Iranian President Hassan Rouhani underlined the necessity for reinforcing media and news corporations in the Muslim states in a bid to display the true face of Islam to the world.
“We can introduce a real face of Islam to the world, and by our productions and solidarity, we shouldn’t allow the West to pioneer in news and images and interpret the events (the way it wants); we should be the flag-bearer in such moves,” Rouhani said, addressing the inauguration ceremony of the Seventh General Assembly meeting of the Islamic Radios and Televisions Unions which started work today in the presence of political and media figures of over 18 foreign states in Tehran.
He stressed that the Muslim states can foil the West’s plots to distract the younger generation from the right path, and said, “We should display Islam’s real face and push away all those who have chosen the incorrect path of following the West and their reactionary behavior and those who have introduced Islamic as a religion of violence.”
Rouhani deplored the kidnapping of hundreds of Nigerian school girls by Boko Haram, a Wahhabi Al-Qaeda affiliate in Nigeria, as an instance for his remarks, and said the group assumes that it has gathered religious honor by abducting these girls and ignorantly introduces this move as an Islamic act.
Fears for the fate of 276 Nigerian girls turned even more nightmarish earlier this month when the leader of the Wahhabi-Salafi militant group that kidnapped them announced plans to sell them.
“I abducted your girls. I will sell them in the market, by Allah,” a man claiming to be Boko Haram leader Abubakar Shekau said in a video.
Boko Haram is a militant group receiving training from al Qaeda affiliates, according to US officials. Its name means “Western education is sin.” In his nearly hourlong, rambling video, Shekau repeatedly called for Western education to end.
Different Iranian officials have condemned the abduction and even voiced the country’s readiness to rush to their rescue.
Earlier this month, the Iranian foreign ministry deplored the Boko Haram’s kidnapping of the school girls and called it an inhumane move.
“Unfortunately, Nigeria has been entangled by the terrorist groups for a while and its security and stability have been endangered and the Nigerian citizens have sustained loss and damage,” Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Marziyeh Afkham told reporters in Tehran.
She expressed concern about the abduction of the Nigerian girls, and said, “We completely reject this inhumane act as an unacceptable move and we hope that action will be adopted to prevent operation of extremist groups and terrorists in Nigeria and the world and we hope that stability and tranquility will be established in that country at the earliest.”
Last Monday, Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister Hossein Amir Abdollahian voiced Tehran’s readiness to help the Nigerian government and nation free the kidnapped girls.
“The Islamic Republic of Iran is ready to extend any kind of help to the Nigerian government and nation to resolve this problem,” Amir Abdollahian said in a meeting with Nigerian Ambassador to Tehran Tukur Mani.