Thursday, June 26, 2008

MEDIA: Giving credit where credit is due ...

Regular readers (all 2 of you) will know that I have used this blog and other forums to bag the reporting of certain journalists and columnists reporting and writing about issues relating to Islamic faith, Muslim cultures and Muslim societies. One journalist who has occasionally come up for criticism has been Natalie O'Brien from The Australian.

When the polygamy issue was raised on Triple-J's Hack program and then reported widely in the press, I expected The Oz to lead the charge with vicious editorials and columns over the past 24 hours or so. And as I write these lines (at ~11:20pm on 26 June 2008), it is quite possible that some rather nasty articles may appear.

However, I must congratulate Ms O'Brien and her colleague Sian Powell for putting together two thoughtful articles on this issue. Their articles can be found here and here.

I personally do not believe it was appropriate for Keysar Trad and Khalil Chami to raise this issue at this very point in time or indeed at all. Still, this is a free country and they are entitled to express their views.

On the other hand, as we have increased migration from parts of the world where polygamy is widely practised (and not just by Muslims), this issue was bound to come up sooner or later. Further, it needs to be recognised that some communities among the first Australians also traditionally practised various forms of polygamy.

I've praised the two articles appearing in The Australian on this issue elsewhere. The Herald-Sun in particular ran a rather silly headline on its website today - "Muslim polygamy ruled out" - although Mark Dunn's article was quite fair.

The headlines of today's articles in The Oz didn't make Muslims or their faith the issue. They acknowledged that polygamy is practised by non-Islamic faiths and communities including certain African Christian communities and breakaway sections of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. A wide range of views, including those of researchers and experts in various fields, were canvassed.

I guess we'll have to see how the next 24 hours pans out. Most likely, media will be focussing more on issues that families of all faiths and backgrounds will be concerned with - the increasing child abuse and neglect amongst largely non-indigenous Australians. Perhaps it's time for an intervention ...

Words © 2007 Irfan Yusuf

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Anonymous said...

NewsmaxTV's Ashley Martella reports !

Omar A b a s said...

You prolly have 3, if you count me as 2.

I like reading your rants, occasionally there is a gem.

And i must say, since you've been less confrontational, its actually getting better.

Irfan Yusuf said...

In that case, I will start reading it as well. Then I'll have 5 or 6readers in total!