Islamabad: The governments of Pakistan, Turkey and Malaysia will launch a BBC type English television channel to highlight the issues of Muslims and fight Islamophobia in the West, according to media reports.
The channel proposal was discussed at a meeting between Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Pakistan premier Imran Khan on the sidelines of the 74th United Nations General Assembly in New York last week.
Taking to Twitter, the prime minister shed further light on the project saying the English language TV Channel will be like BBC which will highlight the issues faced by the Muslim world.
“We felt that many reports about Islam and Muslims were inaccurate, and do not portray what Islam preaches. They label Muslims as terrorists for example, and the world accepts it as the truth when Islam is not a violent religion,” Mahathir said.
“We feel there must be an effort to explain what Islam is so that there is no confusion and it won’t be accused of being a religion that promotes terrorism,” the Malaysian prime minister said.
He said the effort will be spearheaded by the information departments of the three countries without giving the possible date of the channel’s launch.
Under the joint venture, web series and films will be produced to spread knowledge on Islamic history, the News International quoted Khan as saying.
“Mis-perceptions which bring people together against Muslims would be corrected; issue of blasphemy would be properly contextualised; series and films would be produced on Muslim history to educate/inform our own people and the world; Muslims would be given a dedicated media presence,” Khan said.
Speaking of hatred towards Muslims in his address to the UNGA, Khan said Islamophobia had grown apace after the September 11, 2001 attacks in the United States.
“There are 1.3 billion Muslims in the world. It is creating a division, he said. “Muslim women wearing Hijab has become an issue in some countries. It started after the 9/11 [attacks].”
He maintained that terrorism had nothing to do with any religion. He said Muslims were being marginalised in Europe.
“We all know marginalisation leads to radicalism,” he said, adding that, “We must address this issue. No religion preaches radicalism.”