Watching the watchers

When news media chooses to give coverage to divisive organizations, it only further legitimizes said organization. Without media coverage, it’s just background noise.

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Daily Mirror (mainly, among others) was my go to source for news in Sri Lanka. It used to be. Then I switched to Asian Mirror. Now, I’m considering switching away from Ada Derana.  Why?

In Sri Lanka, we have notoriously divisive organizations stirring up communal violence, now and again. And, I’d like to NOT contribute to the presence of articles that give coverage to such organizations, which in turn give legitimacy.

When news media chooses to give coverage to divisive organizations, it only further legitimizes said organization. Without media coverage, it’s just background noise.

In the past three years, Daily Mirror, Asian Mirror, and now Ada Derana (among English medium sites) have been increasingly, giving voice (a.k.a coverage) to otherwise non existent extremist organizations.

During my short stint in the news media, I was able to understand how the industry operates. It all boils down to profit for the company. And like the sale of a printed copy of a newspaper counts as profit, so too, does a page view.  I don’t want to be counted on as a page view, which in turn drives up revenue due to advertising on these sites.

Why would news sites carry articles of such a nature? Well, it sells (more views, shares, etc…).

A decade ago, expressing negative sentiments regarding a particular religion or community would have been seen as uncivilized, or uneducated. What changed?

The next time you see a link to an article about some fellow claiming that Muslims are becoming extremists or that Muslim culture is against national interests, please, think twice before clicking on it or sharing. Most likely, the headline is just click bait.

In this age where information is freely available at the press of a button, we need to be more responsible in the information we choose to consume. I haven’t visited the Daily Mirror site in three years. I have chosen to not visit such news sites. And if enough of us start doing this…. Insha Allah.

In a crowd of people, who are all talking, the one that gets the most attention ends up influencing the rest.

 

PS. Insha Allah, I hope to post another article on alternative sources for staying up to date with current events.

 

Where is the ‘salam’ in Assalamu Alaykkum?

One of the biggest fears the Rasoolullah (SAW) had for his Ummah (a.k.a us) is that we would fight amongst ourselves based on differences of opinion. This is why he said that Islam has come to liberate the people from the ignorance of tribalism, nationalism, etc… Islam is about diversity, and tolerance.

assalamu alaykkum.” It’s something you hear from another Muslim (or from a savvy non-Muslim). But what does it mean actually? Are you parroting it just because it’s expected? Or do you actually mean it?

And what does it mean to actually mean it?

At the least, it means you don’t mean any harm to your brother/sister in Islam. At the most you are making dua that this person should be blessed with peace.

It a world filled with fear, mistrust, and hate, it is important to understand the hikmah (wisdom) behind this prayer to one another.

Why did the Rasoolullah (SAW) instruct his followers to use this instead of an Arabic equivalent of ‘Hello’ or ‘Greetings’?

When you actively train your heart to intend well to another person, you develop tolerance and unity, and, ultimately, brotherhood.

One of the biggest fears the Rasoolullah (SAW) had for his Ummah (a.k.a us) is that we would fight amongst ourselves based on differences of opinion. This is why he said that Islam has come to liberate the people from the ignorance of tribalism, nationalism, etc… Islam is about diversity, and tolerance.

But, wait.

Isn’t that exactly what we have fallen into, as an Ummah? Each group with one ideology is at each others’ throats. Islam doesn’t need enemies from the outside, Muslims themselves have become the enemy to each other. Even shaythan might feel envious of this state.

Please, for the sake of Allah (SWT), let go of any animosity you may have towards another point of view among Muslims. So long as they believe the Fard (compulsory) as Fard, and mustahab as mustahab, and nafl and nafl, then see them as someone who has said the same shahaadah (“la ilaha illallah muhammadur rasoolullah”) as you have, and belonging to your extended family. Don’t do shaythan’s work for him.

I speak from experience when I say, the day you intend salam on another person (Muslim or not) is the day you will begin to see salam in your own life.

We say salam to one another, but where’s the salam?

Don’t we want Allah SWT to judge us with Mercy? So, show mercy and compassion to one another in this life.

surely Allah does not change the condition of a people until they change their own condition; and when Allah intends evil to a people, there is no averting it, and besides Him they have no protector.” (13:11)