Grand Mufti Urges Journalists to Verify the News

DAMASCUS, (ST)_"Syria is fighting for its solid and firm stances, and consequently  was punished for its stances towards Lebanon and Iraq where it preserved the unity of Lebanon  and refused to enlist its name in the list of Iraq's invaders, Grand Mufti of the Republic," Dr. Ahmad Badreddin Hassoun underscored.

Addressing  local media staff at Al-Assad Library in Damascus on Sunday, Hassoun zeroed in on the sublime meaning of the 'word' underlying " verily, he  who utters the word of right never dies while he who utters lies will definitely be killed by his lies".

The Mufti urged  the Syrian journalists to verify the news before making them public and  to embrace faithfulness in conveying  information.

He also urged them to distance themselves away from the 'yellow journalism' as it depends only  on 'action' and paying no heed to the value of the word that might kill a man or even a nation or it might make man and a nation alive.

''undoubtedly, The Syrian media needs a fresh and  creative start  and benefitting from the ideological plurality as it is intellectual richness and openness, rather than fanaticism,'' Hassoun emphasized.

 The Grand Mufti branded the  national media as  the first ''line of defense'' to give a true image of  the homeland.

Furthermore, Hassoun  made it clear that the ministries of education, higher education, culture and information along with the religious establishments have a vital role as regards  bringing up generations capable of shouldering their responsibilities .

"frankly speaking, it is not only the 'west schemes' behind the ongoing crisis in Syria   but also we have to blame ourselves concerning lack of attention to the educational matter, 'said Hassoun.

Hassoun hailed Syria's steadfastness over the past two years, stressing the necessity of realizing economic steadfastness and urging business men to return to Syria and help in rebuilding it.

Hassoun wondered at blocking Syrian TV channels, recalling that he has been warning since 1997 of a sectarian war that al-Jazeera Channel seeks to whip up in the region.

"the religious discourse in Syria , the home for moderate Islam ,must be accorded further attention as Islam's main task  is to ''address  hearts and illuminate minds, "stressed Hassoun.

The Grand Mufti also briefed attendees on media disinformation campaigns launched and still launching by western governments only to mislead their people concerning what is happening in Syria particularly.

The meeting was attended by Information Minister Omran al-Zou'bi,  where Hassoun lauded his efforts to upgrade the level of the local media.