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 Sunday Times
One cannot help wondering whether Prof. Hussein Solomon is sincere in his views about South Africa being used as a terrorist platform. His claims thus far have no bearing – not the slightest evidence – actually far from his claims.
If some self-proclaimed Al-Qaeda member steps onto South African soil and is apprehended then does this mean and/ or imply that South African Muslims are involved in terrorist activities. For that matter, if a South African is caught carrying illegal weapons on South African soil does that mean South African Muslims are engaged in terrorist activity? Such an analogy is ridiculous and ludicrous.
The Prof. needs to substantiate with evidence his claims and not mere speculation. Just as he was bold enough to make the claims then on the same strength provide evidence which I am sure the Muslim community of South Africa will take appropriate steps in a full investigation and enquiry. Prof. we await your response in the name of justice and peace.
Aside from the fact that load-shedding is now back with us we are further confronted with the shocking news of very high electricity tariff hikes in the future.
All consumers will be very hard hit by these tariff hikes.
According to Eskom the electricity supply situation is critical.
This means that we have to brace ourselves for more blackouts.
Load-shedding and power supply cuts are an entirely new and unexpected phenomenon in our country.
Eskom has a responsibility to give us reasons as to how and why this crisis has emerged and why there are load-shedding discrepancies countrywide.
I refer to Eskom's proposal to charge the middle class and rich South Africans for electricity used by the poor. While we should be compassionate towards our fellow citizens and assist wherever possible, I think Eskom is asking a bit too much.
I would like to suggest that the government cut down on its large and lavish conferences, millions swallowed through corruption, officials flying high and on helicopters, etc. Once our administrative matters are sorted out, God willing, millions will be available to assist all South Africans.
But to squeeze certain classes of people will be unfair. This will also dampen the spirits of such people who will then have no choice but to migrate and we cannot afford the brain drain.
The Daily News
It is pretty late to cry over spilt milk considering the carnage, colossal damage and destruction in Iraq. The world is gradually picking up the sticks and understanding the loss of lives and misery caused by ‘miscalculations’ or simply ‘lies’.
The only concern after five years of occupation is the loss of 4000 American troops. A small number of sober reporters have realised the worth of "American intervention". Although it is too late to count the dead and turn the clock, it seems that by the end of the American pullout of troops – Iraq will be worse than Afghanistan in terms of infrastructure.
What a shame – no WMD ever found – yet they shamelessly continue to pursue their goal – proudly planting the American flag as they plunder oil from the Iraqi people. The world is helpless – too afraid to speak out and be in bad books with Big Brother.
The Daily News
Frightening as it may sound but we South Africans must face reality – thieves, robbers, muggers and criminals are queuing to strike at the next load-shedding point. It's lights out and criminals are busy at "work".
Unfortunately we have become sitting ducks and vulnerable to their activities. I feel sorry for all decent and law-abiding citizens who face the stark reality of living in fear. Police need to become more vigilant in load-shedding areas, especially at night.
I would also like to express my concern with regard to the old age-homes, institutes for the physically challenged and the hospitals. Surely, the authorities can be considerate and allow concessions for these places
The TimesForty teachers die of the deadly AIDS virus every month in South Africa. That's a big number of skilled people amounting to a colossal 480 per year.
One wonders what the situation in all the other departments is. How many skilled people are we losing on a regular basis? The AIDS epidemic is a living nightmare and the number one cause of deaths in our country.
Perhaps the department needs to make urgent contingency plans to overcome and stabilize the situation otherwise a great number of our children will suffer and be deprived of basic education.
The bill, proposing a ban on an entire range of “non-lethal” weapons, is being presented for public comment. We, the public, are not aware of the exact definition of “non-lethal” weapons. This could hypothetically mean that a street vendor cannot display a knife to cut fruit or prepare food. It could also mean that if an artisan is found with a sharp instrument, like a screwdriver - while looking for a job, he may be implicated and charged for carrying a weapon. The proposal is to be presented before parliament in a strategic move to combat crime. More time is required for public comment and debate.
Price hikes have everyone worried. The cost of the most basic commodities like fuel, electricity and food, etc. has increased all at once and has burdened South Africans.
Sooner or later we will not be able to take the strain of the rising cost of living and we will become desperate.
One wonders as to the reasons the government is so desperate for funds. As an ordinary citizen I understand that the government needs more funds to prepare for the 2010 World Cup. The cost of the construction of stadiums are only one of the many bills to be paid.
Winning the World Cup bid and the reality of hosting the event in terms of cost is overwhelming.
I believe that we South Africans have to brace ourselves for a continual rise in the cost of living.
