By Adem Salvarcioglu
JAKARTA, Indonesia (AA) - The editor in chief of Palestinian News & Info Agency WAFA has chosen the stage of a two-day International Conference of Islamic Media (ICIM) to highlight the plight of members of the Palestinian press detained in Israeli prisons.
Speaking at the event -- which finishes Thursday -- Jamil Dababat said Israeli's violation of the rights of Palestinian journalists has increased 28 percent.
“According to the Palestinian official reports, 19 Palestinian journalists are currently detained in Israeli jails,” Dababat told guests at the Jakarta conference, among them Anadolu Agency's Deputy Director General Mustafa Ozkaya and International News Chief Editor, Omer Faruk Tokat.
Dababat claimed that almost all media is dominated by people who have an interest in destroying Muslims and creating a bad image of Islam.
“The media has an important role in shaping public opinion,” he underlined.
Speaking at the event's opening Wednesday, Indonesia's vice minister of foreign affairs, Abdurrahman Mohammad Fachir, said that media played a global role, and it was essential to establish unity among Islamic media to "bring to light the plight of Palestinians and Syrians".
Among those participating in the event were editors in chief from news agencies and media organizations from 50 countries worldwide.
Titled “Islamic Media United to Protect Islam and Muslim Interest Especially Palestine and Al-Quds Liberation,” the conference specifically addressed the role of Islamic media in supporting the independence of Palestine from the Israeli occupation, and analysis of the "bad image" of Islam perpetrated by the West, according to an official press release.
Noting that Western media portrayed Palestine as the "main trigger" of the dispute between the two sides, the statement said this created a "false perception of Palestine-Israel issues which then create weak support for the Palestinians' rights to independence".
"Moreover, the condition of the Al-Aqsa Mosque as a holy ground for religions continues to be a matter of concern. Raids, excavations, and restrictions by Israeli occupation forces toward Palestinian worshipers continue to increase everyday," the statement underlined.
It added that Western media's coverage continued to be limited, and their reports consider Muslim movements to be "radical, terrorist etc..."
"Therefore, ICIM is expected to be a strategic moment in terms of increasing global support towards the Palestinian struggle and the liberation of Al-Aqsa and the Islamic world in general."
*Anadolu Agency correspondent Hale Turkes contributed to this story from Ankara.