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EDITORIAL

Why Do We Need More Muslim Journalists Globally?

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Representation in media is crucial in shaping public opinion and understanding different communities and perspectives. Media, whether traditional or digital, plays a significant role in how society perceives and interacts with different groups of people. It is essential that media accurately and fairly represents all communities, including those that are underrepresented or marginalized.

Unfortunately, Muslim journalists are underrepresented in the global media industry. This lack of representation means that the perspectives and experiences of Muslim individuals and communities are not adequately represented in news coverage and other forms of media. This not only perpetuates stereotypes and misinformation about Muslim individuals and communities but also leads to a lack of understanding and empathy toward them. This problem is especially pronounced in the Western media where the news is often shaped by the Western perspective and the representation of other cultures, including the Muslim community, is limited.

Furthermore, the underrepresentation of Muslim journalists in the media industry is a complex issue that is influenced by a variety of factors, including lack of representation in media education and training, bias and discrimination in hiring practices, and economic and social barriers. It is important to address and overcome these barriers to ensure that Muslim voices are heard and represented in the media industry.

The impact of underrepresentation A. Limited representation of Muslim perspectives in news coverage The underrepresentation of Muslim journalists in the media industry leads to a limited representation of Muslim perspectives in news coverage. This can result in a lack of understanding and empathy towards Muslim individuals and communities and can perpetuate stereotypes and misinformation about them. For instance, Muslim perspectives on issues such as terrorism, immigration, and civil rights are often missing from news coverage which leads to a narrow understanding of these issues and can lead to harmful policies and actions toward the Muslim community.

B. Stereotypes and misinformation perpetuated by lack of Muslim voices The lack of Muslim voices in the media industry perpetuates stereotypes and misinformation about Muslim individuals and communities. For example, the lack of Muslim journalists covering terrorism news can lead to a one-dimensional portrayal of Muslim individuals as terrorists, rather than as victims or activists. This perpetuates harmful stereotypes and can lead to discrimination and prejudice against Muslim individuals and communities.

C. The role of the media in shaping public opinion The media plays a crucial role in shaping public opinion, and the underrepresentation of Muslim voices in the media industry can lead to a skewed understanding of Muslim individuals and communities. This can result in negative attitudes towards Muslim individuals and communities and can even lead to discriminatory policies and actions. On the other hand, when Muslim voices are represented in the media, it can lead to a more accurate and empathetic understanding of Muslim individuals and communities and can help to challenge stereotypes and promote understanding.

The benefits of increased representation A. More accurate and diverse news coverage Increased representation of Muslim journalists in the media industry can lead to more accurate and diverse news coverage. With a more diverse range of perspectives and experiences represented in the media, news coverage can be more nuanced and reflective of the complexities of different issues and communities. This can lead to a more accurate understanding of Muslim individuals and communities and can help to challenge stereotypes and promote understanding.

B. Challenging stereotypes and promoting understanding With more Muslim voices represented in the media industry, stereotypes and misinformation about Muslim individuals and communities can be challenged and corrected. Muslim journalists can provide a more authentic and personal perspective on issues affecting the Muslim community, which can help to promote understanding and empathy towards them. Furthermore, Muslim representation in the media can also help to challenge the one-dimensional portrayal of Muslim individuals and communities and can help to humanize them in the eyes of the public.

C. The power of representation in shaping public opinion Representation in the media is a powerful tool for shaping public opinion. Increased representation of Muslim journalists in the media industry can lead to a more accurate and empathetic understanding of Muslim individuals and communities, which can contribute to positive attitudes and actions toward them. Furthermore, representation can also have a positive impact on the representation of Muslims in broader society, by providing role models, and changing the perception of Muslims in the public sphere. Representation can also help to amplify the voices of marginalized communities and bring their issues to the forefront.

Barriers to entry for Muslim journalists A. Lack of representation in media education and training One barrier to entry for Muslim journalists is the lack of representation in media education and training. Muslim students may face challenges in accessing media education and training programs, due to a lack of resources or a lack of representation of Muslim individuals in these programs. This can make it difficult for Muslim students to gain the skills and experience needed to enter the media industry. Furthermore, a lack of representation in media education can also lead to a lack of understanding of issues and perspectives specific to the Muslim community, which can result in a lack of representation of these perspectives in the media industry.

