Madinat al-Muslimeen Islamic Message Board
|Media power: A solution to the conflict ?|
|07/14/01 at 14:38:34|
|Arab media need to seize the initiative to change the image of Arabs in the West, Arab League Media Commissioner Hanan Ashrawi said yesterday. "There must be an initiative rather than just reactions," said Ashrawi, who was appointed the Arab League's first Media Commissioner on Wednesday.|
She told Reuters in an interview the Israeli media had been working for years to achieve the Jewish state's goals while the Arab world often failed to understand the media. Ashrawi, who has a high profile in Western media as an articulate defender of the Palestinian cause, said she was not a spokeswoman for the League but would help formulate "an Arab information strategy".
Ashrawi said Israel knew the importance of the media, and quoted Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon as saying that winning the struggle was 80-90 per cent dependent on its effectiveness.
"But the Arab world in many cases does not understand and even misuses (the media), scoring points against itself," she said. "Arab public opinion is suffering from the absence of free media and readily available information... What is important is how to change Arab speech from an instrument that serves narrow interests to an intellectual and political inspiration."
Arab media were active only from time to time and tended to react to events rather than being proactive, Ashrawi added. It would need a huge budget to match the Israeli media machine, which she was supported by large organisations in the West, particularly in the United States.
A lack of Arab political action had forced Arab media to resort to fervour, as in its coverage of the latest Palestinian-Israeli violence, Ashrawi said. "In many cases, Arab media have covered events... but selectively and with a lack of political analysis," she added.
She criticised the depiction of Israeli officials as Nazis, saying such comparisons had a negative impact in the West. She also said the nomination of a woman as media commissioner showed the world that Arab women had a say in policy-making.
The new post is part of an effort to revamp the Arab League begun by former Egyptian foreign minister Amr Moussa since becoming secretary-general in May.
(Cairo Reuters 13-07-2001 )
Muslims. Awake! The curtain has risen, its time to act.
Now, I ain't talking here about those programs (which is usually seen in Middle east) where some old and retired guys sit and talk for hours on topics that are boring even for the host of the program. (let alone the boredom of the viewers).
Muslim world do have some channels, but they are mere 'takers' of the reports fed by Reuters, CNN or BBC. And how much relevant ara these for the Muslim world, it is widely known. Same is the case with newsprint!
Media is very important for the development of the Ummah. For it is the command of Islam to "verify the truth when someone brings you a news". The "lie incident" which forms an integral part of 'sura Nur' throws enough light on the importance of the 'right information' at the 'right time'.
Muslim media has to approach following the method of Ibn Khaldun, the Arab sociologist of medieval age.
TV channels should go for spontaneous programs than just talk shows. Muslim based acting and arts school should open. But the goal should be to 'cultivate the HEART, and not just the intellect.'
Muslims have been hiding from the world's stage for centuries. We have suffered much. But now the curtain has raised, its time for the play to start.
Allama Iqbal has something to ask the media hungry Ummah:
"How can the angel go in hiding, when the devil is making merry?"
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