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Friday, 11 July 2014

Be mindful of religious sensitivities, media told

PETALING JAYA: The media has been reminded to be mindful of sensitive cultural and religious issues.

Home Ministry (Publications and Quranic Texts Control Division) assistant enforcement officer Noor Zaman Mohammad said this was particularly so during this holy month.

“Everyone, from news editors to staff dealing with graphics and advertisements, should be aware of the sensitivities of what they intend to publish,” he said during a talk on Ramadan and fasting at Menara Star here for employees of The Star yesterday.

Present was the division’s deputy secretary Muhammad Naim Idris.

Noor Zaman pointed out several instances when offending materials could violate the Printing Presses and Publications Act 1984 and the Printing of Quranic Text Act 1986.

“The division will act against the publishers if a complaint is lodged by members of the public,” he said.

Among the sensitive subjects Noor Zaman pointed out were those on religious matters, racial slurs or derogatory stereotyping of a particular community, indecent photographs and gestures, as well as extreme polemics with regards to the Federal Constitution.

He reiterated that the aim of restricting the publication of offending materials was to preserve the nation’s racial unity and security.

In her opening remarks, The Star acting group chief editor Leanne Goh described the briefing as timely.

“The talk will better help our editors and respective department heads to be more aware of and understand sensitive issues and sensitivities during the holy month of Ramadan,” she said.

She said such talks were organised by The Star before major festivals to educate its editorial staff about the sensitivities involved.

To further boost the understanding of Islam, Goh said The Star was running a series aimed at helping readers comprehend hudud and reduce division over the issue between communities of differing faiths.

She said the latest article was by renowned New York-based scholar and author Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf, who served as Imam of Masjid al-Farah.

Tags / Keywords: Family Community , Ramadan , Home Affairs Minister , Sensitivities , The Star


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