Taha Haseeb (Abu Dhabi)
Under the title “Risks of ideological employment of digital platforms and electronic applications”, “Al Ittihad” launched the activities of its “Ramadan Council” with a seminar that it held, remotely, in partnership with the “Trends Research and Consulting Center”. Hamad Al-Kaabi, Editor-in-Chief of the Union opened the symposium’s activities, welcoming the participants, stressing that these platforms and applications have become a reality that must be coexisting with and confront its risks, as there are now 4.2 billion social media users worldwide, thus becoming a huge arena for disseminating ideas and promoting extremist ideologies and even Exploiting data in marketing goods and products, which poses challenges for media organizations, to confront malicious agendas, rumors and misleading information. The most effective weapon in facing this danger is to educate the masses and fortify their perceptions from anyone trying to exploit these platforms and applications to destabilize societies or falsify their awareness. Al Kaabi indicated that the symposium answers fundamental questions in addressing this challenge, and provides a useful recipe for protecting societies from this digital deluge.
Pull down pick
The speech went to Dr. Muhammad Abdullah Al-Ali, CEO of “Trends for Research and Consulting”, stressing the importance of the symposium as it discusses one of the issues related to the security of our societies and countries, which is the ideological employment of digital platforms and electronic applications by the Muslim Brotherhood and political Islam movements in general, and organizations. Extremism and terrorism in spreading their destructive ideologies aimed at destroying the foundations of coexistence and acceptance of others upon which societies are based. According to Dr. Muhammad, the problem lies in the recent transformation of these digital platforms and electronic applications into a source of demolition and destruction of societies, after they were ideologically misused by the Muslim Brotherhood, political Islam movements and extremist organizations, in inciting violence and hatred, sowing discord, disagreements and destabilizing security. And stability in societies and states.
Al-Ali is convinced that facing the dangers arising from this phenomenon is the responsibility of the entire international community, because it threatens the foundations of international coexistence and peace, and the beginning is with advanced technology companies that must review the draft of controls and behaviors governing social media and electronic applications, so that they do not turn into platforms for extremism and terrorism. .
Targeting for coexistence
Mohamed Al-Ezzi, the moderator of the session, added that recently, many electronic applications have appeared that are being employed ideologically by these groups, such as the “Club House” application, which enables its users to conduct direct voice conversations in closed rooms, and to establish what looks like chat rooms inside it. The Euro Fatwa application, which was created by the European Council for Fatwa and Research, is a private institution in Dublin established by the Brotherhood, Yusef al-Qaradawi, and promotes the ideology of the Muslim Brotherhood, in addition to the digital platforms and traditional social media: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn », Which is also being employed ideologically by many extremist and terrorist groups and the forces of the extreme right in Europe, which poses a threat to the security and stability of societies, and undermines the values of coexistence, tolerance, moderation and moderation that represent the pillar of global human brotherhood.
Confronting the callers of terrorism
In his intervention entitled “The Muslim Brotherhood from Euro Fatwa to Club House,” Muhammad Ahmad Al-Mulla, the media advisor to the Kuwaiti Journalists Syndicate, monitored how the Brotherhood developed through the launch of charitable societies to contact abroad through embassies, and reaching countries such as Pakistan, India and Iran, Then the group’s tendency to attract creative youth and a good speaker in order to activate the policies of lies and deception, the guardian of facts in order to achieve the goals of the organization, which also resorted to conferences and public speeches to influence societies, and to attract our youth to turn into advocates of darkness, and their heads came out in the so-called “Arab Spring” revolutions. Their tools were the social networking platforms “Facebook” and “Twitter” and all other platforms. Today – the Mullah adds – they are using chat rooms like the “Club House” program to spread lies and meet with traitorous fugitives to sow destructive ideas. Al-Mulla calls on media professionals, journalists and writers to enter social media platforms to respond to the Brotherhood’s allegations and lies, while training national media professionals to confront terrorism advocates with these platforms.
Under the title “ISIS … from spreading extremist ideology to the cyber caliphate,” Muhammad Khalfan Al-Sawafi, Director of the Parliamentary Information Department at the Federal National Council, affirmed that the terrorist organization “ISIS” has lost its influence on the ground and is heading to establish its alleged “caliphate” on cyberspace. Al-Sawafi believes that ISIS did not end by announcing its defeat in 2018, or after the killing of Al-Baghdadi in 2019. Now the organization led today, “Abu Ibrahim Al-Qurashi”, is witnessing an active return through the virtual world through which “ISIS” is trying to recycle its ideas, to gain new supporters. The “cyber caliphate” is not a fiction, but on the ground it is a real danger. Al-Sawafi warns of the phenomenon of “ISIS orphans” as a possible project for new recruits in the organization through the virtual world. Al-Sawafi concluded that it is inevitable that governments should cooperate with technology companies to develop policies aimed at warning against terrorists’ use of electronic platforms.
What confirms the seriousness of this new terrorist pattern is that most of the terrorist operations that are currently taking place are being coordinated and arranged – according to Al-Sawafi – via cyberspace.
Billions of scams and scams
Under the title “Trading in personal data and manipulating consumer trends”, the consultant and economist, Dr. Muhammad Al-Asoumi emphasized the danger of exploiting personal data in order to influence consumer trends, and possibly engaging in fraud and fraud, which leads to heavy losses, in addition to encouraging consumers to buy dangerous materials that threaten their lives. In addition to the fraud and fraud that takes place through e-commerce and breaches of bank accounts, which amounted to nearly $ 65 billion globally in the past year 2020.
