Among other things, it’s usually noticed that some groups do have a dirty habit of conveniently using the main stream media to promote a negative image of ‘Islam and its followers’ despite the freedom of religion in Canada.
According to Malcolm X, “The media is the most powerful entity on earth. They have the power to make the innocent guilty and to make the guilty innocent, and that's power. Because they control the minds of the masses.”
In fact, the media does have the capability to generate public opinion as intended to satisfy the vested interests. But, the problem is the ‘unfriendly attitude’ of the main stream media towards the Muslim community.
Also, the competition among the media businesses is in a desperate need of giving the truthful information by being objective and balanced in reporting.
On the other hand, biased journalism stemming from the main stream (non Muslim) media is too injurious to maintain the required balance, as it does nothing but poison the raw minds of the non Muslims in general against the Muslims in particular.
Unfortunately in some cases, the main stream media appears to be biased towards Muslim when giving misjudgment without in-depth knowledge about the practicality of Islam.
Therefore, an inadequate presence of Muslim media adds to fuel further desperation for the Muslims; the presence of mischievous elements in the media threatens the formation of logical public opinion.
Some unqualified media persons are more dangerous when attempting to represent the Muslims because of their ignorance, discriminatory attitude or their little knowledge about Islam. They are accused of misinterpreting Islamic teachings for their failure to understand the proper context.
Beyond doubt, the media through radio, television, newspaper or internet has the capacity of connecting and bridging communities.
Specifically, the internet is a gold mine of accessibility enriching the minds of the users positively or negatively – all depending on what you really look for through face book, twitter, blogs, emails, and the list goes on and on.
Several communities of different ethnicities have their own media to safeguard their interests.
Similarly, the Muslims are looking for a decent way out of the ongoing frustrating situation. They are becoming active more than ever and getting closer to helping the main stream media.
Fortunately, the Muslim media of today has genuine encouragement to become more and more assertive with an improved degree of confidence. In other words they are more involved and getting closer to be competitive even in the commercially focused media market.
Better late than never, the Muslims are comfortable to troubleshoot the negative status quo through their own electronic and print media. They are catching up gradually and hopefully would be able to free the Canadian audience of Islamophobia. Misreporting, exaggerating or ignoring coverage for the Muslims did lead to the formation of such independent voice of Muslim community through their own print and electronic media throughout Canada.
As the Muslims are legally entitled to proceed in an organised manner to protect their faith, their media too is equally entitled to publish literature to give the true picture to the general public regardless of ethnicity, color or creed. Thank God, a good bi-weekly namely “The Miracle News” is published in Surrey, British Columbia, it serves the local population through its unbiased reporting which is available to consumers and the business community.
The fact is media is always bound by a code of ethics to continue as competitive and credible under all circumstances. A successful journalism has to be conscientious, because presenting the distorted facts is unethical and unlawful.
In addition to the print media, a daily Muslim presence in the broadcast media and the internet would correct the anti Islam feelings among the non Muslim Canadians. Once Muslim media is in full force on daily basis, the Muslim youth would definitely be encouraged to benefit, preserve and strengthen their Islamic identity.
The good news is several media people of integrity understand the essence of journalism. The Islamic Society of North America (ISNA) publishes “Islamic Horizons,” Islamic Circle of North America (ICNA) publishes “The Message” and there are many other publications by different mosques. Also, there are Monthly, Bi Weekly or Weekly News Papers and several other publications by Muslim Students' Associations.
Since, the mainstream media has been unable to address the issues of different communities equally; therefore, a daily basis English Medium Muslim TV, radio including all other publications would only enable all communities to understand what Islam really is!
The Muslim community of Canada is fully entitled to enjoy equality and justice when it comes to their unattended or mishandled issues. And, the Canadian non-Muslim community deserves to find out more to re-establish their view point of the great religion of Islam.
We can’t tolerate a biased media which is also focused only on commercialization, as it becomes irritating for intelligent audience.
Moreover, utilizing Muslim friendly apparatus, pro-Islamic media advocates may go ahead with repairing the tarnished image of Islam. Regularly airing of the constructive interfaith dialogues can be further fruitful.
At least, the Muslim media should go beyond commercialism and give a deep thought about nation building as well.
However, the youths of both genders must participate sincerely to promote Muslim businesses through advertising. They should come forward as volunteers to address social issues through writing articles in the local Muslim News papers.
Surely, they would be contributing for the noble cause through their efforts, so that the Muslim population is facilitated to merge with other Canadian communities with ease and pride.
The Muslims deserve to be accepted as politicians, social workers, economists, educationists but at par with all other Canadians. The Muslim business people must actively engage in using the Muslim newspapers for promoting their business through their commercial Ads.
Truth is Muslim media with integrity and full Islamic knowledge is better positioned to publish/broadcast for the benefit of all Canadians. Nevertheless, presenting true image of Islam as a religion of peace, tolerance and justice remains a challenge for Muslim media indeed.
The bottom line is Muslim media should continue to focus on achieving the goal of nation building based on balanced truthful journalism on merit.