Qatar religious conference focuses on social network uses

October 31, 2011

Religious leaders should use the modern tools of communication to reinforce interaction and understanding between the divine religions, the head of the Doha International Centre for Interfaith Dialogue, has said.

However, he warned about the negative uses of social networks to disseminate hatred and promote conflicts. 

“Social media has both negative and positive aspects,” Ebrahim Saleh Al Naimi said. “Society today needs to focus on the positive aspects and strengthen them, and minimise the impact of other aspects. The negative aspects are capable of spreading hatred and racism, which is prevalent in some countries,” he said at the ninth Doha Conference on Interfaith Dialogue in Doha.

More than 250 politicians, prominent religious leaders and scholars from 41 countries representing the three major religions of the world – Islam, Christianity and Judaism – have gathered since Monday to discuss ways to make use of social media to promote inter-religious dialogue and the need for a global code of conduct on the use of social networking sites from a religious perspective, Qatar Tribune reported on Tuesday.

Naimi said he hoped the conference could adopt a “global charter of honour” with regard to healthy and positive use of social media, so that it can enhance communication between faiths.

Hassan Bin Abdullah Al Ghanem, Qatar’s justice minister, said that relationships between faiths should be built on the basis of mutual respect, trust and understanding.

“The dialogue among the followers of divine religions is practical and real. It aims at coexistence of the mankind living in the spirit of dignity, equality, peace and security,” he said.

Major topics addressed by the conference include “the optimal use of social communication” and “the emergence of communication technology”.



About the author

Born August 3, 1960 in Monastir, Tunisia
Media career:
  • ABC News (Tunisia)
  • Bahrain Tribune
  • Gulf News
  • Bahrain Television News
Teaching career:
  • Monastir (Tunisia)
  • University of Bahrain
  • MA  Mass Communications, University of Leicester
  • BA  in English & US literature and studies, University of Tunis

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