In an effort to tackle hate speech against religious communities, Dr. Mohammad bin Abdulkarim Al-Issa, Secretary General of the Muslim World League (MWL), released a video to kickstart the #RejectHate campaign. The campaign calls for social media platforms to remove all hate speech targeting Muslims and other religious groups to create a more peaceful and tolerant world.
This initiative comes just four months after Dr. Al-Issa established the Durban-based Mercy and Peace Foundation, which seeks to end gender-based violence (GBV), abuse, human trafficking and other crimes against humanity.
In his latest video, which is being shared across all digital platforms, Dr. Al-Issa describes Islamophobia as a ‘disease.’ And while he acknowledges there has been promising action taken to address the spread of hate speech, he urges social media platforms not to act as ‘incubators’ for this hatred. He notes that social media, which has the potential to bring people together across physical boundaries, has also become one of the primary platforms for racism, human rights injustices and other online transgressions. This, he says, fuels hatred.
“Currently, 1 in every 1000 social media posts amounts to hate speech,” Dr. Al-Issa explains in the video. “Companies investigate, but almost never act. About 70 percent of the time, they allow the content to remain on the platforms. Muslims around the world suffer disproportionately. They face possible abuse, threats and physical violence, all fuelled by content spread through social media.”
Reiterating the #RejectHate message, MWL Executive Adviser for the African continent, Sheikh Walid El Saadi, said that there is a need to work collectively so as to extinguish the flames of hatred and violence that propel oppressive behaviour towards all religions.
“The #RejectHate campaign is not only about building awareness around the suffering of the Islamic community, but it is also about combatting all negative behaviour toward other religious and faith groups,” said Sheik Saadi. “We need to show our children and future generations that there is a more peaceful and harmonious way to live and respect all ways of life.”
The Muslim World League, an international nongovernmental organisation, is encouraging people to join this campaign of tolerance by sharing the video uploaded through its website URL: https://www.mercyandpeace.co.za.
Hashtags: #RejectHate #MuslimWorldLeague #MercyandPeace.
YouTube: Mercy & Peace Foundation