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.
The Daily News
A very strong message to the 14th World Editors’ Forum held in Cape Town – media reporting and commentary must be fair.
As the print media has proven its worth by the increased circulation people like fair comments and verified facts. On issues of religion, extreme caution must be exercised and facts need to be verified before being published. After 9/11 Islam phobia inadvertently finds its way into newspapers, resulting in a wrong perception of Islam and Muslims.
Wishing the forum a fruitful and successful congress.
Your report on substance abuse (Mercury 21/08/07 Page 3) indicates that the consumption of drugs and alcohol are high on the list.
Addiction to both these harmful substances is a scourge in our society. The only difference between them is that one is legal while the other is not. But in terms of the destruction they cause, both these addictions should be dealt with applying the same degree of severity.
I am sure that by now society is fed up with the trail of destruction left behind and the countless untold damages inflicted upon the lives of addicts and those around them. People have become zombies, vagrants, thugs, criminals and liabilities in society because of these notoriously bad habits.
Some will find it hard to swallow the idea that alcohol has more bad than good, but this is a fact. The number of accidents caused as a result of drunken driving in this country is beyond imagination. Our roads have become death traps and soon a state
of emergency will need to be effected.
The government needs to maximize sentences on drug and alcohol abusers. Together, the law enforcement agencies must play their part clamping down on offenders and ensuring that they face the full might of the law.
It is about time the government clamps down on corruption within its system as your reporter states, "Govn takes strides in battle against corruption" (01/08/07).
The good news is that as opposed to the past lethargic stance on the subject, the government is now actively taking up the challenge of alleviating fraud and corruption.
Corruption has always been a hot issue as is the case with crime.
Surprisingly, so little was being done to combat it while so much was perpetrated with the knowledge of many people. The positions people hold should be regarded as a trust and therefore they should fulfill this trust accordingly.
Thumps up to those fighting corruption!
"The recent discovery of the benefits of circumcision in reducing the rate of HIV infection has brought this age old practice back into focus. Circumcision was promoted as a religious rite or practice in most major world religions, including Judaism, Christianity, Islam and others, references of which are found in the respective scriptures. To this day, almost all observing Jewish and Muslim males are circumcised. This practice is very much prevalent in most of Africa as an important tradition. The Xhosa youth are initiated into manhood through various rituals, one of which is circumcision. Circumcision, from an Islamic viewpoint, is regarded as one of the salient aspects of the religion and is viewed as a practice of all the Prophets of God. Among the benefits of circumcision claimed by Islam, is the issue of hygiene and the protection against multiple health disorders, which is achieved by circumcision alone, for when the foreskin is not removed, urine, semen and other secretions can collect under the folded skin and this area becomes the site of painful infections from bacterial growth. The minor procedure of circumcision greatly simplifies the maintenance of basic hygiene. New medical evidence in the recent years is pointing increasingly to the large number of medical benefits associated with circumcision.
A number of medical journals and publications have associated major medical advantages to circumcision. These documents now urge medical practitioners to fully inform parents of the benefits of having their male children circumcised. Doctors have discovered that circumcision affords protection against infections, including sexually transmitted diseases (STDs). Other medical benefits include reduced urinary tract infections, elimination of penile cancer in middle-aged men and, in addition, in older men, a decrease in urological problems and infections. And the latest discovery being the reduction of HIV infection due to circumcision. Hence every Muslim male is required to be circumcised as young as possible, preferably before reaching puberty. There is no requirement for female circumcision in Islam as is commonly misunderstood. Where the circumcision was not done earlier on, and the grown up male is not in a position to tolerate or bear the pain of circumcision, or there is fear of harm being inflicted on him, then circumcision could be avoided. However, with modern advances in surgical practice, it is an almost painless exercise these days. Nevertheless, the uncircumcised male has to ensure that the area beneath the foreskin is kept very clean because, in Islam, body hygiene and cleanliness is obligatory before offering the five daily prayers."
While price hikes of basic necessities have soared at an alarming rate with
little impact on some people (the rich), the majority are really feeling the
pinch. The escalation of food prices has caused havoc in the lives of many,
the poor are getting poorer, hit by waves of price increases and shadowed by
the high rate of unemployment.
It is time to reflect on the sad and pitiful state of the poor people and
consider their plight as the situation gets worse, day by day. Unemployment
has further exacerbated the suffering of many South Africans. Too many are
living below the poverty line and the government needs to address the issue
as soon as possible.
As a start, may I suggest that food outlets install baskets at entrances for
customers to donate food items to assist the neighbourhood community.
The Daily News
Well done, Mr Mbeki - aiding Congo to get back on its feet. Now, how about doing the same for your immediate neighbour - Zimbabwe?
Zimbabwe should perhaps be your priority. The country is turning into a ball of fire.
Don't wait for a Congo crises which ended in a disaster.
South Africa has the ability to lend its support to salvage the present
I refer to the many articles on Minister Manto.
As a South African, I am very disturbed by the daily barrage of allegations against the minister. The allegations on theft, excessive drinking and fired from her position when serving as a doctor in Botswana is definitely not a good image for South Africa.
Perhaps all the checking and the background should have been done before the appointment of such a high profile appointment. I only hope that this fiasco ends quickly and in a good note. Ironically, whenever there is some enquiry/inquiry then peoples’ past is under scrutiny and the situation turns ugly with all kinds of remarks and allegations. In fact, there were instances where statements were made without proper verification and as a result it caused unnecessary problems.
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.