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استبيان رضا المتعاملين عن موقع دولة الإمارات العربية المتحدة

Body formed to promote Muslim-West relations

posted on 04/03/2002: 755 views

The World Hope Foundation (WHF) was set up here yesterday with the aim of influencing foreign policy decision-making and public opinion in the West, particularly the U.S., that affect Arab and Muslim countries.

The announcement was made by Khalaf Al Habtoor, Chairman of Al Habtoor Group. He was welcoming the former U.S. senator and well-known author Paul Findley who gave a lecture on "the major issues facing Arabs and Muslims as a result of American policy and the current American Administration's attitude against Arabs and Muslims."

Al Habtoor added that Sir Mark Sykes, the grandson of Sir Mark Sykes who drew up the Sykes-Picot Agreement that divided the region following the liberation of the Arab countries from Ottoman occupation in 1916, will also be a member of the committee along with Findley. Leslie Pope, Director of Research and Studies at Al Habtoor Group, said the WHF's main target would be "highlighting the issues of bias or discriminatory prejudice against Arabs and Muslims wherever they occur." He said that the Foundation would conduct media campaigns in the West to change attitudes towards the Arab world and Islam.

"It will build information systems, conduct research, and monitor the media with the aim of making the Foundation a reliable and factual source of accurate information for the media, politicians, academics, and all those who share an interest in the region," said Pope.

For the WHF to be effective, Pope added, it will set up offices in Washington, London, Dubai, Lebanon, and Palestine. "It will seek associates in other capitals in the world. But to meet our objectives, we will need the help of donors, volunteers, researchers, media resources and much more," Pope said. Pope said that the WHF would contact all the individuals and establishments concerned in the world to provide them with more details of the Foundation's aims, objectives, and the issues it would address.

He also hailed Findley for his remarkable contribution to confronting America's false images of Islam through his two groundbreaking books: They Dare To Speak Out and Silent No More. In his carefully worded remarks, Al Habtoor said that over the past 50 years, the U.S. had fostered many "of the unfavourable attitudes towards Arabs and Islam that prevail in the West today."

"Israel's ability to shape American foreign policy has corrupted the American natural feeling of freedom and justice. The US has encouraged Israel to continue aggressive acts towards its Arab neighbours, particularly Palestinians and Lebanese," said Al Habtoor.

Al Habtoor called on Arab leaders to work together "to produce a coherent common strategy that has the force of Arab solidarity behind it to communicate effectively with the leaders and peoples of the Western countries" for the purpose of enhancing mutual understanding between the two sides. (The Gulf News)


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