The Media Desk contributes local, national and international news articles for the website and also focuses on news content of the Muslim world. etters commenting on broad issues are also regularly sent to the editors of newspapers Below are a few letters which were sent by the Media Desk and published in newspapers. Bias and negative reporting against Islam has become a very real phenomenon in the media, especially in the international press.
The Darul Ihsan Media Desk primarily monitors the media for Islamaphobic (anti-Islamic) comments and anti-Islamic sentiments made in the mainstream media and interacts positively with media portals conveying the Islamic perspective.
Media Response - Cultures
After having read about the piece on "Muslim Cultures" referring to a three-day event, as a Muslim I feel the need to respond as a matter of clarity.
Islam is a way of life authentically traced through the Divine Scriptures of God Almighty -the Noble Quran- and the traditions of the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH). In other words, the culture of a Muslim is primarily based on these two sources. Islam as a religion should not be misconstrued with family traditions/tribal cultures, etc. that a Muslim may have. Often, people tend to label a following as part of the Islamic teachings which is incorrect. An example of this is the performance of a "dance" as part of the Muslim cultures' event and one would wrongly attribute this to something Islamic, whereas Islam totally prohibits any form of dance.
It is indeed very sad to note that "dog fighting" is alive in some parts of South Africa as your report states. One cannot imagine the cruelty and suffering that these living beings are going through. Obviously, they cannot express the mselves and are therefore defenceless.
The callous and ruthless behavior of people engaged in these terrible crimes probably see it only as a money-making tool , while others experience some sort of thrill from this. It does not make the least of sense inflicting pain and suffering to these creatures.
Don't these people realize that dogs also have life and feel pain? People who display such ruthless behavior should be brought to book and a total ban be placed on dog fighting in South Africa.
Join hands with the anti cruelty groups in support against cruelty to animals.Junaid
Your front page headline “Helen Zille arrested” highlights the imbalance of priorities in our country.
Her fight against drugs is valid and urgent.Yet she and others were arrested for a peaceful anti-drug march.The police should support those who are against substance abuse, crime, etc.
The government should review their approach on those who mean well for our society.Criminals in the drug industry are thriving with arrogance.
Perhaps South Africa should introduce laws against these criminals as in Thailand and Saudi Arabia.
I refer to the article, “Don’t make Iraq our Vietnam”. Please allow me to make a few observations.
Year after year the situation in Iraq is worsening and the death toll is rising to unimaginable levels. Soon the entire Iraqi nation living in Iraq will be wiped out.
The US and its allies conveniently moved into Iraq, killed innocent civilians and wrecked the country all in the name of justice for the protection of peace loving Iraqis and the WMD saga, which up to this day is a mystery.
Now at this late hour, Americans are debating whether to continue with the presence of their troops in a foreign country after so much of carnage and destruction. There is obviously the concern of the number of American troops being killed and families are constantly putting pressure on their government for a troop withdrawal. It is a pity that no concern and feeling has been shown for the Iraqi people. Millions have been displaced, mercilessly killed and the country torn to pieces.
But yet we are talking of not repeating a Vietnam – fearing the loss of American lives. Indeed a very sad situation.
I disagree with Jonathan Zapiro's statement: "Publish with a disclaimer - but don't stop people publishing". He has taken the name of Salman Rushdie and we are all well-aware of the writings of Rushdie and others like him.
It is unacceptable for someone to write about their next of kin in a derogatory, vulgar fashion. Similarly, it is unacceptable to maliciously degrade and slander personalities of the Islamic faith. Then, in the name of freedom of speech, Muslims are expected to be tolerant and accommodating.
This was exactly the case in the Rushdie saga and subsequently other unfortunate situations, the most recent being the shocking, blasphemous cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) by a Swedish newspaper.
This is absolutely uncalled for and only God Almighty knows the real intentions in the minds of people who publish such filthy and nonsensical writings/images.
It is ironic that people are so sensitive about themselves and do not hesitate to sue for defamation of character – why the disparity? Freedom of speech should apply across the board. However this is not the case, and just as well, otherwise the word ‘respect’ would be removed from our vocabulary.
