West urged to help Muslim youths against extremism, Islamophobia
ISTANBUL, Oct. 6 (Xinhua) -- Ministers from Islamic states on Thursday urged the West to make efforts to help ease the threats against Muslim youths posed by extremism and Islamophobia.
Mindful of the threats that have been growing increasingly around the world, the ministers of youth and sports from 56 members of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) met for a two-day session in Istanbul under the theme of "empowering youth for peace, solidarity and development."
Akif Kilic, from host Turkey, called on the Western world to give up "wrong" and "misleading" prejudice and discrimination against Muslims and Islam.
"The negative perception of Islam is disseminated among young people especially by means of television, movies and digital video games," Kilic said.
The Turkish Ministry of Youth and Sports listed popular titles like Counter Strike, Hitman, Call of Duty, Resident Evil and Guitar Hero as among video games embedded with hostility toward Islam and Muslims.
The image of Muslims has been recast through the games as people who are about committing murders, fratricide and robbery, and engaging in women trafficking, the ministry said in a document distributed at the venue of the IOC session.
Representatives at the OIC session agreed that time has come for exposing "such subconscious efforts and lay them bare."
"We have to get united as one to protect our youth while preserving our strong image," stressed Kilic, the Turkish minister.
In addition to the growing threat of Islamophobia, Muslim youths are also struggling with poor education and inadequate job opportunities, said Elshad Iskandarov, president of the Islamic Conference Youth Forum for Dialogue and Cooperation.
The education level of youngsters in Islamic countries is far below that of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development standard, the OIC session noted.
"We are here to take actions and to adopt real mechanism to empower our youth," said Iskandarov. Enditem
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