JEDDAH: Kuwait said yesterday it is imperative to confront terrorism by promoting Islamic cultural heritage in order to debunk stereotypes about the religion of Islam. The remark was made by Assistant Undersecretary of Minister of Information for the Sector of Press, Publication and Printing Khaled Al-Rashedi in a speech he delivered on behalf of the Minister of Information during the Islamic Conference of Ministers of Information of Islamic Cooperation Organization (OIC) member states.

He expressed belief that response to extremism and terrorism should proceed from promoting Islamic cultural heritage and correcting stereotypes of Islam as well as establishing the concepts of amity, tolerance and fraternity.

He also called for cementing cooperation among the OIC member states through a single media and cultural discourse based on decrying sectarianism and intolerance but promoting togetherness and tolerance.

They are further required to boost cultural exchange and integration among their media and cultural organizations as a springboard for defending the Muslim nation’s issues and rights, mainly Jerusalem and Al-Aqsa Mosque. In this context, the Kuwaiti official emphasized that it is necessary to attach more attention to the African continent which constitutes a considerably weighty Islamic depth for Arab and Islamic issues.

Kuwait has taken tangible steps in this regard by hosting an Arab-African summit in 2013 and providing $1 billion in grants and concessionary development loans valued at $5 billion to development projects in Africa, he boasted.

Rashedi pointed to a $1 million annual award in the name of the late Dr Abdulrahman Al-Sumait for development and intellectual research in the African continent. Furthermore, there should be some sort of cooperation and coordination between media and diplomatic channels with a view to backing the OIC’s internal and external media orientations and programs, he urged.

Kuwait attaches much significance to the question of pushing forward the culture of peace and encouraging dialogue among religions, civilizations and cultures, particularly as waves of extremism, intolerance and terrorism are remarkably growing, he added.

All the news agencies of the OIC member states are required to work together in earnest in order to play a more effective part in manifesting the real image of the tolerant religion of Islam, he noted. The Islamic Conference of Ministers of Information of Islamic Cooperation Organization (OIC) member states started its 11th session in the Saudi city of Jeddah earlier yesterday under the title ‘Renewed Media Role in Countering Terrorism and Islamophobia’. It is chaired by Saudi Minister of Culture and Information Dr Adel bin Zaid Altoraifi and mainly attended by OIC Secretary General Dr Yusuf bin Ahmed Al-Othaimeen and OIC Ministers of Information. – KUNA