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Books and Documents

Islam and the Media

Pakistan's YouTube Ban: Proof That the Constitution is non Est
Yasser Latif Hamdani

The Pakistani legal system is held hostage by the religious right in this country, which is incapable of thinking rationally. Consequently, even the most progressive judge is hard pressed to uphold the sacred fundamental rights promised to Pakistanis under the constitution…

Why Do Pakistani Columnists Make Up History?
C M Naim

Education in this country was first destroyed by the ‘White Angrez,’ and now the same is being done by the ‘Black Angrez.’” Never mind that, by that logic, Pakistan began in 1947 with a population that was only 15 per cent literate, and then in eight years that number more than quadrupled — thanks, no doubt, to bureaucrats like Mr Jan — before nefarious English lovers started the decline....

Burn Notice
Nadeem F. Paracha

Burn Notice
Nadeem F. Paracha

Malala’s book, I am Malala, is openly available in book stores in the Sindh and the Punjab provinces, even though initially some private schools decided not to make it a part of their libraries, fearing violence from the extremists. In the KP however, the book has been treated like a live grenade by the province’s government. Though there are hardly any good book stores left in cities like Peshawar, the KP government is hell-bent on keeping the book out....

 

Using ‘Generic’ Illustrations in News Stories Dishonours the Dead and Distorts the Truth
Robert Fisk

But for years now, a far more insidious practice has crept into the world of both newspaper and television journalism: ‘generic’ pictures of war which do not actually show what the reader or viewer believes he or she is looking at. The pictures are real enough.  They haven’t been doctored or ‘touched up’. But they do not historically belong in the context in which they appear….

 

Hate Speech Online a Growing Problem
Sam Caldwell

“Anonymity, physical distance, and the openness of online society make the expression of hate more prevalent online than in face to face interactions in society.” However, such expressions continue to manifest in physical form….

Suspended Animation
Amina Jilani

As was once written a long time ago in our press, a press, which for reasons various has always, even in its heydays of freedom, been subjected to certain censorship flowing from the Constitution and the law and to self-censorship due to threats emanating from militant political parties, religious fanaticism and intolerance, a lack of a sense of humour, or, as now, downright terrorism: “One good thing about censorship is that there is usually some way of getting round it. This is not always true about self-censorship.”....

 

Jihadi Print Media in Pakistan: An Overview based on a Research Paper
Muhammad Amir Rana

Getting inspiration from this role of the media, different militant groups launched their own media products during the war, which not only helped them attract financial and human resources but also propagated their ideologies and promoted their concept of jihad. They did not trust the privately-owned mainstream print media or the government-run radio and television and preferred established their own media to create a community of firm believers.1 Religious publications were not a new phenomenon in Pakistan. Despite their sectarian and political affiliations, the sphere of these publications was wide -- spanning intellectual debates, religious reforms, dialogue with other faiths, and socio-political issues -- and their readership very limited. It mainly consisted of religious scholars, intellectuals, journalists, writers and students of the relevant subject. But the new media was very narrow in its vision and its target audience was more general. It not only damaged the image of ‘serious religious publications’ but also dealt a fatal blow to the professional ethics of Urdu mainstream media. This new form of media has now taken root and is a parallel media industry in Pakistan. Their publishers claim that if allowed free competition, they can capture the mainstream media market overnight.2

 

A Part-Time Jihadist
Burak Bekdil

We did not call your Prime Minister a jihadist. It was his party fans, and the dictionaries did not give us many choices in translating the word into English (I wish Thesauruses gave us the options “humanist” or “environmentalist” for “mücahit,” but it did not). We have no objection to how Mr. Erdoğan’s loyalists call him. It’s their choice…

 

Workers and ‘New Media’
Farooq Sulehria

Paradoxically, when the ‘tax on knowledge’ was repealed, the radical press did not flourish; instead it dissolved. On the one hand, it was ‘commercialisation’ of the popular press that entailed sensationalism (to maximise sales). It was also during this period that beats such as crime and sports found their place in the press. These are neutral topics....

 

The 'Brutal Arab' and the 'Muslim Terrorist' in the Israeli Media
Rana Awaisi

Based on the results of monitoring the mainstream Israeli media (secular and religious), conducted over two years, this article addresses the most prominent cases of racial incitement against Arabs and Muslims, justified by biblical texts and fake historical facts. Every day, the Israeli public is exposed to ideas in the media which influence their perceptions of Arabs and Muslims and solidify existing negative views….

