Muslim Association of Malawi (MAM) has asked Muslim journalists in the country to use right media platforms and be accurate when reporting their stories to avoid giving a chance to Islamophobes.
In an exclusive interview with Malawi Muslims Website at the Quran House on Wednesday, MAM Chairman Sheikh Idrissa Muhammad said his organisation is worried with the way Islam is being castigated in other media outlets where it is believed that Muslim journalists also post their stories.
He said that Islam is currently the fastest growing religion in the world, which has forced many people to create numerous misconceptions and propagandas about it.
“…you can tell it by looking at the way Islam being castigated in other non Muslim media platforms. They [non Muslims] run away from commenting on the actual (reported) story and start talking bad about Islam, which is very sad indeed. So, as one way of avoiding giving them that chance, it would be better if the reporters would have been using the right channels because we cannot say that we don’t have our own Islamic channels now. We have an Islamic radio [Radio Islam] as well as Malawi Muslim website in place, where they can find people of common interest [unless the target audience are non Muslims],” said the Chairman.
The Chairman further said that it is important for Muslim journalists to crosscheck their information with relevant authorities before they publish any story concerning Muslims or Islam to avoid misleading the masses.
“Unlike non-Muslim journalists, Muslims have also to be cautious when reporting and writing their stories. They should write them within the Islamic context. Do not write stories that may cause squabbles or create enmity among Muslims in our community,” he said adding, “The perpetrators should not forget that on the day of judgement, they will be answerable to whatever they do.”
Sheikh Idrissa Muhammad also expressed his disappointment with the way other Muslim journalists report their stories where they quote MAM even when the association does not know anything about the story, which he believes create confusions among Muslims.
“Look! There is a story that appeared on a certain online publication of which I believe it was written by a Muslim where they said Imran Omar received K100, 000 from Peter Mutharika through MAM yet we don’t know anything about that. Those things, as it is being reported, happened in the morning yet we arrived at the function in the afternoon. And what Malawians should know is that what MAM actually did at that function was to donate K200, 000 to the Dawah Association and nothing else. Everything was done by themselves and we were just the guests. So, we wonder how the MAM element is coming in in that story because even in my speech, I didn’t talk anything about politics, which is why we are saying it is good to verify the story with those involved before publishing it,” said the Chairman.