This must have become a tradition while I was asleep or inattentive, espoused by illustrious people, princes and organisations in the Muslim world; in short, they hold that the problems that Islam faces is nothing but a Western media smear campaign, rather than recognising that there are fundamental problems with the doctrine, or at least how it is currently interpreted and applied and working toward addressing these problems, real or perceived, in a methodical and scientific manner.
This does not bode well for the future of Islam and Muslims. I can understand and just ignore it when this sort of thinking emanates from a deranged mufti here and there, but to have fifty seven Muslim countries actually believing that this is the correct way to go about correcting “our image” is disastrous:
Call to media tycoons
Riyadh: Muslim tycoons should buy stakes in global media outlets to help change anti-Muslim attitudes around the world, ministers from Islamic countries heart at a conference in Jeddah yesterday. Information ministers and officials meeting under the auspices of the 57-nation Organisation of the Islamic Conference (OIC), the world’s largest Islamic body, said Islam faced vilification after the 9/11 attacks.
“Muslim investors must invest in the large media institutions of the world, which generally make considerable profits, so that they have the ability to effect their policies via their administrative boards,” OIC chief Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu said.
GDN :: 14 Sept, ’06 (pdf)
Money can buy a lot of things, of course, and influence is its bed partner. But this is a case best characterised as dogs barking up the wrong tree.
My humble advice to the OIC is simply this: save your money, it won’t make any difference if you propose to use it to control what is being said here and there, it just will not stop the criticisms which pain you. Spend your money instead on funding good educational programs for the young and work with long term perspectives to correct the vilification that our religion attracts from the whole world.
A good way would possibly be the scrapping of all those “Quran memorisation” competitions through which you expend an enormous amount of money, and change that competition to “Progressive Quran Interpretation” competitions instead and this is the time to do it as Ramadhan is now only a few days away. That will ensure that the self examination will start and we hope that people will start debating things without resorting to violence and calling each other heretics.
Using money to control editorials just won’t do what you want. What I can guarantee you that it will do if used in this sense; however, is turn whoever is not against Islam in the world against us!
Use the nut that God gave you for goodness’ sake. 57 countries and conferences and this is the recommendation?