Aunty Vigilante
Nadeem F. Paracha

Aunty Vigilante
Nadeem F. Paracha

But these days, moralistic vigilantism has not only become a televised affair, it is being conducted by men and women who may find transvestites, dating couples and tipsy cops repulsive, but are likely to spend their free time frequenting cinemas, boogying at weddings and shopping at trendy malls....

 

Selling Religion: Television Show Hosts Often Use Religion To Boost Viewership Of Their Shows
Gulmina Bilal Ahmad

Recently, a telecom company introduced a mechanism that keeps track of your good deeds through Twitter. I wonder if they are looking towards acquiring an outsourced contract from ‘upstairs’...

 

Right-wing Pakistani trolls on social media have developed a remarkable lingo: ‘Liberal fascist! No, fake liberal! Actually fake liberal fascist! No, genuine liberal fascist!
Nadeem F. Paracha
He gets agitated a bit: ‘Come home early and do what? Watch RAW agents on TV? Stop acting like killer mafia MQM and corrupt PPP, Mom. And where is that liberal fascist?’ Mom is perplexed: ‘Who?’ ‘Dad, Mom, Dad. Where is he?’ ‘He’s watching TV. A re-run of Seinfeld, I think ...’ ‘Liberal fascist! No, fake liberal! Actually fake liberal fascist! No, genuine liberal fascist thus fake liberal ...!

 
Digital Jihad
Razeshta Sethna

Digital Jihad
Razeshta Sethna

Senior Al Qaeda leaders have referred to varied media activity to promote their strategic narrative. With the Afghan war, regional and local militant organisations provided fighters for Afghan Taliban groups and Al Qaeda units, offering training and media collaboration.....

 

Dr. Pervez Hoodbhoy: In Pursuit Of Ratings, Duniya TV Is Pandering To the Extremist Right Wing
Dr. Pervez Hoodbhoy

The next morning, when the program had been loaded on to the internet, I was astonished to note that the audio level from my end had been turned down so low that my voice was inaudible. However AA was hurling abuses against me and these were coming through loud and clear. I also noted that AA and OMJ would occasionally appear full-screen whereas I was shown as a tiny image even when speaking. This was clear manipulation and bias at the technical level……

 

As is the case when using special codes or symbols to communicate, participants seeking confidentiality avoid using words that get flagged by intelligence agency monitoring networks — such as those of al-Qaeda, Islamic Jihad, ISIS, al-Zawhri, bin Laden or al-Zarqawi — by substituting them with prearranged code words.....

 

Media: Not So Independent
Farooq Sulehria

The media’s ideological role is further demystified when viewed through its political economy. The media’s political economy helps us determine who owns and controls it. While ownership is easy to establish, it is an understanding of the ‘control’ that helps demystify the myth of ‘independent media’. ‘Independent media’, unlike state-run and ‘alternative’ outlets, depends on advertisers….

 

More than the absence of any effective law enforcement actions, the silence of the crony intellectuals of the ruling Awami League, although predictable, is pathetic and painful; they seem to have conveniently overlooked such a blatant violation of the constitutional rights to the freedom of speech and expression, of thought and conscience. Yet, these are the people who wax eloquent when talking on television talks-shows, seminars and symposia, and writing in the print media, about these ideals….

The Empire of Media and Mind
Aijaz Zaka Syed

The world media today is hopelessly owned and controlled by a few US and Europe-based corporations and moneybags. So if most of the western media networks appear biased against Arabs and Muslims, as often seen in the Palestine-Israel narrative, it makes sense. Leading lights of the all-powerful Israeli lobby either have a stake in US newspapers and television networks or simply bully them with their financial and political clout.....

 

Kill Dissent and Unleash Hate: Websites and Pages Disseminating Hate Speech Remain Very Much Active
Farooq Sulehria

Facebook pages and Twitter accounts remain active disseminating hate speech, vilifying democratic institutions or calling for annihilation of Shias and Ahmadis. The Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan remains active online as do anti-Shia outfits . Lastly, a national debate is needed to ascertain if puritan bureaucrats or opportunist politicians should be the ultimate judge and jury to arbitrarily define ‘morality’, ‘obscenity; and ‘blasphemy’. Most importantly, why has the fact that the internet is being policed been such a hush-hush affair!.....

