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Books and Documents

Islam and the Media

Peeping Inside a Free Media
Ayesha Siddiqa

The Pakistan media industry is touted to be vibrant and fiercely independent. But such a reputation has been built on a shaky foundation The media in Pakistan has indeed been one of the stations for fighting military dictatorships ...  The Zia years were known for its draconian laws to curb media freedom. Press censorship ensured through martial law terrorised journalists who seemed to challenge the military regime....

Is The Internet Fuelling Sectarian Divides?
Jahanzaib Haque

Shias. Sunnis. Ahmadis. Baloch separatists. Sipah-e-Sahaba. The Pakistan Army. The PTI. The PML-N. The MQM. Ultra-nationalists. Liberals. Conservatives. Put members of these loaded terms into a room and invite them to chat — this would approximately mimic what the internet has done for Pakistan’s interest groups by way of interaction — but wait, does it translate into interaction? Not really. The Shias interact with the Shias. The Sunnis with the Sunnis, and so on....

 

Spotlight on the Fourth Estate
Tanvir Ahmad Khan

Pakistan’s media derives its power and glory from the country’s chequered history. Spells of authoritarian rule worked against what the Czech playwright-president Vaclav Havel called the “plurality, diversity, independent self-constitution” of life ; parliaments, national civil bureaucracies, business associations, universities, platforms of creative pursuits , student bodies all succumbed to instruments of coercion....

 

Censorship and Islam in Malaysia: No Room for Dissent
Joseph Mayton

In Malaysia, it's not only those working in the media who are finding themselves increasingly under censorship scrutiny. In a recent development, the censors are even targeting those who purchase what has been labelled "forbidden literature" – the latest work by the liberal Islamic feminist Irshad Manji… Zunar explained that the government controls all the newspapers and television and radio broadcasts, leaving no room for dissent….

Netiquette, Not Censorship: Right-Wing Hate Speak On Social Media Needs to Be Monitored
Sagarika Ghose

Self-professed supporters of Narendra Modi and Subramanian Swamy specialise in abusing what they call “paid media”. For them, “whore”, “bitch”, “Congress pimp”, “Muslim-loving whore”, “Congress-funded media” are all in a day’s work. While abusing journalists is a far lesser evil than abusing religious minorities, the daily invective and defamation by hundreds of Twitter handles speaks of an organised campaign.

Consider the following, excerpted from an article that appeared on the editorial page of the Sahāfat (Delhi), dated August 10, 2012. … The article bears the title: "World Community's Silence on the Massacre in Burma." The translation is almost verbatim, but badly fails to produce the rhythmic rhetorical force of the original:

“I am stunned. The massacre of Burmese Muslims has become so common, and so shamelessly bold, that it is hard to find a parallel to it in human history, even after much searching. This game of hatred is not being played for the first time. Repeatedly the Muslims in that country have been made the target of the tyranny and oppression of the Buddhists. The news appears in the papers, then disappears. But this time the Muslims have been slaughtered on such a scale, so ruthlessly, and in such an organized manner that we can only say: God save us.

“It seems that the Buddhists are not human; they are like wild animals, and their nature contains nothing but barbarism and a thirst for blood. Why are the Buddhists so wrathful toward the Muslims? Did the Muslims take away their properties? Did the Muslims extinguish the lamps in their homes? Did they destroy the watering channels to their fields? Did they cast lustful eyes on their women? Did they beat them up for no cause, or harmed them in any other way? Did they inflict tyranny of any sort on them? …”

Pakistan Media and Terror
Khaled Ahmed

It is often said that the media in Pakistan is free as never before in history. It is performing its role as the fourth pillar of the state holding the executive to accountability through revelation. But can it criticise the terrorists and some weaponised religious organisations and survive? Its intense anti-Americanism often appears to be a gesture of appeasement to the terrorists….

 

The media business has real, tangible effects on the ground, changing opinions and hardening prejudices. Pakistan has enough elements leading it towards the dark; at least those that set themselves up as the guardians of the light should actually perform that task — or risk having restrictions placed upon them at some inevitable point in the future....

 

Why Is Assam Burning? Ask The Media
Aijaz Zaka Syed

In fact, listening to the finger-wagging television pundits you would think the entire northeast has been taken over by Bangladeshi infiltrators and Pakistani terrorists and Delhi and thousands of its security forces and intelligence agencies haven’t the faintest idea!  Extreme as it is, Times Now — from the Times of India stable — is hardly an exception. There are many out there who routinely tap into this reservoir of hatred and our deep-seated fear of the Other.  Is this how responsible media should function? What’s the difference between this scare mongering and the Nazi demonization of Jews? ...

