Under Secretary of State for Public Affairs and Public Diplomacy Richard Stengel sat down with Alhurra Television to discuss the newly opened Sawab Center in Abu Dhabi and the fight to counter messaging from ISIL. Stengel stated that the goal of the Center, a joint American/Emirati project is “to create content, messages, that counter Daash’s social media strength and sophistication.” Daash is another term used for ISIL. He went on to say that the Sawab Center will coordinate the messaging and content from among the coalition partners that are united against ISIL.
During the interview in Dubai, Stengel stated that the Sawab Center will produce messaging that attempts to stem the flow of foreign fighters to ISIL, by showing them that the messaging created by ISIL “is false and that the Caliphate isn’t a paradise.” He went on to say that they are trying to prevent people from going to join ISIL by reporting “there is no plumbing, there is no electricity, there is no internet access.”
Stengel added that he hopes it “will inspire other countries to create similar centers,” noting that Jordan, Egypt and Saudi Arabia have “mobilized their own social media.” The interview was also featured on Alhurra.com.