B. Bias and discrimination in hiring practices Another barrier to entry for Muslim journalists is bias and discrimination in hiring practices. Muslim journalists may face discrimination in the hiring process due to their religion, name, or perceived ethnicity. This can make it difficult for Muslim journalists to secure employment in the media industry, despite having the necessary skills and qualifications. Furthermore, bias and discrimination in hiring practices can also limit the opportunities for Muslim journalists to advance in their careers and gain visibility in the media industry.

C. Economic and social barriers Economic and social barriers can also be significant obstacle for Muslim journalists. For example, Muslim journalists may face economic challenges such as a lack of access to funding or resources, which can make it difficult for them to pursue a career in the media industry. Additionally, Muslim journalists may also face social barriers such as a lack of support or understanding from their families or communities, which can also make it difficult for them to pursue a career in the media industry. Furthermore, these barriers can also be interconnected, and lack of representation in media education and training, coupled with bias and discrimination in hiring practices can result in a lack of economic and social mobility for Muslim journalists.

Solutions and steps forward A. Promoting media education and training for Muslim individuals One solution to increasing the representation of Muslim journalists in the media industry is to promote media education and training for Muslim individuals. This can be done by increasing resources and support for Muslim students in media programs and by increasing the representation of Muslim individuals in media education and training programs. Additionally, promoting media education and training for Muslim individuals can also be done by creating mentorship and internship opportunities for Muslim students and providing them with the necessary resources and support to succeed in the media industry.

B. Addressing bias and discrimination in hiring practices Another solution to increasing the representation of Muslim journalists in the media industry is to address bias and discrimination in hiring practices. This can be done by implementing policies and practices that promote diversity and inclusion in the hiring process. Additionally, media organizations can conduct regular training and education for their staff on unconscious bias and discrimination, and create an inclusive culture in the workplace. Furthermore, media organizations can also be held accountable for discrimination and bias, by encouraging whistleblowers and implementing measures to prevent retaliation.

C. Supporting and amplifying Muslim voices in the media industry A third solution to increasing the representation of Muslim journalists in the media industry is to support and amplify Muslim voices already in the industry. This can be done by providing Muslim journalists with resources and support to produce quality content and by creating opportunities for them to gain visibility in the media industry. Additionally, media organizations can also use their platforms to amplify the voices of Muslim journalists, by featuring their work and by providing them with opportunities to speak on important issues affecting the Muslim community. Furthermore, supporting and amplifying Muslim voices in the media industry can also be done by creating a network of Muslim journalists and providing them with opportunities for mentorship and collaboration.

Recap of the importance of representation in media Representation in media is important as it shapes public opinion, and all voices and perspectives must be represented in the media industry. A lack of representation can result in stereotypes and misinformation and can also lead to a lack of understanding and empathy for certain communities.

B. The need for more Muslim journalists around the world is crucial as it will lead to more accurate and diverse news coverage, challenging stereotypes, and promoting understanding. The underrepresentation of Muslim journalists in the global media industry has resulted in a limited representation of Muslim perspectives in news coverage and perpetuated stereotypes and misinformation.

Call to action for the media industry and society to support Muslim journalists To increase the representation of Muslim journalists in the media industry, it is crucial for the media industry and society to take action. The media industry should promote media education and training for Muslim individuals, address bias and discrimination in hiring practices, and support and amplify Muslim voices in the media industry. Society, on the other hand, should support and amplify Muslim journalists’ work and create opportunities for them to be mentored and collaborate with other journalists. Together, we can work towards creating a more inclusive and representative media industry, that accurately reflects the diverse world we live in.


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EDITORIAL

Who Stands for the Palestinians?

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Since Israel’s airstrike in Rafah on the night of 26th May 2024, the evidence of an egregious civilian toll has mounted. At least 45 people are now believed to have been killed – and while Israel claimed that the attack was aimed at a “Hamas compound”, witnesses, aid organizations and video evidence all suggest that a refugee encampment bore the brunt of the attack.

On Monday morning, the Israeli Defense Force (IDF) said that the attack was against “legitimate targets”. Now, in the face of a chorus of international condemnation and with an emergency session of the UN Security Council scheduled for Tuesday, Benjamin Netanyahu has accepted that “something unfortunately went tragically wrong” despite what he claimed were “our best efforts not to hurt them”. But he also insisted that there would be no change in policy. “I will keep fighting until the flag of victory is raised,” he said. “I don’t intend to end the war before every goal has been achieved.”