A New Age of Racism: Why the Leveson Inquiry Must Investigate Anti-Muslim Bigotry
Dr Nafeez Ahmed

The facts are in. Over the last two decades, British media coverage of Islam and Muslims has been overwhelmingly negative, stereotypical, inaccurate – and racist. And a range of journalists and editors from across print and broadcasting media in the UK concur that the problem is bad enough that the Leveson Inquiry should urgently investigate how to hold the media to account for this shocking lapse in journalistic standards....

 

After Instigating Conflicts With Christians, Jews And Hindus, Do Islamists Now Want Muslims To Fight Buddhists: Social Media Is Lying to You about Burma’s Muslim ‘Cleansing’
Faraz Ahmed

Social networking sites are abuzz with news about Muslims being killed in Burma. You can see the sporadic posting of pictures by different people with captions like ‘Muslims killing in Burma’, ‘Muslims slaughtered by Buddhists in Burma’ and so on. ...

Obaidullah Baig: The Symbolic Death of Pakistan's Mastermind
Farah Zahidi Moazzam

The genius of Baig lies in a number of facts. The fact that he did not have scholarly education and was actually the product of Maktab based education in UP, yet so accepted was his status as a man of knowledge that a majority not just assumed that he was a trained scholar but revered him as one. ....he had simultaneous grip over subjects as varied as wildlife, ancient mythology, anthropology, scientific discoveries or simply the people of the world. And was also a writer, a prolific documentary film maker and one of the most well-known faces of the Pakistani intelligentsia....

 

How Can the Media Better Cover Religion?
Mike Ghouse is President, Foundation for Pluralism, Dallas

The media can earn respect and foster understanding by telling the truth, and writing stories about how a conservative, liberal and a moderate person views his own religion, rather than what a pastor, rabbi, pundit, imam, shaman or a clergy tells about other's religion. Religion as a part of daily reporting is relatively new, and is taking root over the last decade. Most major papers have a full time column devoted to it. A few have a daily column, like the Washington Post and Huffington Post....

Journalists Pay Ultimate Price in Search for Truth
Mustafa Qadri

IT was on May 31, 2011 that Saleem Shahzad’s broken body was found in Mandi Bahauddin, several kilometres from his home in Islamabad. Abducted, tortured and murdered, the journalist had previously complained of attempts to intimidate him by the powerful Inter Services Intelligence agency (ISI). And still the death toll rises. At least three journalists have been killed this year in attacks that appear related to their work. It is time for some measure of justice for those who have paid the ultimate price in their search for truth. ...

 
'Objectivity' Is Deceit
Farooq Sulehria

'Objectivity' Is Deceit
Farooq Sulehria

As we know from the works of numerous researchers and scholars, most notably Noam Chomsky and Chris Herman’s seminal study Manufacturing Consent, objectivity is deceit. In the first place, it is a vague and an ambiguous value. Robert Hackett and Yuezhi Zhao characterise “objectivity” as an interrelated complex of ideas and practices which provide “a general model for conceiving, defining, arranging, and evaluating news texts, news practices, and news institutions”….

The Art Of Writing An Urdu Column
Tazeen Javed

I envy op-ed writers of Urdu newspapers; most of them are not encumbered with the notions of relevance and coherence. If one reads Urdu op-ed pieces for a week, it becomes clear that the art of writing an op-ed in Urdu is quite straightforward. It mostly starts with a story of a brave king of the days long gone… At times, I have even looked into Dastan-e-Amir Hamza for references but the stories were so fantastical that I could not find them in the centuries-old tales of Amir Hamza….

Not to Forget the Expenses on Electronic Gadgets: The e-Lunch Is not Free
Farooq Sulehria is a freelance contributor

Again, free of cost. However, what we keep forgetting is the amount we spend on owning a computer, the monthly Internet fee, computer accessories, headsets, webcams, and what not. There is an endless list of other gadgets besides the computer.  What also remains hidden is the cost we pay as taxpayers on building and maintaining a telecommunication infrastructure necessary for our staying online. …

Islam, Muslims, Media
Asghar Ali Engineer

Islam, Muslims, Media
Asghar Ali Engineer is a scholar of Islam

Islam and Christianity were never rivals as religions but political rulers were and they fought against each other and which created powerful prejudices in the minds of followers of respective religions. The crusades were most zealously fought and these crusades left deep impact on their minds. Turkey became one of the world’s greatest empires and penetrated right up to central Europe. This too left scars over the memories of Europeans….

