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Muslims urged to utilize media to counter smear campaign.

Byline: Arab News

(Category: Kingdom)

JEDDAH: A senior journalist from Kerala has called for serious efforts to counter the smear campaign against Muslims in India and worldwide. Speaking at the inauguration of a six-month journalism course in Jeddah at the weekend, Kassim Irikkur, news editor at the Madhyamam daily, said: "Now is the time for some of the best in our community to take up journalism as a mission."

The six-month journalism course being organized by the Jeddah unit of Risala Study Circle is Kassim Irikkur's brainchild. Irikkur, who has been active in the field for the last 20 years, felt Muslim media professionals needed to work on creating successful grassroots campaigns to correct the mainstream media's negative perceptions of Islam.

"This tendency in the media to associate all acts of terrorism with Muslims is deplorable. More often than not, it is deliberate. One way to counter this is to have our own people, well qualified and well trained, to undertake the task of informing others about the deception that is being played by the media," Kassim Irikkur said, adding, "Let is be clear: We don't just need engineers and doctors, we need journalists too."

Risala Study Circle is the student wing of Samastha Kerala Sunni Yuvajana Sangham (SYS). The group draws inspiration from All-India Sunni Jamiyyathul Ulema General Secretary Kanthapuram A.P. Aboobacker Musliyar. The RSC's latest initiative is aimed at raising awareness among Muslims of the importance of media.

SYS Kerala state secretary Muhammad Paravoor said extremism had no religion. "Recent findings have proved that those who were maligning Muslims were the ones indulging in anti-national activities," he added.

Siraj Wahab of Arab News, who inaugurated the course, said if Muslims were to become successful journalists, their primary concern should be objectivity. "We may belong to any school of thought but our primary concern as journalists should be to uphold truth, only then will people listen to us, only then will they understand our point of view."

P.M. Mayan Kutty of Malayalam News, Risala Study Circle Chairman Kabir Saqafi, SYS Saudi National Committee President Syed Habeeb Al-Bukhari, SYS Kerala state secretary Majeed Kakkad, Naser Anwari, Muhammad Ali Faizy Waynad and Najeed Kodungalloor also addressed the gathering.

Copyright: Arab News 2003 All rights reserved.

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Publication:Arab News (Jeddah, Saudi Arabia)
Date:Nov 24, 2008
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