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Books and Documents

Islam and the Media

This is a short introduction to the world of Persian bloggers and their daily use of the tools. This, therefore, is not an outline of events and names. Bloggers have emerged, they have started new projects and many of them have eventually shifted their attention to another endeavour or have retired for different reasons. From the onset of the Weblogestan, as the inhabitants of the Persian blogosphere tend to call it, different players have come to the stage and have faded away. This is the story of their achievement: how eight years after Salman Jarriri's first Persian blog post no one exactly knows how many Persian blogs there are. -- Arash Kamangir

 

We can admire the prescience of these writers; we can also despair over what lies ahead for Pakistan, and what shape the country might take. This tragic phase has coincided with an incredible flowering of literary talent. With the state withdrawing from exercising even a semblance of authority, several authors of Pakistani origin or heritage have seized the space, writing seminal works that provide clarity in our absurd times. Maybe exceptional strife spurs imagination--think of Samizdat writers during the Cold War--although responding to the crisis is not the overt intention of any of Pakistan's fine novelists. -- Salil Tripathi

 

“We have faced pressures from the state and threats from non-state actors, such as jihadi groups. We have faced pressures from Pakistan’s feudal lords and from its religious zealots and yet we have persevered and refused to lapse into silence,” said Mazhar Abbas, secretary general of the Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists and host of an ARY talk show in Washington, who was visiting the city along with other Pakistani journalists at the invitation of the Woodrow Wilson Centre.

 

I also believe the Muslim community can only move forward intellectually, spiritually and politically if we can engage as intellectual warriors in a civil, peaceful conversation about even that which may offend us. Even the Qur'an (31:19) enjoins us to decorous debate: "Lo! The harshest of all the voices is the voice of the ass,  writes Asra Q. Nomani.

 

The Jewel of Medina controversy: Once upon a time, Sherry Jones was a Montana newspaper reporter who dreamed she could contribute to world peace with a novel about the prophet Muhammad and his feminist leanings. Then she wrote it. Today? She’s the target of a Serbian mufti and a Middle Eastern studies professor with a lawyer.

The International Islamic News Agency (IINA), the media wing of the 57-member Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC), will soon undergo a major face-lift in order to play an effective role in highlighting Muslim causes and bolstering Islamic unity. “We have appointed a specialized company to restructure IINA and have begun the long process of rebuilding the agency,” OIC Secretary-General Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu told Arab News. The IINA restructuring is part of a 10-year action plan approved by the emergency Islamic summit in Makkah, he added.

 
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