The question now is whether the expressions of dismay from even Israel’s closest allies, including the US, will translate into meaningful pressure on Netanyahu to change course.

Even though, not much is expected from the US, the ongoing Israeli military operations in Gaza, have cast a harsh light on the international response, particularly that of the Arab governments. Their reaction, or lack thereof, reveals a stark and disturbing hypocrisy when contrasted with their military engagements in other regional conflicts.

A Record of Intervention

The historical record of Arab military intervention in the region is extensive. During the Gulf War, known as Desert Storm, Arab nations rallied under American leadership to ‘liberate’ Kuwait from Iraqi occupation. Egypt participated with 20,000 soldiers, Syria with 14,000, Morocco with 13,000, Kuwait with 9,000, Oman with 6,300, the UAE with 4,300, and Qatar with 2,600 soldiers. This coalition demonstrated a robust and coordinated military effort driven by international and regional political imperatives.

Similarly, during NATO’s intervention in Libya, dubbed Odyssey Dawn, Qatar and the UAE committed significant military resources, including warplanes and elite forces, to the campaign. They not only fought on the ground but also financed the operation, with the Gulf States reportedly covering the cost of every missile and bomb dropped on Libya -a price tag of a million dollars per strike. This resulted in the destruction of Libya, widespread displacement of its people, and plundering of its wealth.

In *Decisive Storm* against Yemen, under American-British direction, Saudi Arabia led with 100 fighter planes and 150,000 soldiers, supported by the UAE with 30 planes, Kuwait with 15, Bahrain with 15, Qatar with 10, Jordan with 6, Morocco with 6, and Sudan with 5 planes, backed by thousands of troops. Egypt also played a role, participating in the operations and showcasing its military readiness.

Moreover, in the conflict against Syria, Arab states, again under American influence, formed operations rooms in Jordan and Turkey to facilitate the entry, arming, and financing of 60,000 fighters, supported by Saudi Arabia, Qatar, the UAE, Jordan, and Bahrain. This intervention further destabilized Syria, contributing to a prolonged and devastating civil war.

 A Deafening Silence on Gaza

In stark contrast to these interventions, the Arab governments’ response to the Israeli attacks on Gaza has been notably passive. The same countries that were willing to mobilize vast military resources to engage in conflicts in Iraq, Libya, Yemen, and Syria, now stand by and watch as the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) massacre and inflict massive casualties and destruction on the Palestinian population.

When Gaza is under siege, and civilians are massacred, these governments, bound by geopolitical alliances and dependencies, particularly on the United States, find themselves paralyzed. They are unable even to open a crossing to provide essential food and medicine, awaiting a ‘green light’ from their Western allies. This inaction exposes a shameful double standard and a betrayal of the Palestinian cause.

The Media’s Complicity

The role of the media in this dynamic hypocrisy cannot be ignored. A media apparatus that is often fully funded and controlled by these very governments perpetuates a narrative that justifies these wars. They frame interventions in Iraq as ‘liberation’, in Libya as ‘protection of civilians’, in Yemen as ‘restoring legitimacy’, and in Syria as ‘democracy’. Yet, when it comes to Palestine, the silence is deafening, and the coverage is minimal, allowing the atrocities to continue unchecked.

A Call for Genuine Solidarity

The hypocrisy of Arab governments stands in sharp relief when their willingness to destroy other Arab nations is juxtaposed with their inaction on Palestine. The world is watching, and the question remains: who will stand for the Palestinians?

It is incumbent upon the global community, especially the citizens of these Arab nations, to hold their governments accountable. True solidarity with Palestine requires more than words; it demands action. This means breaking the silence, providing humanitarian aid, and exerting political pressure to bring an end to the occupation and the ongoing violence.

The time has come for a genuine, unwavering commitment to justice for the Palestinian people. The world must wake up and act, ensuring that the sacrifices and suffering of the Palestinians are not in vain.

For the love of humanity and justice, let us spread awareness and demand accountability. The world must stand up for the Palestinians now, before more innocent lives are lost.


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EDITORIAL

We are not Yet Winning, but they are Losing

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Israeli forces have launched their assault against 1.4 million starving Palestinians sheltering in Rafah. Regime spokespeople continue to claim its attacks are “targeted” — a grotesque lie that, after the indiscriminate massacre of some 40,000 civilians, has become impossible to sustain.

