The Muslim Judicial Council (S.A)
Sr. Nabeweya Malik
Tel: 021 684 4636
The Media Department (MD) was established 9 years ago to address the increase of Islamophobic reports and distorted images and perceptions portrayed about Islam and Muslims. The need for effective quick response to address the constant bias in news reports was recognized by Mlna Ihsaan Hendricks, who met with Iqbal Jassat, the Chairman of the Media Review Network in order to establish the media department in 2006. The department was therefore established to provide a voice that would encourage the media to uphold the ethics of journalism by providing the public with balanced and fair reporting.
Being cognizant of the historical effects of biased reporting designed to stigmatize, vilify and marginalize certain groups, the department engages with the electronic and printed media directly or when necessary via bodies such as the Ombudsman, ICASA, BCCSA etc.
The department which was initiated to address and monitor the media for islamophobia during a time when local media was influenced by international media which supported the US Administration during their “war on terror” has evolved over the past 9 years and included many other functions which would enhance and effectively address the misunderstanding about Islam. Thus, we have adopting a three pronged approach, the first being the Public Relation functions, then the reactive and proactive function. This process has stimulated discourse on various media platforms where discussions on Islam, Muslims, their traditions and culture has improved relations.
Channels are kept open by disseminating all media statements and articles to both Islamic and mainstream media, as well as uploading onto the MJC’s website. By normalizing relations, we continue to increase understanding of Islam and creating healthy interest in the affairs of Muslims. Open discussions has resulted in requests for Muslim theologians to provide information on Islam, its teachings and requirements. This is critical for Muslims who recognize the power of the media and therefore increasingly use the structures of the media to speak for Islam and not allow others to portray the religion according to an agenda.
In order to effectively address concerns on a collective and national level, the department networks with media monitoring groups such as the Media Review Network, SAMNET, Jamiattul Ulama Media Desk, journalist and private individuals.
Building good relations
Relationship building with media and community would generally facilitate discourse on eg. Ramadhan significance, hijab, inheritance, Halaal, dietary requirements etc. Complaints from Muslim community regarding their democratic rights to observe hijab, attend Jumuah would also be addressed by the department. These complaints often require media discussions to educate the broader community on Islamic teachings and the rights of Muslims in our democracy.
The department also conducts interviews as requested by media or refers them to a suitably qualified Alim.
As media is the most powerful tool which influences the minds of the masses, this department requires additional members who are dedicated to monitor media outputs in order to ensure that propaganda, incitement, islamophobia and hatespeech is managed efficiently and addressed in order to preserve the well-being of the Muslim community in South Africa.
Contact our Department
For all enquiries and concerns related to Media – please send us a mail and we will get back to you as soon as possible.