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Books and Documents

Islam and the Media

In a recent move to curb the freedom of expression in digital space, the PTI government approved a new rule requiring social-media companies to open offices in Pakistan. This rule is to be added to the Prevention of Electronic Crimes Act of 2016....

 

To the few people who knew what had happened, my wife spoke of her summer of anguish. I felt pressure to show how fearful my captivity had been. “Traumatised hostage”, a friend kept calling me. But I didn’t feel like that. I just wanted to share my photographs of swinging Tehran: the music, the weddings and the warm joyful nights out....

 

Since traditional media and journalism outlets, especially newspapers and television have always been owned by the state, regimes have been adept at manipulating these media platforms....

 

Journalists across Pakistan are under continuous threat. According to a report titled 100 per cent Impunity for Killers, 0 per cent Justice for Pakistan’s Murdered Journalists: Crime and Punishment in Pakistan’s Journalism World, released by the Freedom Network 

 

It’s hardly surprising that there would be similarities in the language used by Breivik and the Christchurch suspect. The shocking thing is how much of their rhetoric can be found in the mainstream media and political discourse....

 

As propagated by neo-Orientalism, Muslims are inherently incapable of achieving modernity and their religious teachings are inconsistent with the Western foundational principles of democracy, human rights, and gender equality....

Indonesia has also ratified eight core international conventions on human rights. These provide even stronger standards that Indonesian journalists should follow in pursuing the functional truth in their reporting....

 

There should have some ethical standards and regulations regarding broadcasting the news and storylines grounded on the policy of harnessing communities and promoting global peace not dividing the world into pieces....

 
Threat to Media in Pakistan
Threat to Media in Pakistan
Sanchita Bhattacharya

In a society fixated on ‘righteous’ conduct overwhelmingly defined by religious extremism and militarized hypernationlism, journalists have come to dread violence for doing their job. With repeated physical attacks, fear has taken over the media, resulting in unprecedented self-imposed censorship....

 

In contrast to Turkey, Saudi Arabia enjoys empathy in major segments of Pakistan’s population, hosts a sizeable Pakistani community, has strong support among the country’s religious scholars as well as ties to influential militants whom the military is seeking to ease into mainstream politics, and funds religious media outlets....

The mainstream Bangladeshi media give wide coverage to her press conferences bashing the Khaleda Zia-led Opposition, the Bangladesh Nationalist Party, but it seldom asks tough questions on the increasing number of random enforced disappearances of journalists, activists and former diplomats who are critical of the government, and the arbitrary arrests and detention of political opponents....

 

The Qur’an, “A divine writ, which makes clear everything” (16:89), has addressed the issue of media outlets as a tool of mass manipulation. It has primarily warned of propagandist news from three sources: First, at the hands of a corrupt system, second from a government that legislates (legitimises) the corruption and third an elite class of people, all of whom have vested interests in shaping the thinking of its audience to their benefit. The most-oft related story in the Qur’an is that of Prophet Moses (a) and The Children of Israel.....

 

Allah (swt) tells us in the Qur’an, “And do not follow that which you do not have knowledge of. Certainly your hearing, sight and heart – all of them – will be called to account for it (on the Day of Judgement)” (17:36).  In response, those who take lightly this warning and are misguided by false knowledge, Allah (swt) foretells such people will say, “Oh but if only we had listened or at least used our intelligence.” (67:10)....

Why Islam and Muslims Need a Fair Media
Moin Qazi, New Age Islam
Why Islam and Muslims Need a Fair Media
Moin Qazi, New Age Islam

Sadly, 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....

 
Why Muslims Need Their Own Media House
Arshad Alam, New Age Islam
Why Muslims Need Their Own Media House
Arshad Alam, New Age Islam

Muslims are also reported in the mainstream media through their ‘peculiarities’, particularly in terms of their religion. Thus stories on triple Talaq, polygamy and such issues gain wide prominence within the mainstream media. A bit of research would tell us that polygamy is more among Hindu castes than Muslims, but when there is a discourse of relating a community to the practice of its religion, and then all facts and figures are given a go by. The problem is compounded by the well-entrenched belief among the media establishment that Muslims are best represented by the Ulema. And thus we have in television studios Muslim religious clerics who through their ignorance and trying to reduce everything to religion, end up giving a bad name to Muslims.....

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 television sitcoms....

 
Media in Pakistan Is Under Siege
Ambreen Agha
Media in Pakistan Is Under Siege
Ambreen Agha

Working under 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....

 
Egypt's Writers Fear Increasing Restrictions
Albaraa Abdullah
Egypt's Writers Fear Increasing Restrictions
Albaraa Abdullah

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.....

 
On Arab Press Freedom, Tunisia Shows the Way
Diana Moukalled
On Arab Press Freedom, Tunisia Shows the Way
Diana Moukalled

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....

 
Media Spins Islam Then and Now: A 1979 Time Magazine Article about Islam
Dr. Ileana Johnson Paugh
Media Spins Islam Then and Now: A 1979 Time Magazine Article about Islam
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....

 
Why Does Terrorism Dominate The Headlines?
Tariq A. Al-Maeena
Why Does Terrorism Dominate The Headlines?
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....

 
Journalists And Terrorists
Mumtazer Turkone
Journalists And Terrorists
Mumtazer Turkone

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.

 
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