The people of Rafah already face a catastrophe of unspeakable proportions. They lack facilities, infrastructure and the most basic of services. Many live in tents. Insects and insect-born diseases are rampant. Food, water, medicine and fuel have run out. These acute, life threatening lacks are the direct consequence of the long-standing Israeli blockade of Gaza, a policy that took on genocidal proportions since 8 October.

How do we make sense of this slaughter? How do we explain the limp, deceitful requests from Western leaders to temper it? Why have we been unable to stop it?

Palestine is a fulcrum in the international system. It is not just a central node in the regional struggle for sovereignty and self-determination — without a free Palestine, with Israeli warplanes routinely bombing its neighbors, there can be no talk of establishing a basis for regional development or integration. Palestine is also the prism through which nearly every global contradiction comes into focus.

As Max Ajl has written, the Palestinian resistance “bring[s] the relief of the world system into clearer view: the impotence of the United Nations; the imperialist contempt for international law; the complicity of the Arab neo-colonial states with Western capitalism; the fascist racism at the heart of modern European and US capitalism, as murderers and maimers operate in Western capitals; the neo-colonial structures of the Arab and Third World; and the hollowness of Western liberal democracy and its constellation of civil society institutions.”

The dehumanization and destruction of the Palestinian people has been a repeat feature of the world system since the 1948 Nakba. In the last 20 years alone, Palestinians have suffered a never-ending stream of deadly Israeli military assaults, most of which barely break into global public consciousness: Operation Forward Shield, Operation Days of Penitence, Operation Summer Rains, the 2006 Gaza beach explosion, the 2006 Beit Hanoun shelling, Operation Autumn Clouds, the 2008 Beit Hanoun incident, Operation Hot Winter, Operation Cast Lead, the assault on the Gaza Freedom Flotilla, Operation Returning Echo, Operation Pillar of Defence, Operation Protective Edge, the killing by sniper fire of 223 Palestinians and wounding of over 9,000 as they marched, almost entirely unarmed, to the Gaza prison fence as part of the Great March of Return, Operation Breaking Dawn and now Operation Swords of Iron, this latest invasion of Gaza, accompanied by incursions in the West Bank. Each one of these operations contains oceans of human tragedy that should drown our common humanity.

Joining these operations are the daily harassment and dispossession of Palestinians in the West Bank and East Jerusalem, with the clear aim of replacing one population with another. This ceaseless oppression generates resistance — and that resistance brings the terrible rot in the imperialist system into view.

That system has been plain to see to a great number of people in the South for decades. But today, it is made additionally legible by its evident frailty. That is why the fight for Palestinian freedom is uniting so many disparate struggles all over the world, while injecting new confidence and determination into popular movements from Sana’a to Columbia University.

In the Global North, the imperial elites are rapidly losing the people. Polls show majorities in the US, UK and Germany now want to end arms sales to Israel. The average Brit, German or US American can see that in the imperialist world system, a Palestinian life is worth immeasurably less than an Israeli life. For most people, this grotesque injustice is intolerable.

In universities and cities across Europe and the US, students are now occupying institutions in protest against their complicity in the genocide. Direct action campaigns are rising and throwing sand in the wheels of the war machine. As the repression mounts, the battle against it grows stronger. The Palestinian resistance has brought the rebellion to the North.

As the movement for Palestinian liberation and global justice gathers steam, it is our task to help move it from global sympathy for the Palestinians and the oppressed into active solidarity with them. If we do, Israel and its elite backers in the political-media class of the North will no longer be able to pretend that it is a normal state, that it is the victim.

From there, we build outwards: from Palestine to the world. The imperialist system doesn’t start and end in Palestine. It runs through the cobalt mines of the Democratic Republic of Congo, the special economic zones of Honduras, the prison camp in Guantanamo Bay, and the entire planet, jolted out of climatic stability by imperialism’s relentless drive to siphon the wealth of the many into the hands of the few.

Our world is undergoing rapid and great change. This process is accompanied by tremendous imperial violence – both against the South and the opposition in the North. But these are the death cries of an expiring system. And that system can be overcome.

We can turn these violent howls into the first cries of a newly birthed world. But we can only do it if we deepen the mutinies in the North and South into a united, global anti-imperialist front. In the words of Peter Mertens, if we can “get the mutiny of the North to lend a hand to the mutiny of the South, and vice versa, we can turn the world around, in the democratic, social and ecological direction this planet needs.”