It is indeed sad to observe that in this time and age people can be so irresponsible.
The reaction in last week’s edition was long overdue on the drugs and sex crises in Phoenix and Chatsworth areas. Make no mistake that substance abuse is not confined to only these areas; in fact other parts of South Africa are probably worse hit.
Some communities are virtually held ransom by drug operators.
These unscrupulous scavengers have no mercy in their hearts for even little children. Using children at schools to do their dirty work – used as ‘runners’ – and another shameless thing is offering these children drugs as a means to become addictive. These poor children are becoming exposed to some very dangerous drugs; where the reaction on adults has a violent nature and the consequences are deadly.
The time has come for law-makers to become cold in passing legislation in stiffer and harsher punishment on drug traffickers, kingpins, operators and everyone involved in this scourge in society. The courts need to come down on these people with its full might with the police using all its resources to catch these people who are often known to freely trade in this filthy business.
There is probably nothing better in the field of education than to educate our children on a better and healthier eating lifestyle/diet. Having read your article, “Educate kids on nutrition” is indeed encouraging and motivational.
The point I would like to drive is that schools in the first instance should pave the way to constructing a healthier diet beginning with the tuck-shop/café/cafeteria. Healthy food should be stocked and sold from these premises. Workshops and programmes should be conducted regularly to promote a better diet. Educational programmes should be introduced and extended through the media, and the message widely publicized.
Let us build hope and inspire our children with a good and brighter future.
221 Sunford Rd.
The song, “Umshini Wami” sung by comrade Zuma at the different stage appearances should not be taken so seriously that has resulted in some harsh words exchanged between Zuma and Lakota.
Both comrades have been through the thick of the liberation struggle and passionately fought for the freedom of this country. South Africa cannot afford any division among its hierarchy. Differences will always be there and we should learn to respect that.
Former President N Mandela, set a good example not only for South Africans, but the world: forgive, forget and strive for a better future. The lessons and legacy set by him can be very useful in solving many of our differences especially in the political front.
I refer to the article, “Courtroom walls have ears – lawyer”.
These days even the courts are not safe – tells you a lot of what you don’t want to hear. Privacy is the right of every individual and must be respected at all times.
However, the safety of our courtrooms, police stations and so called safe areas have become equally unsafe. For example, in the last two weeks two incidents of entry by thugs and criminals into police stations were reported. This makes the taped courtroom conservations look like a small issue.
Come on – make our government more responsible and alert on the safety of its citizens and not the safety of the criminals.
I refer to the article, "Zim's culture of coercion". Zimbabwe is no different from many other countries having support from its military power. And this is not exclusive to countries in the African continent but a worldwide phenomenon.
This culture of thinking is set to remain for a long time where in some instances, in the name of democracy, the country is ruled and ultimate power is vested by the military. Nations and countries are largely dominated by their military power and hence exercise their superiority by means of fire-power.
It may be a wise idea to leave Zimbabwe to resolve its critical problems and crises to the Africans leaders and not the US/UK pack as normally done. In order for the African continent to become stronger and independent, a greater degree of responsibility needs to be entrusted on the leaders of the African continent.
Since media reports paint a very grim picture of the Zimbabwe, African leaders need to attend to the issues as a matter of urgency.
It's too late to be complacent – another school pupil is killed, this time in Gauteng. Incidents of this nature are increasingly common. The question is are we really going to do anything about it or wait for another bad incident to awaken us in taking drastic steps to put a stop to this type of unruly behaviour.
Schools have become a marketplace for drugs, cigarette smoking is as common as eating lunch, and pupils have learnt to consume alcohol instead of drinking water. A friendly game of soccer turns into an ugly fight and pupils are seriously hurt – gone are the days of fist-fights. The list of the most terrible things at many of our schools is getting longer by the day.
The government needs to take strong steps in instilling discipline at schools throughout South Africa. Let us work towards a safer environment for our pupils and securing their future.
I was shocked to read the article, ‘When fashion’s a four-letter word’. The colorful print on clothing is beginning to take new strides in its shape of fancy and obscenity of words.
