Islam and the Media
While Pakistan is already known as the most dangerous country in the world for working journalists — one journalist in Pakistan dies every 38 days according to the Sri Lankan media expert Ranga Kalansooriya — Pakistan’s journalists also come under another insidious type of pressure.
The future of Pakistani journalists
Public intellectuals and their declining presence
Akbar Jan Marwat
By Asha'ar Rehma
Peshawar attacked again
Syed Kamran Hashmi
Compiled by New Age Islam Edit Bureau
liberals uphold a sense of ethics and morality in speech and writings and work
for the benefit of people irrespective of their nationality, ethnicity or
religion. Generally true liberals believe that eliminating Jihadists from
Pakistani society is in the interest of Pakistani people. You can cite names of
Pakistani authors and commentators such as Mohammed Taqi, Ambassador Husain
Haqqani and Dr. Ayesha Siddiqa who are widely respected for their defence of
Pakistani people’s interests. Indians will be even willing to take a rebuke
from Husain Haqqani about their failings because his concern for people is
The stereotyping of religious people, beliefs and communities is not always intentional or even overt. Journalists sometimes rely on widely-used terminology without considering the broader implications. For example, referring to “Islamic terrorism” can make terrorism seem Islamic, just as referring to terrorists as “extremist Muslims” can make terrorists seem extremely Muslim. …..
Iranian director Majid Majidi
“The more movies that are made about the prophet’s life, the better,” Majidi said at Montreal’s world film festival. “We hope the Qatari team will make a correct interpretation of Islam, and they are most welcome to come and film at our facilities in our country.”
Among the various online fora, NEWAGEISLAM.COM, a web portal run by
Muslim scholar Sultan Shahin, is
collecting different scholarly works on various radical ideologies prevalent
among Muslims to build up a counter narrative. Shahin said that some extremist
ideologies have found place in religious discourses delivered in madrasas,
which has to be countered through rigorous reforms in madrasa education. People
connected with anti-Taliban Pakistani scholars like Tahirul Qadri and Javed
Ahmed Ghamidi also organise talks and let people know about their lectures
on countering "jihadi fatwas". The Delhi-based group Khudai Khitmatgar has revived Frontier
Gandhi Khan Abdul Ghaffar Khan's mission to work towards communal harmony and
promote the softer sides of all religions, especially Islam.
“India has always been home to the Sufis whose teachings were love and tolerance. This is how Islam spread here. The hard-line views propagated by the Saudis and their funding poses a threat to the very fabric of Muslim society.” The Wahhabi stream exhorts Muslims to adopt the more “puritanical “form of Islam while Sufis -also known as Barelvis -maintain that teachings of saints cannot be ignored. The tussle between the two has also manifested in many mosques across the region where both schools have tried to wrest control of administration......
surprised. He kept going, saying: “They will force your columnists, editors and
even correspondents to leave.” I did not think that would be possible; I have
always been suspicious of this, because they had already started a campaign of
antagonism against Zaman daily. I thought after all they had done, why would
they deal with the workers of the paper? I was wrong. Back then, some
pro-government columnists published pieces in which they argued that nobody
will stay at Zaman to write columns. One of them even argued that people will
run off from the Zaman daily…..
Referring to Mufti Ismail’s
speech, Abdul Halim Siddiquee wrote an editorial in his daily saying that
corrupt elements could be found in every department and walk of life and that
the majority of the weavers of Malegaon were honest. Thanks to their honesty
and hard work their business was flourishing. Further, the editorial asked the
mufti to do introspection as to how much water and oil he mixed as an imam, as
a teacher and as a political leader. This offended mufti Ismail so much that he
instructed his supporters and mercenaries to teach the editor a lesson. As a
result, his sword wielding supporters and drunk hired goons ran amok on the
streets with unsheathed swords in five groups vandalizing Abdul Halim
Siddiquee’s house and office....
In its open letter to Erdoğan, Hürriyet, which seems to be baffled with the “coup conspiracy” it cooked up with a headline, kindly tried to explain how ridiculous this accusation is. It was so ridiculous that Erdoğan himself, in a speech right after the Morsi verdict, had emphasized that this was a punishment given to “a president elected with 52 percent of the votes....
I am a Mujahid. My operational area is the social media – Facebook and Twitter, to be precise. I have been tagged an e-Talib, a cyber-Mujahid, a keyboard-jihadist and what-not....
In the case of a self-avowed recluse like one, being an innate chatterbox and receptive to people in general, one’s many interactions, these days, are virtual. And embarking on one’s journey to become a great Pakistani novelist-cum-non-fiction-writer (dream big, no?), many a happy hour is spent on one’s laptop, ergo connecting one to the virtual world that has all the trappings of reality.