Pakistan: Saleem Shahzad Case -Rule of Law or Rule of ISI?
Syed Saleem Shahzad

Freedom of expression is one of the essential pre-requirements for the practice, protection and promotion of democracy. The truth about the life and death of media professionals in Pakistan is a shocking one. International human rights organizations like the Asian Human Rights Commission and Human Rights Watch have publicly accused the Pakistan intelligence services of being behind his killing. …

 

Marie Colvin: A Brave Journalist

We are saddened and angered by the news. But we would not know about these and other examples of man’s cruelty to men, women and children without people like Colvin and Ochlik. Journalists — when they do their job well — are the conscience of the world and the guardians of truth and morality. Yes, Colvin is right: good journalists and their reports do make a difference. (Photo: Marie Colvin) …

The writer Taslima Nasrin has hit out at a "growing cancer" afflicting Indian society, identifying a increasing "appetite for censorship" after the second high profile literary event in less than a month was cancelled amid concerns over security. "Writers and artists have become the soft targets of religious extremists," she said. "The authority tries to appease either Hindu fanatics or Muslim fanatics in India.

A Pakistani Magazine South Asia Wins Nomination for the 2012 Genesis Awards

SOUTHASIA Magazine (Pakistan) wins the nomination for the 2012-Genesis Awards. This is an Oscar equivalent given to Media for promoting the case for Animal Rights. SOUTH ASIA magazine (Pakistan) "Importance of Animals in Islam" by an Islamic Scholar Nilofar Ahmed, "Animal Ethics and Social Justice " by a Supreme Court Lawyer Anees Jillani, and a commentary by Syed Rizvi a regular contributor on New Age Islam. The articles by Nilofar Ahmed and Anees Jillani was already posted on NewAgeIslam.com’s site: ...

So Who Will Watch the Watchdog?

This is exactly why in traditional newsrooms there exists a firewall between the editorial and marketing divisions. The corporate side of the media house has to look at the balance sheet, but expecting the journalist to do the same is not only unfair, it undercuts the very basis of journalistic principles. Proprietors who treat their media business like any other business end up falling into this trap,...

Mitti pao” (just forget about it),” the senior grave-digger shrugged his shoulders as he busied himself with his latest earthy assignment in a cemetery which was still open to the public. “Why should it bother us whether it is the Farishta government or the Shaheed? We do not discriminate, do we? We have no business with the immortals. And we know both the Farishtas and the Shaheeds are immortal … Mitti pao.”-- Ashaar Rehman (photo: Saadat Hasan Manto)

Pakistan’s media were accused of glorifying the killer of Punjab governor Salmaan Taseer who had criticised controversial blasphemy laws. And when a cleric called on TV for a member of the minority Ahmedi sect to be killed, there was little outcry when someone did so the following day. Some subjects, it seems, are deemed too risky for comment by the media. -- Nosheen Abbas 

