Islam and the Media
Moin Qazi, New Age Islam
journalism is failing to perform its
fundamental role of objective reporting and analysis and continues its job by
rehashing tired old narratives of 'radical Islam' or a 'fight within Islam.'
The truth is much more convoluted than that -- and the entire world has a
direct role in creating the dangerous reality that so many Muslims have to live
with every single day. The media shows
remarkable consistency in employing an arsenal of semantic games and incendiary
phrases to link most of the violence around the world with some form of Islamic
ideology or some Islamic group. In fact the entire discourse is being
orchestrated on predefined lines. ….
Take the month of January. Open-source reporting suggests that,
excluding lone-wolf operations that may or may not have been inspired by IS,
the organisation mounted at least 37 separate attacks in nine different
countries: Turkey, Iraq, Syria, Jordan, Yemen, Egypt, Afghanistan, Libya and
Somalia. IS also attempted an attack in Saudi Arabia but the two would-be
suicide bombers were shot before they could detonate themselves....
We need to stop
listening to and enabling the extremists in our community who falsely claim
they speak on our behalf. We must tell our stories to the rest of the world
better, more extensively, and more often, not just through the “news” media but
also through the entertainment media including through movies, books and even
constant threat to life and livelihood, media personnel have faced a backlash
from both state and anti-state elements. These include the warring political
parties, military intelligence agencies and terrorist formations operating
across the country. As freedom becomes increasingly elusive for media personnel
in the country, the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) report,
released on February 3, 2016, noted that Pakistan runs fourth on the list of
the deadliest countries in the world for journalists....
Some in Egypt believe the state, which claims to fight terrorism, rather
is creating it through its obsession with security and its quest to preserve a
regressive structure in society. The government has tightened the noose on
society, taking a variety of measures against innovative minds such as
isolating people, silencing them, limiting their imaginations, confiscating
their dreams and basically draining the life out of them.....
Tunisia has made a remarkable improvement in Reporters without Borders’
press-freedom index - the first Arab country to do so. This at a time when some
Arab countries are imprisoning, murdering and torturing journalists. This
progress is to be added to Tunisia’s record as the only success story of the
Arab Spring, since its revolution did not result in civil war or bitter
struggle, as happened in Syria, Egypt, Yemen and Libya....
Dr. Ileana Johnson Paugh
Time magazine described the revival of Islam in the 70 countries around
the world, reflected in the hajj, the pilgrimage to Mecca, unchanged for 14
centuries; this alleged revival took place among the young who desired Sharia
law, Burqas, Hijab and other forms of enslaving women to their half-person
status, genital mutilation, and harsh punishments in cases of rape, divorce,
adultery, and abortion....
Tariq A. Al-Maeena
So is this what Islam and Muslims are all about? The mayhem, murders, and bombings of the innocent? Is there no other face of Islam? You would have to dig deep between the pages to read of the other face of Muslims, a people who have dedicated their life to the proper teachings of this great religion and who by virtue of their piety are not seeking headlines. There are Muslim individuals such as Dr. Mike Ghouse...
The dialectic I
first explored 20 years ago began as speculative theory; in 2001, with the 9/11
cataclysm it began prophecy; today, in the age of ISIS on the Internet, it is
simply reality. For unlike Al Qaeda, Jihad’s early manifestation, the new ISIS
with its quest for a territorial Caliphate married to its campaign to engender
a virtual Caliphate on the web, rejects capitalism and materialism and the
commodities they produce even as it puts those commodities to work to inspire
terrorism across the world. Science is the work of infidels, secular reason is
a form of blasphemy, yet science’s finest product (technology) is the best
instrument the true believers have to wage war on the West....
Freedom of the press must be given a special place among other freedoms. In a country where the press is under pressure, no one can prevent terrorists from freely moving around. If journalists are no longer able to search for the truth and inform the public of facts, shady groups start to cause much bloodshed across the country.
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....