No WhatsApp, Skype or Viber? I’m Moving to Sargodha!
Imaan Sheikh

I mean, it just sounds a little too ridiculous, doesn’t it? Terrorists Snap chatting, having Android battery trouble, or Skyping with their bosses about their perfect fitting bomb vest over a cup of Quahwa? Speaking of Skype, here are some #TerroristSkypeIDs I found on Twitter. (Please don’t block Twitter, okay, Sindh government?)...

 
Environmental Jihad
Shajuti Hossain

One must think twice, maybe three times, before using religious terminology. Words that are commonly used in the media to describe “religiously motivated” acts of violence are of special concern….

 

Reading History: The Contribution of Low Price Publishers
Aakar Patel

Unfortunately, this isn’t true of Shah Jahan, a most secretive man on whom there isn’t as much published. Perhaps, this was deliberate, given the bloody fashion in which he came to power, with the slaughter of all his brothers, and the grief he came to in the end under his son, who in turn, killed two of his brothers and forced the third to flee the country. But it is a shame....

 

Muslim Press in India and the Bangladesh Crisis
Professor C. M. NAIM

No radical change occurred in the thinking of the Indian Muslims either. Their immediate reaction to the various developments in the crisis were, as we saw above, more imbued with fundamentalism in some respects than the responses of the Pakistanis. One got the feeling that the thinking of a significant and large group of Indian Muslims was still very much governed by two potentially most dangerous notions, namely: (1) there is one Muslim nation, one Muslim language, and one Muslim culture; and (2) those who are not with them in these beliefs are against them, and, therefore, against Islam itself.

It was similar irrational thinking that had led them, prior to 1947, to give overwhelming support to the demand for Pakistan, a demand that allegedly arose out of a desire to protect Muslim minorities but which in its fulfilment left them high and dry. That demand got the support that it did because it appealed to the Indian Muslims' belief that, having "ruled over India for one thousand years," they could only be either kings (in Pakistan) or king-makers (in India). Mr. Jinnah asked the Indian Muslims to unite for Pakistan, without offering them any details of what that Pakistan was going to be like. "Unite and remain separate from the non-Muslim, who should have no say in Muslim affairs," that was the cry in those days. That still seems to be the cry raised by a large number of the leading elements in the community.  

It is a dismal picture indeed.

'Free Expression' in Pakistan Today: Hafiz Saeed is free to express his thoughts but not those who want to refute his ideology
Gulmina Bilal Ahmad

A condom advertisement is pulled off but Hafiz Saeed is free to express his thoughts while leading Eid prayers. Hafiz Saeed on twitter is freedom of expression but Baloch Hal is a threat to national security?...

 


