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The Jakarta Declaration
Media in the Muslim World
The Second International Conference
on Islamic Media
on the Theme of
New Media and Communication Technology in the Muslim World: Opportunity and Challenge
the Muslim World League
in Cooperation with
the Ministry of Religious Affairs in Indonesia
Jakarta - 20/01/1433 H (15/12/2011)
In the Name of Allah,
Most Gracious, Most Merciful
Praise be to Allah, the Lord of the worlds.
Blessing and peace be upon our Prophet Muhammad,
the Seal of Prophets and Messengers, and his family and companions.
By the Grace and Blessing of Almighty Allah, the Second International Conference on Islamic Media concluded its proceedings in Jakarta on the main theme of "New Media and Communication Technology in the Muslim World: Opportunity and Challenge".
The Conference which was held under the patronage of His Excellency President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono of the Republic of Indonesia, was organized by the Muslim World League (MWL) in cooperation with the Indonesian Ministry of Religious Affairs in the period of 18-20/1/1433H (13-15/12/2011 in the sequence of the First International Conference on Islamic Media which was held by the MWL in Jakarta in 1400H.
It was held in response to contemporary development in the world , and what can be done by the media at different levels. Confirming the importance of coordination between the views and efforts of those working on Islamic media, as well as exchange of ideas and experiences, and realizing the needs of upgrading the Islamic media and raising the level of Muslims" information media as well as the productivity of media work, and supporting the efforts to defend Islam in the face of unjust campaigns, and correcting the distorted picture portrayed by enemies about the religion of God, and supporting the global dialogue initiated by Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz al-Saud.
The MWL has invited a number of media leaders and officials of the Islamic media organizations, and university academic who have specialized in the areas of media in order to discuss the conference theme, through research and working papers that focused on changing conditions of the day. They held deliberations on the following themes:
Theme 1: Media in the Current Era: Components and Impact
Theme 2: Collaboration and Networking of Islamic Media in the Muslim World
Theme 3: Islamic Media Discourse
Theme 4: Media and Dialogue with Others
Theme 5: Practical Solutions for the Promotion of Islamic Media.
At the sessions of the Conference, the speakers emphasized the following:
1 - Taking care of the Islamic media and its discourse which derives its principles from the tenets of Islam. The Islamic media is associated with the universality of the Islamic message, as the Almighty Allah says: "We have not sent thee but as a (Messenger) to all mankind, giving glad tidings and warning them (against sin)…" (Qur"an 34:28)
2- Islam promotes moderation, objectivity, peace, impartiality and devoid itself from the trap of emotions and sensationalism. It is consistent with the mission of the moderate nation, as Allah says: "Thus have we made of you an Ummah justly balanced that ye might be witnesses over the people and the Messenger over yourselves…" (Qur"an 2:143)
3 - Islamic media bears great responsibilities; the most prominent of which is to support and defend the causes of the Muslim Ummah, and unite the Muslims’ voice and stance, using Islam’s greatest assets in human and cultural values to create a distinct Islamic environment, and achieve real integration and unity among the people of the Muslim Ummah. Allah says: "And hold fast up together, by the rope which Allah (stretches out of you), and be not divided among yourselves…" (Qur"an 3:103)
A consensus among the Conference participants was reached on the following:
1 - If employed correctly, the new media and communication technology hold great potential to serve the issues of human societies and their scientific and developmental advancement. Hence, it’s essential for Muslims to participate effectively in areas of information and knowledge to avoid dependency on others.
2 - The new media strives to make the knowledge-based human advancement a desirable endeavor. This will lead to understanding among humanit , cooperation and peace on earth. Badly managed media will have negative consequences for humanity consequences such as ignorance , mutual suspicion , friction ,and misunderstanding that bring humanity on a collision course.
3 -Media industry in the world hasn’t escaped the effects of globalization. Market forces in many parts of the world impose great pressures on media, therein subjecting contents to market principles. They want to transform knowledge from a service into a consumer product tailored to meet the approval of the public’s demand and not to its needs. This has led to substandard media content, as well as deterioration in the levels of commitment to moral and ethical values. Consequently , media contents today is a commodity rather than a a social service or a commitment to moral and ethical values.
4 – The advancement development of communication technology has led to audience segmentation that threatens required consensus cohesive social agenda, group standards and collective social values. New communication technology could lead to individualism with all the accompanying negative implications.
5 – Public media should be supported and encouraged to function properly as the voice of the public.
6. Cooperation between media practitioners and media academics is required in developing media standard that would guide media in the Muslim world.
7 – Defending Islam and causes of Muslim Ummah cannot be properly done without efficient media that boost our capability to hightlight the principels and the values of Islam in its real prespective to the world.
8 - The Conference participants agreed to issue a media code of honor for the communication and information media in the Muslim Ummah, according to the draft attached to this statement.
Recommendations of the Conference
The Conference called upon the governments of Muslim countries, the media institutions, and practitioners, institutions of Da"wah and education to cooperate within the framework of join action to achieve and preserve the objectives of its charters of honor. The Conference recommended the following:
To invite the media in the Muslim world to bring understanding and solidarity among Muslims through the exchange and pooling of media materials and contents.
