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Ten years since the war against terrorism was launched, the world is still suffering the regrettable loss of innocent lives in many countries. Many who supported the war in Iraq and Afghanistan later became disillusioned with the reasons for the war. Peace is still far away. It is unfortunate that the Western media have totally ignored the fact that the Arab masses during the recent Arab upheavals were able to defeat al-Qaida without any direct war on it.

Peace cannot come unless we work for it. Islam is peace. This must be translated into action. Following the guidance of Islam enriches the culture of peaceful coexistence as well as intercommunal and interreligious tolerance. Dialogue based on mutual respect and understanding should be effectively used for promoting peace and security, tolerance, and global harmony.

We take with high esteem the resolution on “combating intolerance, negative stereotyping, stigmatization and discrimination, incitement to violence, and violence against persons based on their beliefs,” adopted during the 16th Session of the Human Rights Council, Geneva. The resolution called for various administrative, political and legislative actions to be taken at both the national and international levels.

There are those who are using freedom of expression to promote and disseminate an anti-Muslim culture, which is being absorbed by Western media. This double standard has been in line with a consistent disinformation campaign using the basic technique of repetition to anchor prejudice in people’s minds.

Despite U.N. resolutions reflecting the international community’s loud and clear stance against conflation of any religion with terrorism, the tendency on the part of media, and motivated individuals and groups, has been unrelenting. They are inflicting harm on the psyche of more than 1.5 billion Muslims by manipulating the portrayal of “collective guilt.”

We should not ignore our problems or the sensational ways in which they are presented in the media. But we should be more objective and evenhanded about the Muslim experiences of life in the country where we live.

May peace prevail all over the world.

The opinions expressed in this letter to the editor are the writer’s own and do not necessarily reflect the policies of The Japan Times.

musa m. omar

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