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Published in the 1-15 Sep 2004 print edition of MG; send me the print edition

Western Media biased against Islam

By Ibrahim Usmani

Hyderabad: Senior journalist and chief editor of Deccan Chronicle and Asian Age, MJ Akbar said that a section of the western media has been reporting certain news with a clear prejudice on issues relating to Islam, Muslims and occupation of Iraq.

He was delivering the 4th Professor S. Bashiruddin Memorial Lecture here on "The traps of prejudice in reporting" on 21 August. The event was jointly organized by Prof. S. Bashiruddin Memorial Committee, Osmania Journalism Alumni Association, Advertising Club, Hyderabad and the AP Chapter of Public Relations Society of India. 

He said the print media enjoys an importance as it offers the true picture of everything inspite of the electronic media. He said that there have been large developments in journalism during the last 10-15 years. One of these developments is the new technology and television. Television has made print media a powerful weapon, he said. 

Commenting on recent attempts to peddle the theory of the so-called incompatibility of Islam with democracy, he said, "political system should not be confused with religious reality." He said that dictatorship is also prevalent in Hindu and Christian societies. Although the West thinks that Islam is limited to only Arab countries, Muslims are found in great numbers in eastern countries. He said that Bangladesh is a democratic country whereas there are dictatorships in Arab countries courtesy the US. 

Commenting on the term ‘foreigner,’ he said that Mughals are not foreigners as they had developed many fields for which their subjects used to pray for them. Foreigners are those who come here and go away taking our wealth like the British. On Jihad, he said that there is no difference between Dharam Yudh and Jihad

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