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A Guide to Addressing Religious Issues in Traditional and Social Media Away from Hate Speech - 2020

The spread of hate speech, especially through traditional and social media, is a human and moral scourge, and a challenge to stability and social cohesion. This challenge is compounded in Lebanon due to the interconnectedness of confessional, religious issues and political conflicts—a situation that different parties have been exploiting to turn people against each other. 

Whereas the right to freedom of opinion and expression remains the main building block that we need to uphold and advocate for, the Forum for Religious Social Responsibility took the initiative to develop this guide with the aim of confronting the scourge of hate speech, to preserve coexistence and respect diversity and difference, without slipping towards incitement to enmity or violence.  

This guide aims therefore to promote addressing religious issues in traditional and social media away from hate speech, by defining this speech based on international instruments and agreements and local policies, and discussing the problematics associated with religious discourse in the Lebanese media, in addition to presenting the moral and legal frameworks to confront hate speech. In addition to media figures working in the religious field, this guide can benefit all activists in media, the religious public spheres, and even all citizens, since everyone today shares this responsibility because of social media. 

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