Sensible parents would never allow their children to don clothing that is imprinted with some vulgar and obscene words. One cannot comprehend the level of understanding of civilized and intelligent people wanting to promote such indecent behavior. It is unbecoming of society to light-heartedly accept this attitude and turn a blind eye and allow our children to wear such clothing. If we are unable to protest against the filthy words used, then at least prevent our children from wearing such clothing.
However, this brings me to my next serious objection: our children may not be wearing it but others may do so and as pedestrians, passengers, at shopping malls, etc. some eye contact may be made – a real pitiful sight for our future generations.
Surely we can count the degeneration and degradation of society if we allow this to take place. What next will we have to endure.
I refer to the report on ANC funder taking millions of the nation's childrens' money.
It is very sad and common to hear of such misappropriation of money. Daily we are flooded with some allegation made on people from the govn. and those in the higher circles of society.
The accused could not care less that the money was intended for the school feeding schemes' projects throughout the country. Such indiscriminate activities of dishonest people who can usurp wealth of others especially money intended for a worthy cause, shows the kind of irresponsibleness lurking around waiting to prey on the innocent. This is not out of desperation but greed for wealth, and more wealth.
Often we read about resignations, dismissals and termination of employment at various govn. levels, and in the recent past, the levels of corruptions have escalated drastically. The govn. must fight against corruption at the highest levels and to its fullest capacity in an effort to save the country and its citizens from totally collapse.
Stories emerging from Muslims held at Guantanamo Bay prison are indeed disturbing and utterly disgusting. Surely claims of torture and disrespecting The Divine and last Testament of God Almighty, The noble Quran, are real since a number of people and the print media have reported on this.
The illegal captivity without trial for such a long time is only one of the issues being raised by people around the world. The torture and atrocities being committed are unspoken excepting for the testimonies from the very few who have been released or after a long time been granted the opportunity to speak to their lawyers. Suggestions have been made that U S soldiers deliberately tease and mock prisoners using their religions identities as a means to degrade and defile them. Atrocities of indecency and vile behaviour by US soldiers have reached such levels that they have stooped lower than animals.
It is high time that the Guantanamo Bay prison camp is destroyed!
The Daily News
Sometimes one wonders whether it's worth contributing towards the bills passed by parliament when public opinion is requested. I make reference to the Abortion Bill reported in the D N- "Abortion row Looms".
I can remember some years back the debate on legalizing abortion where a significant number of religious bodies had opposed the bill. However, it’s possible that most South Africans want abortions legalized in South Africa. I for one oppose the legislation.
The case of the 12-yr old girl choosing to abort goes far beyond one’s understanding and common sense. Maturity in understanding only begins to set in after the age of twenty and that’s when reality hits. Prior to that, parents have to guide their children in decision-making.
Let's hope some sanity prevails in the ongoing debates.
I refer to two issues in your Tuesday edition (02/10/07) that made for interesting reading: “Public transport lanes” and “The demerit system”. It goes without saying that both articles were long overdue, however the latter requires urgent implementation.
It appears that our roads have become like graveyards with the large number of accidents claiming lives daily as a result of reckless driving and driving under the influence of alcohol. Many people have lost their lives due to incompetent, inconsiderate, reckless and just plain bad drivers.
The demerit system may help to curb dangerous driving, but together with that, vigilant policing is needed to bring the culprits to book.
Let it not be the normal run-off-the mill passing legislation with no one to monitor and police it. Numerous examples may be cited where legislation was passed (e.g. the wearing of seatbelts), but very little was and is being done to actually implement it. This could be due to a serious shortage of police officers or it could mean that the police are turning a blind eye to what they consider ‘petty’ offences. At the end of it all, it's the little offences that add to the bigger issues and failing at one end opens up the opportunity for numerous other offences and crimes at the other end.
It is high time that taxis especially used demarcated routes and only those lanes specified to them. Not many people have spoken out against the bad taxi drivers, but one imagines that a different set of driving laws should apply to them.
We are all South Africans and need to be treated equally.