Ainon Mohd, Communication Coordinator between Ankara, Kaula Lumpur, Islamabad on their joint efforts to tackle anti-Muslim sentiment, told TRT World that there is more to come besides launching a TV channel to tackle anti-Muslim hatred worldwide.
TRT WORLD: In September, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan and his Malaysian counterpart Dr. Mahathir Mahathir bin Mohamad reached an agreement to establish a TV channel to combat anti-Muslim sentiment. With signing of today's memorandum of understanding (MoU) what's next?
AINON MOHD: Today Turkey and Malaysia have signed an MoU to establish a command centre or a communication centre where all these parties can come together and come up with a framework to counter anti-Muslim sentiment.
Do you have a timeline for it to start?
AM: Actually, one month after the signing of the MoU, each country has to come up with two names. After that, between February and March all representative of the countries will have to converge in Istanbul, Turkey. They will sit down together, discuss on a framework and decide on what is the priority, what comes first...This communication centre serves as a hub for everybody to come together for all countries to come in and think of ways to counter anti-Muslim sentiment.
Do you know where this centre will be established?
AM: Yes, we all have agreed that it will be in Turkey.
Other than TV channel, are there any other areas of collaboration for tackling anti-Muslim sentiment?
Setting up a TV station is only one of the pillars of countering anti-Muslim sentiment. There are going to be other things also, like having global conferences, doing research and collecting data, gathering information on tactics to dispel anti-Muslim sentiment.
What is the importance of today's MoU to the Malaysian government? And what would Malaysia like to achieve through this cooperation?
The cooperation between Turkey, Malaysia and Pakistan was discussed during UNGA. They came up with an idea to set up a channel to counter anti-Muslim sentiment. But later through our meetings with the representatives of these countries, we came to understand that it takes more than just having a TV channel to counter anti-Muslim sentiment. We decided that instead of having just a TV station we should have a command centre. The three countries actually believe that having a command centre, it will be easier to sit down and think of other ways to dispel negative perceptions towards Islam.
As for Malaysia, we are in the southeast Asia, we want to explore ways and work collectively to plan a roadmap to dispel the negative perceptions towards Islam. It’s not just about Malaysia, or Turkey or Pakistan. It’s also about the rest of other Muslim nations. We hope that especially those nations who see the rise of Islamophobia in their countries can come together and think of ways to combat it and help other Muslim nations to fight anti-Muslim prejudice.
[The article came from TRT World’s Eyes on Discrimination (EOD) Centre, which monitors and reports on offences, hate crimes and discrimination on the basis of gender, race, ethnicity, national origin and religion, or other related social categories. We promote and encourage respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms for all without distinction as to race, sex, language or religion.]