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EDITORIAL

Turkey’s Bold Stand Against Israeli Aggression in Gaza: A Call for Global Solidarity

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In the wake of escalating violence and bloodshed in Gaza, Turkey has taken a resolute and commendable stance by halting all trade with Israel. This decision is not merely an economic maneuver; it is a principled stand against the gross violations of human rights and international law perpetrated by the Israeli military against the Palestinian people.

The crisis in Gaza is not new. It is a symptom of the longstanding Israeli occupation and blockade that has suffocated the Gaza Strip for years, leading to the present dire humanitarian conditions for its residents. The Gaza Strip, a small strip of land inhabited by over two million Palestinians, has been the stage for one of the most prolonged and devastating humanitarian crises of our time. For far too long, the world has turned a blind eye to the suffering of the people of Gaza, as they endure relentless attacks, blockade, and systemic oppression.

Six months since the 7 October brutal attack on Israel by Hamas and the Israeli military’s ensuing ground offensive in Gaza, One hundred and thirty four Israeli hostages are still in Hamas’ captivity, of which about 30 are believed dead, and much of Gaza has been turned into a wasteland. Satellite images suggest more than half of all buildings have been destroyed by the Israeli military offensive; the soil and groundwater have been contaminated by munitions and toxins; and, as hunger grips the coastal territory, Israel has been accused of using starvation as a weapon of war and provoking famine in the besieged strip. According to the Health Ministry in the Hamas-run territory the death toll stands at more than 33,000, mostly women and children, and more than 75,000 people have been wounded, with little to no access to medical care as most hospitals are no longer fully operational.

Turkey’s decision to halt all trade with Israel sends a powerful message to the international community: that silence and complicity in the face of Israeli atrocities are no longer acceptable. By taking concrete action to hold Israel accountable for its crimes, Turkey is standing on the right side of history and reaffirming its commitment to justice and solidarity with the Palestinian people.

Furthermore, Turkey’s stance resonates deeply with the sentiments of some Arab states in the Gulf, who have also condemned Israel’s actions and expressed solidarity with the Palestinians. The Gulf states have a vital role to play in the region, both politically and economically, and their support for the Palestinian cause carries significant weight.

However, mere condemnation is not enough. The Gulf states must follow Turkey’s lead and take tangible steps to pressure Israel to end its illegal occupation and blockade of Palestinian territories. This includes imposing sanctions, divesting from companies that profit from the occupation, and advocating for international accountability through forums like the United Nations.

Moreover, the Gulf states have a moral obligation to address the root causes of the conflict, including the ongoing dispossession of Palestinian land and the denial of Palestinian rights. This requires a concerted effort to support Palestinian statehood and self-determination, based on the principles of justice, equality, and respect for international law.

In the face of Israel’s impunity and the failure of the international community to act, it is imperative for countries like Turkey and the Gulf states to lead by example and mobilize global solidarity for the Palestinian cause. The time for empty rhetoric and diplomatic niceties is over; what is needed now is bold and decisive action to end the suffering of the Palestinian people and achieve a just and lasting peace in the Middle East. Critics may argue that Turkey’s decision will have economic repercussions, but some sacrifices are necessary in the pursuit of justice. Economic interests should never take precedence over fundamental moral principles. By prioritizing human rights over profit margins, Turkey sets a commendable example for other nations to follow.

Turkey’s stance underscores the urgent need for a just and lasting solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The status quo of occupation and oppression is unsustainable and incompatible with the principles of peace and justice. A two-state solution, based on the pre-1967 borders with East Jerusalem as the capital of Palestine, remains the most viable path towards a peaceful resolution of the conflict.

Turkey’s decision to halt all trade with Israel is a courageous and principled stand against injustice. It is a reminder that the struggle for Palestinian rights is not just a moral imperative but also a legal and political obligation for all nations committed to upholding human dignity and international law. The Gulf states must heed this call and join Turkey in taking concrete action to hold Israel accountable and support the Palestinian people in their quest for freedom and justice. Anything short of this would be a betrayal of the values and principles that we claim to uphold as members of the international community.

History will judge nations not by their economic prosperity or military might, but by their commitment to upholding the values of justice, dignity, and human rights. Turkey’s decision to halt trade with Israel is a testament to its unwavering dedication to these principles, and it deserves the support and admiration of all who cherish freedom and equality.


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