League issues ‘code of honor’ for Muslim journalists
Erwida Maulia, The Jakarta Post, Jakarta | Thu, 12/15/2011 9:12 PM
The Muslim World League (MWL) issued on Thursday a “code of honor” for media institutions and journalists in the Muslim world, calling on them to spread Islamic messages while countering biased reports against Muslims and Islam.
The code of honor was presented during the closing ceremony of the Second International Conference on Islamic Media in Jakarta, which raised the theme “New Media and Communication Technology in the Muslim World: Opportunity and Challenge”.
“The conference recommends the issuance of a code of honor for communication and information media according to the attached draft and circulation of it among ministries of information and media institutions in the Muslim world,” conference participant Mohammed Musa said as he read out recommendations from the three-day
“[The conference also] stresses the need to adhere to [the code of honor] when issuing national media codes, as well as codes for media institutions,” said the communications professor from New Zealand’s University of Canterbury.
The code of honor is divided into four sections:
(1) general principles and objectives,
(3) responsibilities and
(4) duties of Muslim media persons.
In the general principles and objectives section, the code calls on Muslim media figures “to affirm a belief in the moral principles and values of Islam, to safeguard the Islamic identity from the negative effects of globalization and westernization and to ensure freedom that is responsible and disciplined by sharia guidelines”, among
In the rights section, the code guarantees the right of expression (but still within the limits of sharia law), the right to access information and the right for a good working environment to support journalists’ work performance.
The third section calls on media figures in the Muslim world to, among others, “take care of Islam’s heritage, history and civilization, and also of the Arabic language as the language of the Koran and prayers, and confront atheism and all other anti-Islam tendencies that spread hatred against Islam and Muslims”.
The fourth section details calls for “support for Muslim peoples in their efforts to resist oppression and occupations” and to adhere to general principles in a journalistic universal code of ethics, such as “refraining from publishing and broadcasting all forms of incitement to violence, keeping away from the fabrication of events and verifying the news and being honest in its reporting”. Most points are still added to with the note “within sharia guidelines” or according to “Islamic morals”.
Organized jointly by the MWL and the Indonesian Religious Affairs Ministry, the Jakarta conference drew hundreds of participants, including academics and media practitioners from dozens of Muslim countries, as well as representatives from Islamic organizations in non-Muslim majority nations.