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
Zimbabwe, the land of a thousand disputes, where price hikes of basic commodities is just as debilitating to the country as load-shedding has been in South Africa. One cannot imagine how the locals survive at such exorbitant prices of basic necessities.
Zimbabwe makes South Africa look like a very affordable country to live in. If my calculations are correct, Zim pays something like 10 million Zim Dollars (R 2500) for a litre of petrol! So us South Africans really shouldn’t complain about next month's petrol hike to R8.00 a litre. A ridiculous price indeed – but just compare that to life across our border.
But somehow, despite everything, Zimbabwe still survives countless economic sanctions and a tirade of political uncertainties. The ordinary observer (like myself) is baffled by the survival of the country and its citizens after having gone through so many upheavals and disruptions countrywide.
Motor-sport enthusiasts spend many hours enjoying viewing the sport, either live or on TV.
Many thousands of litres of petrol are consumed by these sports vehicles on the race tracks of the world.
Yearly South Africans enjoy the A1 racing in Durban.
Ironically, while hundreds of litres of petrol are consumed, South Africans are bracing themselves for another petrol hike next month.
Each time there is a petrol hike the cost of living goes up and the plight of poor and needy worsens.
Officials of the A1 should consider assisting the needy from the profits generated from the racing event.
While the idea of a million-man march against crime may be a move to shake-up the authorities, the lethargic attitude of our government is also largely to blame. Owing to their complacency, the thieves, robbers, rapists and other criminals are having a field day.
Another possible move is to sign a countrywide petition in which South Africans would be demonstrating their solidarity toward fighting crime. People should approach government to strengthen and increase the police force with an additional budget. The public should assist the police by erecting satellite police stations. However together with the ideas, the solution is to actually engage and seek practical implementation.
Housing has always been the number one priority from the side of the government. Of course, shelter is an essential need of every human being and the government has a responsibility to meet this need. Admittedly the demand for homes to the ordinary South Africans in the next fifty years cannot be met.
A report titled, "Power crises threatens to abort property projects" simply extinguishes the hopes of the people. There is not enough power to supply these new developments that will see thousands of homes unoccupied for ‘God only knows how long’.
Some may regard this as an unforeseen circumstance while others would squarely place blame on bad planning. We don't see this in the sales of vehicles; manufacturers make sure of the continuous production of vehicle spare parts. On the lighter note, the halt on housing developments would keep the light burning at the existing homes.
The university saga of blatant discrimination against a group of black people by one group of white people falls in the category of inhumane behaviour. Civilized and sensible human beings cannot act in such vile and barbaric ways.
The perpetrators were not some street people or laymen but an educated bunch of cowards. This thing about initiation at universities must be unconditionally banned throughout the country's institutions. In any case initiation programmes are aimed at fellow first year students not on the general services’ staff.
South Africa has seen an extremely difficult past with discrimination unheard of in any other part of the world. It is indeed sad that since the abolishment of apartheid in South Africa - in the last decade - has changed very little in the minds and hearts of some people. A great applause to the majority of South African indigenous people to have forgiven the horrible past. People committing such dastardly acts must be brought to book and accordingly punished.
The Daily News
Once again, road accidents have taken a heavy toll on our South African roads. The horrific scenes of twisted metal on our roads are the grim reminder of many such accidents some one year back.
The problems are multiple: speed, bad driving, drunken drivers and unworthy vehicles. Just who, and when will all of this be fixed. Your guess is as good as the rainbow nation's guess. South Africans are slowly beginning to live with new driving skills: skipping red robots, overtaking on barrier lines, driving through yellow lines, etc.
The good cops are doing an excellent job albeit a few, bribery and corruption from the part of some drivers and some authorities has a direct impact on the road accidents. Don't these people realise that daily people are losing their lives.
Did the president in the first place make a mistake by introducing the Scorpions as a crime fighting unit? I am pretty sure it must have been a well planned and strategised thought before implementation. After all the Scorpions were an elite unit directly under the President’s wing.
The survey indicates that most South Africans are in favour of this unit which again confirms that South Africans are sick and tired of crime. Certainly the SAPS and all the existing law-enforcement agencies are unable to cope with the spiralling crime rate.
Come on. Is government deaf to the cries of the people? How many people will be slain by criminals before the authorities take the matter seriously? Viva to the "Million march" on crime.
The Daily News
Xenophobia in South Africa is presently an explosive topic.
South Africans are generally accommodating and welcoming of all peoples, especially after the experience of our dark past.
However, the real problem is not one of xenophobia but rather of poverty and unemployment.
Inflation, high and ever increasing food prices, increasing unemployment, lack of housing, etc. is taking a toll on all South Africans.
Foreigners and illegal immigrants have flooded the central business districts and some townships.
They have also found employment with low pay thereby creating fear and unemployment among our citizens.
Our government needs to address this situation as its first responsibility is to South African citizens and, hopefully, xenophobia will fizzle out.
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.