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NEW COMMENTS

  • Wasim Sb,Thank you for your suggestion. I plan to do that.
    ( By Naseer Ahmed )
  • naseer sb, what about putting all your essays on this theme together and publishing them as a book?
    ( By wasim )
  • I discuss the Quranic verses without bringing in "context" not contained in the Quran itself. Since the Quran contains  the required context to understand ...
    ( By Naseer Ahmed )
  • The animals that Muslims eat are in no danger of extinction nor is the ecology disturbed on account of it. On the other hand, ...
    ( By Naseer Ahmed )
  • Shahin Sb,I have read Abdul Wahab's Kitab at Tawhid and "Risālah Aslu Dīn Al-Islām wa Qā’idatuhu" and researched on what reputable scholars like Tahir ul ...
    ( By Naseer Ahmed )
  • Thanks Wasim Iqbal Saheb for your explanation on contextual verses of the Holy Quran and Hadees narrations. This has to be repeated again and ...
    ( By Sultan Shahin )
  • Nearly all Muslim behave irrationally when it comes nature, because they think all is created for them, I give small example from eating habbit, ...
    ( By Aayina )
  • henry baba, it would be nice if you could also write an essay on the purpose of life from your own perspective, drawing on ...
    ( By yogi )
  • Thanks, everyone, for your comments. Secular Logic and Rational: The verses of the Quran that talk of violence are to be seen in the ...
    ( By wasim )
  • Dear Naseer Saheb, you have quoted Natana J. DeLong-Bas to say in her book “Wahhabi Islam: From Revival and Reform to Global Jihad: “Although a person ...
    ( By Sultan Shahin )
  • Rational says, "those who are unaware of the Quran and hadith have raised their voices against the death of blasphemers." . . . .You ...
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • "Another problem that must be seen in the light of progressive Islam is how Muslims should deal with what many call “Salafism”. As an ...
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • The comprehension of past jurists and past ulemas should not be our guide. We should derive our wisdom from our reading of the original ...
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • " Reform, to my mind, is possible only through a call to a return to the Islam of the Quran." . . .I agree! ...
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • Those who depict reality as travesty they are helpless people,frustrated people, an finally worthless people.those show are killing and dying are doing some ...
    ( By afaqsiddiqi )
  • Mr naseer says modern Islam is a travestyof.islam.may. I ask who is making it a travesty? Do the Jews and the Christians are making ...
    ( By afaqsiddiqi )
  • Insha'Allahu my dear Jenab Yogi Bhai Sahib, Insha'Allahu. I am presently reading Hazrat-ji Mawlana Wahiduddin Khan's books and I will write on the purpose ...
    ( By Henry Francis B. Espiritu )
  • He has said right in this para:Inspired by the right understanding of Islam, Muslims need to proactively reach out to people of other faiths, ...
    ( By Mohammad Imran )
  • आतंकवाद का कोई धर्म नही होता है ! अगर आप आतंकवाद को आप धर्म से जोड़ कर देखते है तो आप अपनी नजरिया बदल ...
    ( By Bushra )
  • To further disappoint you Rational, not one of the verses in the Quran, that speak of apostates and apostasy, talk of punishment in this ...
    ( By Naseer Ahmed )
  • Rational,What I hear you saying is that:1. You are of sound mind and body.2. That you are an apostate of Islam3. That you are ...
    ( By Naseer Ahmed )
  • rational has neglected nothing. these verses are used by Muslims to punish the apostates.do you want an apostate should live in fear so that ...
    ( By rational )
  • rational has neglected nothing. these verses are used by Muslims to punish the apostates.do you want an apostate should live in fear so that ...
    ( By rational )
  • it only means that if one fights for his beliefs against Muslims must be killed.To Muslims the Quran is truth. To unbeliever it is ...
    ( By rational )
  • The punishment for one who turns a renegade in times of war is death in all countries/societies. And yet the Quran takes great care to ...
    ( By Naseer Ahmed )
  • so coming back to Islamophobia only Islam and Muslims are responsible. I would say that fear is real as it is instilled by islam ...
    ( By rational )
  • GMyou have one statement(doubtful) to your favor" there is no punishment for apostasy in the Qur'an"your believer brothers have more arguments than you to ...
    ( By rational )
  • Rational neglected to quote the next two verses:(4:89) They but wish that ye should reject Faith, as they do, and thus be on the ...
    ( By Naseer Ahmed )
  • Islam either demands heads of apostates or silence of apostates.if apostates want to share their unhappiness with Islam it is treated like treason against ...
    ( By rational )
  • Al Quran:They but wish that ye should reject Faith, as they do, and thus be on the same footing (as they). But take not ...
    ( By rational )
  • GMI am not stopping you from spreading the message you want to spread. However i don't agree with the Quran has nothing to do ...
    ( By rational )
  • Rational, it is better to spread the word that there is no punishment for apostasy in the Quran rather than fight a silly war ...
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • thank you very much henry ji for your good wishes.do please consider writing a LONG article on thhe purpose of life.....
    ( By yogi )
  • A glaring contrast observed by a long distant observer.   How two dissimilar Nations treated their benefactors who made exactly similar contributions to their respective countries’ ...
    ( By Distant Observer )
  • you are free to express your opinion about my strategy.<br>we are talking about the Quran and Hadith not on common sense. on common sense ...
    ( By rational )
  • Rational says, "i will keep beat you with the Quranic and Hadith verses." . . .That is poor strategy on your part. Your attacks ...
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • Thanks likewise, my brother Yogi Sahib for your comment. May our Beloved All-Merciful Allah bless you and your family ba-shafaat-e Rasul Pak Hazrat Muhammad ...
    ( By Henry Francis B. Espiritu )
  • Wasim's article is superb! Agree 100 per cent with what he says. Muslims need to reform themselves internally and externally. Focus on purifying their ...
    ( By Noorie )
  • I would buy this author's well meaning piece, if I had not read the Quran and the HadithThe Quran has imperialist, exclusivist, anti-nonMuslim, misogyinistic ...
    ( By secularlogic )
  • thanks very much henry for this! good to see you back on NAI --after quite a while, i think!
    ( By yogi )