In many ISIL-related conspiracy theories, two reasonable points—that ISIL is in some sense a creation of regional and international powers, its rise a consequence of their terrible policies; and that what they do is “un-Islamic,” or horrifying to most Muslims—have been quickly pushed into the territory of non-thinking absurdity....
Sheikh Hussain Yee
Inept journalism and hostile anti-Islamic fabrications in the guise of “reporting” have undermined Islam’s message of peace and compromised the work being done by peaceful scholars of Islam everywhere....
The Times doesn’t even blush when one of its most celebrated columnists mulls over the idea of sending weapons to the terrorists in ISIS – all presumably because Israel has identified “the Shiite crescent” as its current chief enemy and the Islamic State is on the other side....
Through the Islamic State group’s sophisticated social media outreach efforts, the militants are becoming the best global sales team, with the capability to recruit and radicalize men and women who are in search of purpose and absolute power in their lives. The group's propaganda videos have gone viral, and beheadings and crucifixions are becoming daily occurrences, all in the name of Allah and with the ultimate goal of establishing an Islamic caliphate....
There are various versions of how and why Shirin Dalvi published the caricature. In an apology she wrote in a blog, she says: “I, Shirin Dalvi, begin with an apology for having printed the title cover of Charlie Hebdo. It was a mistake and I had no intention to hurt the feelings of my community. Like any other Muslim, I deeply respect Prophet Mohammed—sallallahu alahi wa sallam —Peace be upon Him…. We juxtaposed it with news of the Pope’s statement where he criticised the Prophet cartoons and said freedom of expression was not absolute and religious beliefs should not be mocked in the name of this freedom.” She also says that she does not understand French and hence it was a case of bad judgment on her part....
Muslim media professionals should have been more alert and should have strongly rejected the popularized name of the so-called “Islamic State” and should have labeled them with a name that truly describes their criminality, such as: “ the State of Al-Khawarij, “the outsiders who have deviated from the faith, “the State of “Al-Safaheen”, the butchers, or “the State of Al-Muhtaleen”, the impostors....
In the United States, the president is Barack Obama, a non-Muslim. His childhood experience of Islam, which ended when he was just ten, occurred in Indonesia — the world’s most populous Muslim country, but a non-Arabic one where the teaching and practice of Islam is very different from what it is in the Middle East....
I can hate that the
media has created an idea of what it means to be Muslim. I can hate feeling
Muslim. With the speculation that has emerged about the intent of the
horrendous crime, I feel Muslim. You can’t fight something you don’t name. The
media’s hesitation toward calling this a hate crime says to me that people
think that the right to practice Islam without fear is not a cause worth
fighting for. Without naming this as the hate crime it was, the message is that
hate toward Islam is not a cause worth deconstructing and extinguishing….
While today many Muslims and Arabs lack the right educational opportunities because of the economic and political circumstances, most Arab and Muslim household place a high value on educating their children. A typical Arab/Muslim family will do the most they can to have their children go to good schools and colleges. The families set high expectations and many children end up with master's degrees and Ph.D.s; others are entrepreneurs, restaurant owners, doctors, government officials, athletes and so on. On the other hand, Arabs and Muslims have a huge interest in movie making, singing, architecture, art, and literature. All forms of art are welcomed and the world has to remember that the European renaissance happened as a result of the ancient and new knowledge reacquired from Muslim scholars….
"Even the most basic elements of 1400 years of Islamic civilisation are absent from the curricula in most of the world's schools. The subject is just not on the world's educational radar screen. And the result is an enormous vacuum. When developments in Islamic societies break into the headlines, few journalists - and fewer of their readers - can bring the slightest sense of context to such news."….
Nadeem F. Paracha
With the way episodes of hate-speech on TV are being viewed and lamented after the Peshawar tragedy, the responsibility of the local and multinational companies who sponsor potentially controversial shows was bound to come up....
And no matter how arcane the rhetoric and mentality of ISIL may seem, it is actually making a direct appeal to this new world we inhabit. What's more, the real target of ISIL is not the people who live around the peripheries of society, people who have not been able to throw off the shackles of tradition or village life; no, instead, the real target is those people isolated and alienated in the shadows and surroundings of modernity. While these people search for an escape from this modern prison which leaves them so unhappy, crushed and without hope, they rush to the calls made by organizations such as ISIL…..
Though the media public discourse is severely restricted to some, it is generously open for others such as for those morally flexible intellectuals and media jokers who applauded the Israeli war on Gaza, as the rest of the world protested its devastating carnage. For now, Okasha and Adeeb will continue to take centre stage, while thousands of brilliant voices of intellectuals and journalists are muffled and censored. It is hard to imagine that in this age of awakening, such mockery will continue for too long…..