Tuesday, November 07, 2006

The Invisible Muslim Media

Crisis in Our Mist,
A Time for the Invisible Muslim Media to Wake Up!

How many blows will the Muslim community take before realizing the great need of a stronger, revitalized Muslim News Media (especially in the west)? Today’s media fails to produce fair, balanced reporting. As a whole, reporters and writers are not asking tough questions, ignoring vital news stories and investigations. Had Watergate happened in today’s time, it would surely been just a footnote behind the latest entertainment story. Muslims are particularly at a disadvantage. Very few (if any) crimes against Muslims are reported on network news or crime stats period. Crime is out of control as well as pornography yet Muslims remain “Public Enemy #1.” Although American are questioning the war in Iraq and the “Official Commission Report,” the attitude towards Muslims, and Islam remains the same-negative.

Media moghuls have set an agenda to promote anything anti Muslim, pro Neo con and pro Zionist making their stations the mouth piece of George Bush and the Republican Party. It is obvious that the major newspapers and network news programs are under their spell, tricking the American public to believe that the enemy is Islam, Arabs, Iran and any country that poses a treat to Israel. For this reason, many editors of top newspapers have resorted to un-reporting, un-scrutinizing and un-challenging top issues of today. Muslim are constantly portrayed as villains and terrorist, while Israel is portrayed as the loyal friend, the underdog and the victim of Arab, Islamic aggression, when the Israeli government has been conducting racial genocide eradicating Palestinians for their homelands.

In every debate on the open border issue there will be some mention about the threat of terrorist coming into this country from Mexico. Even some Mexican immigrants have noted that there are not “terrorist” or Al Qaeda., yet notorious gangs and criminals have crossed over (this is well documented). Again Muslims are the scrape goats. In this whole immigration issue Muslims would fall on top if education, crime rates, marriage ratios and income would be tabulated. The Media does not attribute anything positive to Muslims as a whole, so it is our job to report these things..

Top radio host are relentlessly bashing Muslims and Islam like never before. Unthinkable comments have crossed the airwaves, with not even the slightest rebuke or outrage from the listening public. The focus is nearly always on terrorism. Arabs, Muslims and Islam are constantly on the hot seat- as if the Oklahoma bombing, Una Bomber and the Anthrax attack never happened. Terrorism is constantly linked to Islam in some way.

Much of the public as a whole has been blinded by their own bias and double standards. No group in history has been branded by their religion as the Muslim people. Ever heard the term Jewist, Christianist, but surely you have heard the insulting term “Islamist” or “Jihadist.” How insulting to take one’s religious terminology and fashion it to something very negative. This term flows from the mouth of seasoned reporters, news anchors and political leaders who should know better. There is no consideration for the Muslim people. Islam is a religion practiced by over a billion followers, “Islamist” is a made up term use to brand every Muslim who defend themselves or who strictly adheres to their faith, a threat to democracy, to peace- in other words , a terrorist. Where is the outrage from the Muslim community? The Muslim media. Some Muslim organizations have begun incorporating this terrible terminology into their writings! It is the duty of both the Muslim Media and Muslim leaders to address this issue head on with a plan of action.

Each and every islamophobic propaganda pimp whether they are a producer, political organization, lobby, editor or writer should be flooded with letters of outrage from the Muslim people and friends in a unified systematic way. Unfortunately, the Muslim Media by in large have been reduced to a silenced lamb without any real strategies in place to mobilize nationally and internationally, combating this front and center attack on Muslims, Islamic countries, and Islam. Some have decided hold a dried uu olive branches after each and every event. Organizations are quick to offer an apology for everything in the sun, even concede guilt after 9/11, but there are no apologies when a masjid is bombed or an innocent Muslim is murdered. From their counterparts. ? Remember the rush to judgment during the Oklahoma bombing No one is talking about it today, because that would force this nation to come to grips with their own double standerans and hypocrisy. It would force many to ask the question why? The hyprocracy would be too hard for them to handle. We all know what happened to the Ohahoma bombing story, it just went away, and very few in the mainstream media is asking how or why.

Most Americans are not aware of the filter down process that takes place behind the scenes of network news (See the documentary called “Out Foxed”) and also newspapers. This process often leads to a propaganda stew filled with all sorts of inaccurate watered down biased stories. Look at the case with 9/11. The major news media refused to investigate many unanswered questions. The “official story” was not challenged, even when there was conflicting evidence leading to a variety of shocking revelations (tons of documentaries have already proven this point). Sadly, many have relied solely on TV for their news, which has already proven to be highly bias and unreliable.

One huge problem at this time is the lack of media resources in the Muslim Community. Those who really want to see gut renching highly informative, believable stories have to look for alternative sources. This means spending time investigating and conducting their own personal research. The information is mind boggling. The internet has become the last frontier when it comes to the media. There is an infinite number of websites dedicated news. But the problem comes in when a Muslim is looking for news written with the Muslim perspective in mind. A large percentage of Muslims use news links from non Muslim sources such as the Associated Press, and top newspapers.

Much information is not flowing in the Muslim community. Muslim radio programs are not reaching a large group in our community, they are understaffed, under budgeted and are not reaching the national market. The internet gives them a farther reach, however, it is only limited to internet users. Pod cast gives producers and listeners a few options, listeners can save programs on their computers to be downloaded at any time and be heard in more traditional platforms such as car speakers.

