As the Internet broadcast of an anti-Islamic video came under attack at the Unesco executive board meeting in Paris today, Malaysia says education is crucial in inoculating people against racial and religious hatred.
Making his maiden speech at the board's 179th session, Education Minister Hishammuddin Hussein says the search for accommodation between many races, cultures and religions in the face of globalization and the free flow of information had become the world’s problem.
"Ignorance of others, causes people to fear one another and fearing one another leads to hate. Stereotyping and extremism of any kind is wrong," he said.
"Demonizing Islam, Muslims and the Holy Quran by the airing of the film Fitna through the Net in the name of freedom of speech and expression is not only unacceptable but outright dangerous," he said.
Globalization and the related ICT revolution have resulted in a "globalized telecommunications reality" where communication and knowledge flows in a global environment that is complex and unpredictable.
Hishammuddin says it is not only unacceptable but simply dangerous to have a deep divide between "information have and have nots" and "knowledge know and know nots".
"Nor it is acceptable and even dangerous that in this so-called global village, languages, religions, cultural and regional values and identities, be put at risk of being levelled out in a world dominated by the cultural norms of the powerful," he said.