There needs to be clarification on the issue of Muslim women travelling in Malaysia and the trafficking of drugs. Muslim women may travel either with their husbands or accompanied with a male family member whom she cannot marry e.g. her father, brother, son, etc. Also, in some instances, a large group of women may be permitted to travel a long distance. However, it is not possible to explain all the details in this space.
Islam prohibits all forms of dealing in, trafficking and the taking of drugs. The Islamic Law on conditions of travel for Muslim women and dealing in drugs are two seperate issues.
The Daily News
Most South Africans are fed up with the crime rate. To those who have not yet been victims of crime it is only a matter of time before that happens.
The remarks made by the deputy Minister of Safety and Security, although irresponsible, is welcomed by many in South Africa. Her statement comes at a time when the crime level has reached 'boiling point.' Perhaps it is an indication that the government has realised the gravity of the situation. Many lives have been lost because of our crime rate and the minister has 'realised' this.
Our police force is under heavy pressure by having to cope with criminals who are better armed than them. All South Africans are at a much greater risk and more vulnerable because of this. For however the minister's statement is perceived let us hope that it is a turning point of our government to act against crime with urgency.
If our government hesitates to act, May God Almighty protect us all.
According to statistics the level of crime has dropped in South Africa. However, actual crime in our society is a reality.
The man in the street is the person most affected. Each day we see and hear of this reality of criminal activity when our neighbour, friend, and most of all, when we either become a victim or somebody who has survived to be able to tell the story.
I assume the government is still of the opinion that crime is in control and that the police are in full control of the situation. This is definitely not the situation. South Africans have become so immune to robbery and criminal activity that only when someone is killed then it is regarded as a case to be recorded.
Hundreds of murder cases have not been solved and only a very small percentage of ruthless killers have been brought to book. This is a very frightening, dangerous and sad situation.
It is indeed mischievous of those who are calling for President Mbeki to be removed from office before the end of his official term. A man who has served South Africa for almost two terms is now not good enough to complete the balance of term in office!
Members of the ANC who are calling for his removal from office sound as though they are hungry to take office. This stance unwittingly discredits their own organization - the ANC. No one statesman in the world is free from making human mistakes and President Mbeki may have made some political blunders. However, the timing of the call to end his presidency is inappropriate.
Let South Africans on the African continent lead by the example. Let us, in honour of Nelson Mandela, proudly and strongly lead ahead in the spirit Ubuntu.
One cannot deny and hide the fact that the disappearance of the state's money, in many instances, is a common practice.
The R124 million earmarked for the poor must reach the rightful and deserving people
Although the amount allocated for the coming year is small, the fear of it being misappropriated is high. Fraud and corruption is the order of the day in South Africa. Some people in high places and the authorities are having a field day devouring the money of others and especially that which is allocated to the poorer sector, who, as always, are the first to lose.
Our government must employ strategies to combat the growing corruption of a sizeable group of fraudsters prowling our shores. In the absence of a national watchdog our situation may worsen and something must be done before it is too late.
Black magic at cemetry
Mufti Zubair Bayat, of the Darul Ihsan Centre, in Sea Cow lake, said black magic was "strictly forbidden". "According to Islamic teachings, practising black magic is a sin. Conducting these acts at a gravesite is not acceptable and strictly prohibited."
He said Muslim cemetries were regarded as "sacred ground and mourners and visitors were warned to treat dead with respect. Bayat added no rituals were allowed to be conducted at grave sites, and warned people to beware of engaging the services of herbalists and falling prey to conmen. "We have launched a wide scale educational programme at mosques to educate our people about such ill acts. It is evil and people need to refrain from such behaviour.
The xenophobic attacks on foreign nationals have now been condemned by most South Africans. However, the statements made by some political leaders that such attacks could lead to a civil war are uncalled for.
We don't need to instil fear into our locals and create a state of media hype. The media in general play and control the minds of many people which sometimes can be for the better and at other times detrimental to a particular situation. There is no need to panic. The government needs to educate its citizens, reach out to the people and address their concerns.
The Daily News
In response to "Cars in Blue Lights" most South African motorists are sick and tired of this dangerous and criminal situation. It is also shocking to know that the authorities are not only aware of this situation but are also not doing anything about it. It is indeed sad that in our democracy and our beautiful country of mostly law abiding citizens we have to tolerate these types of people.
These people, irrespective of who they are transporting, are not above the law. They should be setting an example to others.
In South Africa we already have an extremely high incidence of accidents due to dangerous and drunken driving, unroadworthy vehicles and unlicensed drivers, etc. The authorities must act immediately and prevent this dangerous situation.