Minister of Information, Omran al-Zoubi on Wednesday stressed that Syria is not witnessing a civil war or a religious or sectarian conflict but rather facing facing a U.S.-Zionist aggression that aims at undermining the Syrian state and homeland.
Adressing the second day activities of the “National Media and the Current Challenges” workshop, Minister al-Zoubi said that the characteristic of a civil war does not apply to the situation in Syria, adding that the scheme against Syria was set in 2006 after the Lebanese Resistance defeated Israel as Syria was considered a partner in the victory of the Resistance.
He added that after the 2006 war, a decision was taken to destroy the Syrian state long before the so-called “Arab Spring” took place in many of the Arab countries.
Minister al-Zoubi said that extremism and the Al Qaeda mentality sneaks into the most poor and illiterate societies under camouflaged pretexts and titles.
The workshop continued its activities Wednesday morning in Damascus with the participation of journalists and analyses from Iran, Egypt, Jordan and Lebanon.
Today’s activites of the 3-days workshop tackles the role of media in confronting extremism and takfiri mentality.
The participants discussed the role of media in building the national character and the issue of the Syrian media and the hostile media before, during and after the crisis in the country.
Novelist Nadia Khost, member of the National Media Council, said the extremist project has sidelined the concept of Arabism and replaced it with the concept of ”Islamic Jihad” in the Arab countries that are fighting Israel, considering that the Syrian media has confronted a ”tremendous army of hostile media when it was not well prepared for the mission.”
Head of al-Wahda news network in Jordan, Amer al-Tall saw that the so-called ”Arab Spring” has turned out to be ”an extremist Islamic fall” that’s saw the rising of takfiri movements , indicating that ”a takfiri discourse is mushrooming at the expense of the essence of Islam as a religion.”
He called for uprooting “the takfiri onslaught” that is sweeping the region, affirming that some Arab media outlets are playing a significant role in sectarian incitement and are ”spewing poisonous ideas that provide a fertile ground for armed violence.”
Anis al-Nakkash, an Arab thinker underlined the role of media in fighting religious extremism as a violent phenomenon that is rocking societies, calling for enhancing the Islamic genuine thought that defends pluralism and the accepting the other.
National Media Workshop discusses media before and after the crisis
The participants at the National Media Workshop focused their discussions on media prior to and after the crisis. Journalist Ghaleb Kandil, member of the Lebanese Supreme Media Council said the media warfare and the ‘virtual environment’ have constituted a decisive factor in the aggression strategy against Syria.
He added that the Syrian media has come up with important initiatives to cover events and relay the true image of what has been happening, predicting “many challenges” ahead as the Syrian media is poised to move to the offensive after the Syrian viewpoint came across as victorious.
Director-General of the Syrian Arab News Agency (SANA), Ahmad Dawa presented an analytical review of the Syrian media based on its experience before and during the crisis.
He stressed the necessity that media be one of society to avoid a gap between society and institutions that hostile media can capitalize on to creep with their message into the Syrian society.
Dawa saw that national media has achieved considerable advancement in relaying information through maintaining accuracy and objectivity in its work despite hindrances.
He drew attention to the absence of a clear-cut media strategy since the beginning of the crisis ”as the media outlets have been denied initiative and remained hemmed in by a decision that is far from the circumstances of their work.”
Dawa called for setting up an expert committee to assess the national, regional and international phenomenon and outlining the elements of media strategy, and for tapping into the expertise that has been piling up during the crisis.
Ali Kassem, Editor-in-Chief of al-Thawra newspaper saw that the margin of freedom in Syria is much bigger than is consumed by the journalist.
Political analyst Ahmad Sawan said the Syrian media has faced the attempts to strike Syria and divulged the so-called ”virtual defeat” that is based on evoking and marketing impressions to bend facts.
”These attempts have been based on whipping up strife and replacing the essence of the Arab-Zionist conflict as sidelining Syria in this conflict paves the way for solutions of submission and liquidating the Palestinian issue,” he said.
The participants’ interpositions have underlined the importance of a culture that admits mistakes and seeks to correct them, indicating that national media has managed to relay the truth to the Syrians and the world.