The four components
On the “role of educational institutions in immunizing the public from the dangers of spreading extremist ideology,” Dr. Omar Habtoor Al-Deri, a member of the Emirates Council for Sharia Fatwa, presented an intervention in which he emphasized that the values of our true Islamic religion affirm the achievement of intellectual immunization, with the values of responsibility, honesty, investigation, verification, truthfulness, trust, and integrity Transmitting news, and prohibiting the transmission of rumors, lies and rhetoric.
Al-Deri calls for developing strategies to ensure positive content in these means and investing them in the face of ideas calling for extremism and violence, a four-way strategy, the first component of which is monitoring, discovery and awareness. This is the first line of defense and the guardian eye of societies, and this aspect of knowledge stems from these ideological organizations, their objectives and method. Its work, with a joint effort between all educational, cultural, religious, media and community institutions.
The second component: digital education and adopting a culture of safe dealing with social media. There is no doubt that we are in need of creating specialized subjects in various educational stages, studying digital education.
The third component: Promoting human values and enriching the content of moderation with shared values, human brotherhood, and the values of difference, tolerance, coexistence and moderation.
The fourth: anticipation and anticipation of the future of extremism and its new electronic means.
Education and the media
Dr. Ashraf Al-Essawi, Media Adviser at the Trends Research and Consulting Center, devoted his intervention on “the role of educational and media institutions in immunizing society from the dangers of digital platforms and negative electronic applications,” stressing that the number of social media users worldwide has reached 4.2 billion people, or half of the earth’s population. A candidate for an additional billion increase. In the Arab world, Al-Essawi says: The number of users of these means has reached 140 million, and the danger, according to Al-Essawi, is the free access to these means and their ability to influence, in addition to the fact that they have become a “lifeline” for extremist groups. Al-Essawi presents his approach to immunizing society from the misuse of digital platforms, and it centers on the participation of religious, educational and media institutions, considering the media as a spearhead in confronting extremist ideologies, as it can play a preventive role to prevent brainwashing of youth. Al-Essawi highlights the importance of using the same means of communication to confront extremist ideology, and the UAE has had a successful experience in this field through the “Sawab Center”.
Regarding education, Al-Issawi praises the UAE’s experience in teaching “moral education”, which contributes to the qualification of students and their awareness of positive values such as belonging and moderation.
At the end of the symposium, Dr. Muhammad Al-Ezzi raised questions, including: What are the factors that limit the effectiveness of the enlightening speech in confronting the extremist discourse? Muhammad al-Sawafi replied that the extremist rhetoric had always exploited the suffering of the people and worked to exaggerate it.
Al-Ezzi added a new question about how to ensure that communities are immunized from the danger of exploiting these platforms? Kuwaiti journalist Muhammad Al-Mulla praised the importance of the role of intellectuals and those with an enlightening discourse, and according to Al-Mulla, the means of communication cannot be controlled except through awareness and with the help of intellectuals who promote coexistence and peace. Ashraf Al-Essawi stressed the need for an international consensus to prevent extremism platforms. Dr. Muhammad Al-Ezzi added that there is a consensus on the dangers of extremist cyber activity, and it must be confronted with proper religious education, teaching tolerance and activating the role of the educated elite to produce an anti-extremism discourse.
Confrontation with culture
Prof. Dr. Abdullah Al-Ghadhami, Professor of Criticism and Theory at the College of Arts – King Saud University, and author of the book “Twitter Culture”, confirmed that what was covered in past times has become exposed, instantaneous and interactive. Al-Ghadhami adds: Good and bad happen together, and on the other hand, the capabilities of official institutions are limited. Al-Ghathami continues that institutions have legal and technical means to confront, but culture also has its ways to confront, and the most important of which is that we do not address every article published unless the publication enjoys an overwhelming popularity, and at that time it must be confronted legally and with practical and documentary responses, and with the weapon of law that requires site administrations to delete the materials Abusive, and to close the evil and harmful accounts of public and private security and human peace.
Al-Ghadhami refers to the importance of strengthening internal fronts and societal cohesion, and harnessing free popular forces to confront falsehood by uncovering it and revealing its sources, meaning that the people are a mighty moral army, especially if it is motivated to defend the nation’s honor, meanings and morals. Al-Ghadhami said: We are witnessing on Twitter, for example, that members of the people take the place of the moral army with a soft, but mighty and effective force. Therefore, employing these free energies is the most powerful weapon of confrontation, and every individual defends a cause, which he sees his case personally and above all, the effect of his actions It will be the most important element of sound awareness in the face of the dark people and the bad people waiting for the security of the country and the people. Al-Ghadhami warns of the danger of the Brotherhood’s efforts to attract what it calls “the free and independent individual.” The organization’s members rejoice at his polarization, as he can promote their message more than the organization’s cadres.
Dr. Muhammad Al-Ezzi, a consultant for information planning and analysis at the Trends Center for Research and Consulting, indicated that the symposium discusses how to build a comprehensive strategy that contributes to immunizing societies from the negative effects of these applications, which have turned into tools to spread extremist ideas and ideologies, whether by the political Islam group, such as the Muslim Brotherhood. And the groups that revolve around it, or by far-right groups and parties in Europe, especially since these platforms and applications are characterized by a set of features that make them more widespread and influential among young people and youth.
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