To invite the media in the Muslim world to share and support the effort of dialogue with different cultures, religions and civilizations, and build the bridges of outreach to them, and explore programs that accomplish these tasks, and inspire the methodology of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) for outreach and dialogue with non-Muslims, as commanded by Almighty Allah: "Say: O People of the Book! Come to common terms between us and you… " (Qur"an 3:64)
To call upon the media in the Muslim world to use its potential to disseminate peace, understanding, and harmony and to support peaceful resolution to disagreements and conflicts.
To appeal to countries of the world to show great respect to religion and beliefs especially Divine messages and Messengers (blessing and peace be upon them), and exercise freedom with a sense of responsibility on matters that could have negative and undesirable impact on people especially the younger generation.
To explore avenues of cooperation among media institutions in the Muslim world in a way that will foster exchange of expertise and resources in the area of media and communication technologies.
To highlight the importance of the media in enhancing security awareness and the promotion of integrity among official and public bodies as well as emphasize the role of media in countering sedition, extremism and terrorism.
To urge Muslim organizations and Islamic centers as well as media institutions to utilize social networking for its potential in Da"wah and humanitarian work.
To enhance the skill and competence of practitioners through the establishment of training centers and institutions that can focus on the application of best practices, taking into account the advancement that has already taken place in the field of media and communication in order to achieve effective Da"wah.
To constantly upgrade the curricula and facilities in media departments of training institutions and universities in the Muslim world so that the students and trainees can have both the practical competence and theoretical knowledge within Islamic framework to harness new media technologies.
To develop skills of younger generations in navigating and utilizing information that will benefit them through improvement of curricula at preparatory and secondary levels.
To utilize the positive advantages of internet and websites through the professional use of multimedia options of e-content that would be more appealing to highlight the teaching of Islam and disseminate its message of peace, love, cooperation and co-existence among humanity.
To urge relevant institutions in the Muslim world to take advantage of the new media through their actual presence in this area and active interaction with its users, and provide guidance to correct misconceptions and inaccurate information that is circulated through these means.
To focus on enlightening the youth to benefit from the new media and protect themselves from its negative effects.
To agree on a standard of media freedom within an Islamic framework and hold regular workshops on this, and publish periodical reports on the application of this standard.
To encourage cooperation between the Muslim World League, ministries of information and culture, as well as the media institutions in the Muslim world, and invite the ministers of information and media officials to adopt the conference recommendations and explore the means that ensure the realization of its findings.
To strengthen the role of the International Islamic News Agency (IINA) and the Union of Islamic Broadcasting and improve their performance in accordance with the resolutions adopted by the information ministers in the Muslim countries, and to call upon Muslim World League and the Ministry of Culture and Information in Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to host a seminar where specialists can enrich knowledge that would enhance the capacity of these institutions.
To urge the media practitioners, planners and media decision-makers in the Muslim world to actualize the recommendations of this conference to strengthen Islamic media.
To agree on issuing the Code of Honor for Communication and Information Media, according to the attached draft and circulate it among ministries of information and media institutions in the Muslim world, and stress the need to adhere to it when issuing the national media codes as well as codes for media institutions.
Recommendations for the Muslim World League:
The Conference called on the Muslim World League to consolidate the cooperation among media organizations and institutions in line with the principles drawn up in Jakarta Declaration. The Conference recommends the following:
1- Formation of a panel of academics, trainers, media practitioners and other stakeholders to monitor and study the situation of media and information in Muslim world and provide annual report on ways to bring improvement.
2- To support the International Organization for Islamic Media, an affiliated body of Muslim World League to enable it perform in the light of media development around the world, and deal with the effects of new media and communication technology, and its task will include:
a. To hold dialogue of culture and civilization among Muslims, and between Muslims and non-Muslims on the basis of mutual respect, and that Muslims" approach should be in accordance with the method commanded by Allah: "And argue with the way that is better." (Qur’an)
b. To intensify contact with the media, scientific, cultural, educational institutions and think-tanks in the world.
c. To communicate constantly with Islamic institutions within non-Muslim countries and support their programs.
d. To reach out to non-Muslim persons and institutions with moderate outlook in the realization of just causes.
e. To support the publishing houses which are involved in the translation of books related to Islamic history, heritage, and civilization, and encourage to set up a global fund for such endeavors.
The participants recommended that this conference be held every two years with the cooperation/support of the Muslim World League and the Indonesian Ministry of Religious Affairs.
To constitute a follow-up committee comprising the representatives of the Muslim World League and the Indonesian Ministry of Religious Affairs to pursue the implementation of the Conference recommendations.
At the end of the Conference, participants expressed gratitude and appreciations to the Government of Indonesia for hosting the Conference, and to His Excellency President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono for supporting it. They also expressed similar gratitude to the Indonesian Minister of Religious Affairs, Suryadharma Ali and his aides. Appreciations are equally extended to the Muslim World League for its tireless services to Muslims, and for its attention and dedication to media and Islamic culture, and called for continuous dialogue and cooperation between the Muslim World League and the Ministry of Religious Affairs of Indonesia in realizing joint Islamic programs.
The participants requested the Secretary-General of the Muslim World League to send a cable of thank and appreciation to Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, King Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz al-Saud, and to the Crown Prince H.R.H Naif bin Abdul Aziz al-Saud in appreciation of Saudi Arabia’s services to Islam and Muslims as well as its support to the Muslim World League and general Islamic work.
With the blessing of Almighty Allah
Issued in Jakarta on 20/1/1433H (15/12/2011