A little note about Muslim radio programming. A well organized radio talk show will have interesting guest speaking about the news of the day. A charismatic host makes all the difference in the world. This person should have a good understanding of political issues and how they relate to Muslims. The producer should not be afraid to take on controversial issues such as gay marriage, 9/11 and abortion. The person needs to be a good communicator and have a command of the English language. When all of these things are in place, the need of support from the Muslim Media is pivotal. If a program gains support, syndicating the show could be the next step and an excellent way for exposure in different markets nationally or internationally. This requires some degree of cooperation in the Ummah.

Divide and concur has always been the achiles heel of the Muslim community. Muslim need to be encouraged vote, mobilize and participate in the political process. The public is waiting for Muslims to organize. More Muslims are running for political office and winning like never before. A strong Muslim media voice could accelerate this process.

The mainstream American media has failed on so many levels; however this is a good opportunity for Muslims to pick up the slack. We know that the controlled media is clearly being used as a tool of propaganda often times with strong ties to Pro Israeli Jewish owners, who’s alternate goal to keep the hate and fear going so that American will be won over. We Americans have become programmed into being frighten, Harly any national media outlet talks about the real issues such as domestic crime, kidnapping, child pornography, drugs and Aids. The stories of the day are always Osama, Osama and Osama when the informed public knows he is dead.

It is the responsibility of Muslims to speak for Muslims and not let others define Islam or the Muslim positions. Tony Blair has stated the need of Islam to be changed, and “modernized”, in order to appease Western objectives, and the Western way of life. Prince Charles had the nerve to make the same statement. This arrogance, hypocrisy and double standard should be exposed and not ignored.

Look at today’s headlines. “Congressman Accused of Sexual Misconduct with Minor Page.” “Texas Women Drowns her 5 Young Children,” “President Clinton accused with Having Sex With an Intern,” “Missing Child found Dead, (child was raped and strangled) “ According to the CDC (Center for Decease Control, “More than one in five U.S. pregnancies ended in abortion…” In 1973, 615, 831 babies were murdered, and by the 90’s there were over a million abortions. Some babies are brutally murdered legally from a procedure called “Partial Birth Abortion” where the “fetus is turned to a
breech position, if necessary, and the doctor pulls one or both legs out of the birth canal, causing what is referred to by some people as the 'partial birth' of the fetus. The doctor subsequently extracts the rest of the fetus, usually without the aid of forceps, leaving only the head still inside the birth canal. An incision is made at the base of the skull and a suction catheter is inserted into the cut. The brain tissue is removed, which causes the skull to collapse and allows the fetus to pass more easily through the birth canal. (Wikipedia). There is no anesthetic for the baby.. This crime is same in a nation that is frequently called “Christian.” Such issues could unite like minded God fearing people into political action.

The United States has the highest crime rates of any industrial nation, and “The number of people behind bars in the U.S. has doubled since 1990, and now numbers just under 2 million, an incarceration rate on par with Russia” (Public Agenda). The Pope quoted the late 14th century Byzantine emperor Manuel II Paleologos who made highly inaccurate and bias remarks about Islam being spread by the sword, but of course no mention was made about the shameful crime rate in American or abortions. The statistics of the American pornography industry is shocking. This industry generates more revenues than the NFL, NBA and Major League baseball combined. Hollywood releases 20 times more pornographic movies than the mainstream movie industry. (LA Times Magazine 2002) Much materials viewed is child porn Leaders conveniently find and excuse to trash Islam and Muslims, yet refuse to deal with the real issues in their own communities.

The Jerusalem Post in an editorial is quoted as saying “The best way to disconnect Islam form its fanatic intolerant expansionist and exclusionist image is to sever the connection with violence. Christians and Jews don’t dispatch suicide bombers to martyr themselves in God’s name; they don’t issue death sentences against non –conformist authors or threaten proponents of alternative views. Only Muslims nowadays practice the ideology of hate and seek ….Muslims who think otherwise need to be heard….” Again another code word for changing Islam to fit the comfort levels of Zionist and other who refuse to allow Muslims to practice their religion in peace uncontested without bias hate filled ideology from others. Shouldn’t’ the Jerusalem Post be discussing human rights and democracy?

It is the responsibility of today’s Muslim Media to combat lies and propaganda with truth. Attacks must be faced with a professional resounding unapologetic counter. Muslims should not politely accept constant insults. Bush, Blair and Prince Charles need to be checked for insulting statements made time and time again about Muslims, Islam, Jihad etc….There should be an out pouring of commentary, letters to the editors, producers on these issues. Remind them that it is not “the extremist” who are high jacking Islam, but it is those that claim to be experts outside of the Muslim Community who spew hatred and hypocrisy enjoying large profits from

Its is time that leaders serious make efforts to build a strong professional Muslim media. It is imperative that more Muslims get into the field of Journalism. Support Islamic Newspapers and radio programming. Let the invisible voice of Muslims be heard thorough a stronger Muslim media.

Karema Akifah Saleah, Editor of
Iqra! Newspaper


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