Challenge of Terrorism and Responsibility of the Media

  • 2 July 2015

The statement made by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces – may God protect him – during the reception he held recently for UAE media officials and representatives at Al Bateen Palace, express a profound vision of the role of the media in supporting the development process in the face of extremism and terrorism. His Highness said that “the media occupies a privileged position in service of the development process and cultural renaissance being experienced by the UAE.” He also called on the media to confront the advocates and promoters of extremism, terrorism and violence, and the ideology of hatred.

These statements are extremely significant and highlight several important facts. First, the media’s support for the UAE’s development process is not limited to consolidating the idea of openness of the state or highlighting the country’s economic potential. It significantly enhances transparency in various institutions and even stimulates creativity and excellence, which are essential ingredients of comprehensive and sustainable development. His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan expressed this in the following words: “various media institutions are key partners in supporting the development and progress efforts of the State and have an important role in highlighting the constructive and innovative ideas and visions.”

Second, the media plays an important role in educating the youth about extremist ideologies that terrorists seek to implant in their minds. This is achieved by spreading positive values ​​such as moderation, tolerance and acceptance of the other. His Highness emphasized the role of the media in tackling the promoters of violence and the ideology of hatred by exposing their malicious intent. The media exposes terrorists’ bid to misinterpret religion to spread their incendiary ideas that mar social and security structure in Arab and Islamic countries. It also counters their bid to create rift among different segments of the society, and refuting ideas that are inconsistent with the values ​​of Islam such as peace, tolerance and coexistence.

Third, the media plays a key role in preserving national identity and media institutions shoulder the greatest burden in this regard not only in tackling cultural influences that affect national identity but also educating young generations about the values, customs and traditions in the UAE. It also helps promote the values ​​of loyalty and sense of belonging to the homeland. His Highness urged continuation of training programs for nationals and extracting maximum benefit from latest technologies. He also called for upgrade of form and content in a way that reflects the progress attained by the UAE in showcasing its heritage and identity.

The statements made by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan underline the need to invest in building national cadres in the media who can deal with the issues and problems of the society and express them properly. They understand the cultural and civilizational sensitivities of the UAE and work to promote positive values ​​in the society besides highlighting the civilizational achievements of the United Arab Emirates and the successful model of sustainable development it represents.