Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Media Jihad

the original link to this article is here

Following the 9/11 attacks, there was a call within the Muslim community of South Africa to persuade our youth to study media and communication, journalism and its related trajectories. Previously, it would seem that only medicine, law or economics was a viable option after matric. Sure enough, numbers increased. Coming from a media background myself, I was delighted in the surge of numbers wanting to educate themselves about the media, with the hopes of maybe one day providing an alternative to CNN that was less biased. Many journalism students entered the field yearning to be the next Robert Fisk or Jon Pilger. The question I ask now is, how do we as Muslims use the media as a vehicle for Jihad and dawah?

It is essential to give a working definition of media jihad to explain what I mean by it. There are five kinds of Jihad in Islam. The Jihad that I refer to is known as Jihad bil Qalam/ilm (Jihad of the Pen and Knowledge) This is the struggle for good against evil through scholarly study of Islam, Ijtihad (legal reasoning), and through sciences (medical, communication science etc). Media Jihad would imply using the media as a vehicle for clarifying distorted images of Islam or even increasing awareness of Muslim activities. We must not get into the trap of using Media Jihad only as a reactionary tool. there are many encylcopedias ( Wikipedia comes to mind) which people use to research Islam. Muslims should make sure that the information that goes into these resources and learning tools is accurate and truthful. If we do not fill these spaces, others will.

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