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NEW COMMENTS

  • generally it takes a lot more words when you have nothing to say. this article is a good example. typical case....
    ( By hats off! )
  • Mr. John, would you please say good bye to the idea demonstrated in your comment. Your idea is not yours but has been borrowed from ...
    ( By Ghulam Ghaus Siddiqi غلام غوث الصديقي )
  • The stages are: 1. Realization that Islam (or any other religion) is a good religion and feeling attracted. 2. Acceptance of the new religion and practicing ....
    ( By Naseer Ahmed )
  • The Muslims took their law from the Romans and the Jews. Islam is Medieval and is not practicable in the modern society.
    ( By A. John )
  • Rohingyas were mercilessly slaughtered by the Myanmar army in a well planned ethnic cleansing. Does Hats Off know what he is talking about?
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • Where is the need for making such thoughtless and wild allegations against the writer of a harmless piece?
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • most of the islamic nations somehow (miraculously) manage to have a very low minority burden but the populace starts screaming...
    ( By hats off! )
  • the legendary emigre word soup maker is back again with another of her mixed vegetative soup, served with some semantic mincemeat and assorted grammar....
    ( By hats off! )
  • When one can allege that the U.S. government can be complicit in attacking its own Defense Department's Pentagon building in the capital city...
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • "How did it fracture like brittle bone then if it wasn’t melted" - mr. naseer ahmed. that sentence is a jem...
    ( By hats off! )
  • GM Sb is a doctor but his education may not be relevant to what is being discussed. What can I say about his intelligence when ...
    ( By Naseer Ahmed )
  • Islam does not want its followers to go the extremes of hardship. Allah Almighty says in the Quran, "Allah intends ...
    ( By Ghulam Ghaus Siddiqi غلام غوث الصديقي )
  • Hidayat, the Arabic word, literally means guidance, instruction, righteousness or the true path. The word hidayat is comprehensively....
    ( By Ghulam Ghaus Siddiqi غلام غوث الصديقي )
  • Mr Qazi has very correctly pointed out the message of moderation in the Quran, an aspect which the Muslims...
    ( By arshad )
  • Naseer sahib imputes that I had implied "any random destructive force or fire can cause a high rise building to collapse...
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • Oh really? What does GM sb comprehend? That any random destructive force or fire can cause a high rise building to collapse along the path ...
    ( By Naseer Ahmed )
  • Mohammad Hussain, Christianity makes it as a duty for the citizen to wage war to save one's country if war is thrust!'
    ( By Joyson Duraisingh )
  • Ak Bhat, Al( the) + Ah ( God)= The God'
    ( By Joyson Duraisingh )
  • Joyson Duraisingh the non muslims have freedom to worship in their own way . It is an estabished ....
    ( By Ghulam Ahmad Dar )
  • @Gulam Ahmad Dar No consensus on idol worship, whatever may be the consequences
    ( By Joyson Duraisingh )
  • Secularism is very important .we should not divide the Indians. All are equal.pl.dont show your gods in public..they are statues.maintain .....
    ( By John Vedhamuthu )
  • Dinabandhu Nayak you are right,sir'
    ( By Akshaya Sahu )
  • Mohammad Hussain Manusmriti has been diluted since long. No body has seen this scripture perhaps except you.Hinduism is a auto adjusting ...
    ( By Akshaya Sahu )
  • Dinabandhu Nayak sir, slavery is unknown to Hinduism - cruel joke at its zenith!'....
    ( By Joyson Duraisingh )
  • There is nothing as gazwa-hind like things in islamic scruptures.as far as the word kafir is concerned...it simply means non-beliver.this is not for non-muslims....but ....
    ( By Reshi Siftain )
  • Stop Talibani bagdaddi culture respect SUFI Ahmediays etc be respectful to others'
    ( By Rudra Kumar Varma )
  • Islam will dominate the world insha Allah'
    ( By Muzafer Sheikh )
  • @Rakesh Rawat and Rabindra Dutta Roy But the refugee Muslims are much eager to enter into U S for living. ------and calling US as terrorist. ---
    ( By Rabindra Dutta Roy )
  • Why leave the great USA.
    ( By Rabindra Dutta Roy )
  • @Rabindra Dutta Roy onslaught concept is inhetited to muslims by the very Qoran. The word "Kafir" and "Gajwa e Hind" is itself a discriminatory, inflammatory ...
    ( By Rakesh Rawat )
  • The Prophet said, "And beware of going to extremes in religious matters for those who came before you were destroyed because...
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • it is very nice, India has Prime Minister that talks of Ganesh Surgical Transplant. Here we have ....
    ( By Aayina )
  • What is hidayat? When God gives hidayat, is it the same hidayat that is given by his prophets ...
    ( By Kaniz Fatma )
  • Dear Ghulam Ghaus Saheb. Before putting his opinion, Allama Ghulam Rasool Saeedi (RA) himself admits that it is my own research, He writes: ہماری تحقیق کے ...
    ( By misbahul Hoda )
  • Hats Off's criticism of this article is contrived and hollow.
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • Allama Saeedi has not given details of abrogation [naskh] in his Tibyanul Quran. When writing Tibyan, he himself benefitted from the usuliyeen such as Allama ...
    ( By Ghulam Ghaus Siddiqi غلام غوث الصديقي )
  • looks like the easiest thing to become today is a two-cent islamic expert. every "researcher...
    ( By hats off! )
  • We want to end triple talaq, not just pay lip service to the cause....
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • janab! to kya saeedi sahab ke nazdeek sir Ayate saif ko bunyad bana kar kisi Ghair Muslim, kafir o Mushrik ko Qatal karna, bela wajah...
    ( By nazir banarasi )
  • Totally irrelevant and inane comment from Hats Off.
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )