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Islam and the Media (29 Sep 2014 NewAgeIslam.Com)

Haram Headlines



By Ekrem Dumanli

September 28, 2014

Pro-government media have again all printed the same headlines this week. Their publications have recently been giving the impression that they are acting like a choir. This time, their scenario was based on things that are Haram, or forbidden in Islam. They published headlines reading “Haram bonus” or “Haram bonus operation.” The reader concludes when looking at this common strategy that they are either communicating telepathically or they are being instructed by the same center to make these reports.

 Going back to the Haram headlines, their publications and reporting suggest that media outlets known for their pro-government stance pay particular attention to what is Haram and what is not. Well, given that they write headlines with the word “Haram,” they should be particularly careful on this religious matter. But this is not the case.

 Let me first summarize the bonus case and then I will elaborate on the attempt to manipulate public perception the pro-government media has been carrying out.

 The bonus system, frequently practiced in security agencies, is an attempt to improve the economic conditions of the security officers working under strenuous conditions. Given that the current discussion is about the police, let us take a look at the practice there.

 The bonus system for the police involves the following stages: 1) Bonus commissions draft a list at the provincial level, which is subsequently handed over to the local police chief. 2) The police chief reviews the list and gives it to the governor. 3) The governor reviews the list, which is then communicated to the human resources department of the central police department so that they can determine whether or not the individuals entitled to the bonus are on leave. 4) The preliminary board receives the list to decide whether or not the bonus is justifiable and makes its final recommendation. 5) The bonus commission makes the final decision based on the reviews performed in the previous stages.

 Of all those involved in these five stages, who would be blamed by those attempting to manipulate public perception? Almost nobody. They first publish the photos of the police officers who were involved in the Dec. 17 corruption and bribery investigation; they give their names in lists. Why? Because they were entitled to some bonuses. So this means that receiving a bonus based on this five-stage process is a crime.

 Additionally, they distort the numbers to give the impression that these police officers did something that is prohibited by Islam. They argue that these police officers received large amounts of money as bonuses calculated in terms of their salaries; but they actually avoid giving the exact figures given that the salaries they are referring to are pretty small before additions. In any case, the amount of any given bonus is somewhere between TL 45 and TL 300. The reader is led to believe the police officers received thousands of liras in bonuses. But this is not the case.

 The pro-government media have a different goal. They are particularly angry because of the firm stance of the police officers who were placed under arrest. They just want to divert attention from the decisive stance of the parents who stress that their sons neither did anything wrong nor wasted state resources. They are further intimidated by the defiance of the detained police officers who say they never crossed the lines drawn by Allah. For this reason, now they are trying to give the impression that these police officers committed sins.

 This is a futile effort. Why, because none of these people implicated by the pro-government media have actually done anything illegal or unethical in pursuit of their own interests. The decisions for the bonuses were carried out by commissions; they never favored anybody in their decisions. And those who received bonuses never interfered with the process. So is it not misleading readers to argue that these people committed sinful acts just because they were entitled to bonuses in accordance with legal procedures? Because this is the case, now people are asking how these bonuses could be considered Haram.

 If you argue that the practice is just wrong, then you should make efforts to change the legislation and practice. But the practice continues. For instance, police officers and chiefs appointed by the government after Dec. 17 awarded themselves bonuses. Would you believe that Mustafa Gülcü, deputy police chief and chair of the bonus commission, gave himself the largest bonus possible under the laws? Another example: Police Chief Orhan Özdemir, who conducted the bonus operation, has received 533 bonuses throughout his career. But nobody is asking: “Well, what did you do? If this is a crime, why don't the pro-government media report it?”

 The pro-government media do not really care about the concepts of Haram and Halal. If they did, they would not have told so many lies or published slanderous reports about innocent and honourable people. They are, on the other hand, disturbed by the innocent people who were placed under arrest because they stood firm.

 My colleagues who comply with the wishes of the government and adopt a hostile attitude based on those wishes: Please declare your assets over the last decade so that everybody can see what you have acquired in this period. You should do this so that all of Turkey can see why you act like this and tell all these lies.

 The state has all the records of my assets; your services know everything about me. In the meantime, the villas, palaces, yachts and summer houses of those who serve as CEOs just because they are sons-in-law should also be declared. The public should be informed about the activities and clever choices of the “political Islamists” of the past, who used to struggle financially and are now thriving and making big bucks in different industries including construction, transportation, education and health. This will help people see just how sincere the people are who publish stories claiming to know what is Haram and what is not.

And there are also those who have made a lot of money through public institutions, semi-public institutions, friendly companies and advertising and production companies; it is hard to see any shred of sincerity in what those columnists write because a columnist who is made rich by someone else will inevitably comply with the wishes of his or her benefactor.

 I wish the media would pay genuine attention to crucial issues like the concepts of Haram and Halal and listen to the voice of conscience. Only then will this country get rid of lies, slander and unethical practices. To get there, we need to start with the shoeboxes filled with money, the luxury watches and the illegally purchased villas. When this happens, many people will feel ashamed and become aware of the realities and the truth. If you feel ashamed, you take a different path; otherwise, you and your supporters will be oppressed by the burden of your own sins. You will not be saved by telling lies about others because the ancient memory inside you will always invite you to your origins.

Source: http://www.todayszaman.com/columnist/ekrem-dumanli/haram-headlines_360166.html

URL: http://www.newageislam.com/islam-and-the-media/ekrem-dumanli/haram-headlines/d/99308


  • turkey is well on its way to becoming a sunni extremist state. the armenians had better watch out.

    erdogan has steered the country out of the kufr of liberalism to the tauheed of violent monotheism. he shames hijab less women tv anchors. his wife dons the head covering as a signal to the ultra-conservatives.

    it remains to be seen if the army once again trims the slack or lets it run. many religious bigots in the army have been promoted to important positions. its just a matter of time before the police and the army are polarized so completely that violence will seem very welcome.

    turkey is on the slippery slope. anywhere in the world when islamists take over, the results are sickeningly predictable. maldives, indonesia, malaysia, pakistan, or any other islamic supremacist country.

    they never fail to disappoint.

    By hats off! - 9/29/2014 3:00:57 AM

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