Islamists’ as a prefix to `Terrorists’, said Hasanul Haq Inu, who in Sheikh Hasina’s cabinet since 2012, has been the most vocal minister against terrorism and militancy in the name of religion.

Chair of the 11th ICIM Saudi Arabian Minister of Culture and Information Adel Al Toraifi praised Bangladesh’s proposals as Inu placed an 11 point proposal in the session on countering terrorism and ‘Islamophobia’ through traditional and New Media in line with the conference theme ‘Role of New Media in Confronting Terrorism and Islamophobia’.

Bangladesh Minister’s eleven proposals include activating alim-ulamas, imams, madrasahs and Islamic institutes to raise voice against terrorism, government initiatives for mass campaign, quick condemnations of terror acts, media to downplay the terrorists, 365 days a year program in media preaching the truth- Terrorism is not Islam, engaging media in combating terrorism and `Islamophobia’, development and uploading of Islamic content in New Media, highlight the inclusiveness of Islam in order to embrace rest of the world, formulation of ‘OIC Policy on New Media and Cyber safety’, more inter-faith dialogues and shun calling terrorists as Islamists.

Information Minister Inu voiced high hopes that with concerted efforts the OIC members would be able to harness New Media’s power to preach the slogan- ‘Islam means Peace. And terrorism is not Zihad’.

Inu also mentioned Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman’s attending the second OIC Summit in 1974 as a visionary decision to express Bangladesh’s solidarity with aspirations of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation. The minister also said, ‘Bangladesh under the leadership of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina is ready to share and exchange digitalization experiences with OIC member states.’

Other members of Bangladesh delegation include Additional Secretary Saraf Uddin Ahmed, Deputy Permanent Representative to OIC Dr. Md. Nazrul Islam and Senior Information and PR Officer of the Ministry of Information Mir Akram Uddin Ahammad.

After the two-day conference, preceded by two-day senior officials meeting, the Minister is expected to return Dhaka on 24 December early morning.

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