Muslims should create, develop and make use of the media properly and reasonably, according to S.G.P. Jafry, president of Jafry Communications of Scarborough, Ontario, Canada.
“The system of messengers is a long-established and well-known tradition. The media is a powerful messenger, and Muslims must earn to use it effectively, especially post-Sept. 11,” Jafry told Arab News yesterday.
He explained that Sept. 11 had opened up more opportunities for the Muslim media. “It has created an environment for the reception of ideas. Questions are being asked, which must be answered in a studied and reasoned manner.”
Jafry said that in the present environment, it was the duty of Muslims to use the media to build bridges of understanding. “The media should concentrate on explaining what Islam really is. For example, when we say that we believe in all the Prophets, it breaks the ice, and helps to remove several mental blocks, and clear some ignorance and misunderstandings,” he added.
Speaking of his company, Jafry explained: “We are a national broadcaster presenting three TV programs “” two on cable in Toronto, London (Ontario) and Ottawa and one national all over Canada using CTS “” Christian Television Station and Vision TV Network. We are pioneers of Indo-Pak entertainment, having begun in 1969, mainly presenting radio programs. In 1978, we began television programs.”
Jafry Communications also supplies Islamic TV programs to Bridges TV in the United States. “Keys to the Qur’an,” which is prepared from material provided by the Saudi government, is on TV three times a day. Another program, “Calls of the Minaret,” is featured twice a week.
Jafry pointed out that Islam is a full set of rules for mankind’s benefit. He said that the Holy Qur’an speaks of two kinds of duties “” duties toward the Creator and duties toward man or society, with a major emphasis on the latter.
“The problem is that we do not give enough attention to our duties toward man. Post-Sept. 11 this has become important and we must explain and show how much importance Islam attaches to the betterment of, and service to, mankind. We have begun producing information, such as the rights of neighbors (including non-Muslims), duties toward parents, looking after the community (which includes non-Muslims) honesty in dealings, why four wives, and so on,” Jafry said.
“In other words, we try to explain to Muslims and non-Muslims what Islam is.”