Fake news a 'weapon that can kill', says Hadi

KUALA LUMPUR: The role of the press is regarded important in Islam as it can be "a weapon that can kill" if fake and distorted news is allowed to fester, says Tan Sri Abdul Hadi Awang.

The PAS president said that the first "mass media" in Islam were the Friday sermons in the early days of Islam as it was used to inform and educate the congregation.

The Marang MP said that many times in the past, it was journalists who spoke up against injustice and created the awareness of the public to right the wrongs of governments.

Abdul Hadi said this at a dialogue session titled "Facing the challenges of Globalised Media Today" at a hotel here on Tuesday (Feb 28).

"Islam regards the media as an important aspect of the nation that needs to be used to inform the people while educating them on the rights and wrongs.

"Media is important to raise the awareness of the people.

"Journalists are at times the ones who dared to speak up against injustice.

"Malaysia has yet to have reporters jailed but in some other countries, they are killed and jailed.

"A government which is wrong fears the media that speaks up," said Abdul Hadi.

He further stated that Islam regarded journalism as a noble vocation which needs to be conducted within the right parameters while distorting facts in reports is considered a sin.

"Reporting the wrong information is considered a sin by the religion.

"Wrongly reported news will bring people to do the wrong things.

"Nowadays slander and fake news are spread by the mere fingertips through the Internet," said Abdul Hadi.

He also hit out at western media which wrongly painted Islam as being a violent religion.

"The role of mass media and social media is so important that it is now a weapon which can kill if abused," said Abdul Hadi.

At the same event, he launched a book on his political ideas titled "Fiqh Siasah Abdul Hadi Awang", compiled by Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia researchers.

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Abdul Hadi Awang , News , Fake news , Islam , Mass media


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