“I wish religion enters politicians, rather than religious people entering politics.” — renowned Islamic cleric, Muhammad Mitwali Al-Sharawi (1911 – 1998)
Crises always contain lessons to benefit from. One of the current unfortunate political crises witnessed in the region has demonstrated the risks involved in the use of political media weapon, which manages the media aspect of the crisis. It revealed how such media is guided in a manner such that it becomes obvious to the observers about how the involved countries manage the crisis through the media.
In any given contention, the differences in management of various media become clear. Undoubtedly, this has indeed happened in the current regional crisis and does not need more assertions in this regard.
The gathering of Twitter users and columnists was clear from the figures. In satellite channels, the excellent way of handling the crisis was noticeable to all. However, I sadly noticed how the cards in hand were used to shatter the overwhelming media excellence of one of the countries.
Nevertheless, the use of these cards was futile; in fact, every time the card was used to discredit the other, it appeared to burn out whenever it got thrown onto the table or even when it was waved around. This shows that there are unskilled and novice hands which interfered in the management of the media game. This had contributed to widening the differences between the hands that are managing the crisis through media.
In the current age of communication technology, it is important to deal with different events sagaciously, because time can never go back.
Long gone are the days when people used to wait for the evening news broadcast on radios or televisions. Today, a “tweet” can reach millions of people in just few seconds.
This change in the way media operates highlights the importance of the ideal use of such platforms, which have huge impact on the public.
I also noticed the phenomenon of media interference in countries which are not within the circle of crisis. Due to contention intensity, such interference had impact and its existence was pointless because the level of media momentum was very high in terms of skills. The tortoise couldn’t race with the highbred horse.
What I am trying to say in simple terms is that the use of religious aspect to guide the media towards a mere political crisis was a flagrant mistake, especially when the circumstances were not conducive to market such a useless product; in fact, it failed and then was horribly condemned.
Therefore, I wish the concerned bodies, especially the academic ones such as research and study centers, would infer lessons and teachings from the media management of this crisis. Perhaps, such lessons can be used in the future to prepare media policies that are characterized by sobriety, professionalism and, most important of all, credibility.
Human beings are smart creatures. They take from the past the prerequisites for the present and the future. The happy one is he who learns from the past.
Finally, I wish the ongoing crisis in the region will end in peace. May Almighty Allah crown His Highness the Amir of Kuwait for his efforts of pacification, with the cooperation of his brothers — the leaders of brotherly countries!
We hope we will very soon hear the good news of the subsiding of the crisis and restoration of relations to their natural course and theme.
By Yousef Awadh Al-Azmi