Fans and esteemed readers across Nigeria have continued to extol Muslim News Nigeria for being a reliable and alternative medium speaking up for Islam and the Muslims, the most maligned and underreported religious group in the Nigerian media space.
Those who reacted used different encomiums such as ‘You’re wonderful’, ‘you’re doing a great work’, you’re incredible’, ‘you guys are awesome’, ‘you’re amazing’, ‘you’re superb’ to describe the activities of the medium in the last three years of its existence.
On Saturday, September 18, Rawshield PR Media, the publisher of Muslim News, Nigeria’s authoritative Islamic Newspaper, paraded an array of professionals and scholars in the field of media, medicine, entertainment, law and finance, including religious leaders at her 3rd anniversary lecture held in Nigeria’s commercial capital of Lagos.
The hybrid event which was chaired by the Honourable Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Prof. Isa Ali Pantami also featured the presentation of awards to the winners of the Global and Nigerian Muslim Personalities of the Year 2020.
Since the successful organisation of the 2-in-1 event, themed: “Curbing Negative Media Framing of Muslims: Best Approaches”, thousands of its fans and esteemed readers have continued to pour plaudits and commendations on the Islamic newspaper, whose mission is to promote Islam and unite Muslims through its reportage.
Abdullah Ahmed from Abuja described the medium as a mouthpiece of Muslims in Nigeria, saying, “This platform has been doing great work for Islam and nothing less we can say than, may Allah continue to strengthen the pilots with more energy, courage, wisdom and iman.
Speaking further, “More importantly, we Muslims are the most marginalized and persecuted body of individuals in the whole world just because we hold the best gift that could exist in human kind – Islam.
“The stereotype, the misinformation, the misrepresentation, etc about Islam is becoming on the increase and this is due to the silence of the Muslims which gives them the license to continue the metastasize. We need to wake up and do more from all perspectives and points to present Islam beautifully and intelligently to the world exactly the way it is.
“Most especially, we Muslims are the last page of the lost book. Non-Muslims will not read the Qur’an nor Hadith, but will read us and our actions at all times and everywhere, whatever we do, especially the bad ones, that is what Islam is all about to them. This is of course what Muslim News has been trying to debunk through its years of research. May Allah continue to bless Muslim News, protect its deen and make it transcend above everything and give victory to the Muslims all over the world,” he added.
‘You’re doing incredibly well’
Dauda Omolara Morufa from Ibadan said, in her remark, that Muslim News is doing incredibly well. According to her, “Firstly, I will like to commend you for exposing the evils of the mainstream media (not all of them though) about the under reportage of Muslims and their activities (though he who pays the piper dictates its tune) by reporting our activities and pushing it to the world (use of Social Media).”
“Secondly, I appreciate your effort on the inclusion of Islamtainment in your newspaper, because it has a big effect on our youths nowadays and you bringing it to the fore will tickle their fancy…My prayer is that Allah (SWT) will continue to bless you (because it is not easy to survive in the media industry without strong financial backing) Barakalahu feekum. May Allah accept it as an act of Iba’dah on your path Muslim News Nigeria and bless you with the best of both worlds,” she said.
‘Your coming wiped my fear over negative media’
Ogbor Aboje, who spoke from his base in Kaduna said, “Before now, I thought Muslims do not have anything to show when it comes to news, looking at how Western Media owned by non-Muslims are struggling to bastardize Muslims and the Islamic religion. But your coming to the world stage has wiped away such fear and I like the precise way you tackle issues. May Allah bless you for the good work.
‘I pity myself for just coming across this platform’
Another netizen, Ibrahim Bolarinwa Aweda from Abuja also said, “I pity myself for just coming across this group only recently, well, all praises be to our Creator, my only challenge now is how to contribute my quota morally and financially, because this project shall not fail bijai Rosulullah. We are looking forward to having such on radio, television and print media too. I pray Allah Subuana wataala to continue His guidance on all of you, preserve you people in imaan (faith) and bless all of you abundantly Ameen,
‘Impressed with Muslim News’ rebuttal’
One of the activities of Muslim News is to analyse mainstream media reportage of Islam and Muslims by exposing and correcting the negative framing. This activity in particular really impressed Aderoju Hassan, a resident of Ibadan, while congratulating the medium for marking 3 years of reporting Islam.
He said, “Good work you’re doing. Jazakumllah khairan. I’m really impressed with your rebuttal on major stories as it concernd the Muslim ummah. Keep it up. However, I would like to see more stories as been reported on mainstream media. Many of them are biased. Your reportage will create a fine a balance. I’ll appeal to everyone on your platform (including myself) to subscribe to your magazine.”
‘It’s pleasure to be here’
Kolawole Adegbuyi from Lagos said, “It’s a pleasure to be part of this page. May Allah crown your efforts with success and grant you the wherewithal financially to sustain this cause. However, in addition to the regular news reporting as it affects the Muslims, I will appreciate more if you can also touch areas like politics, education and technology and if all cannot be achieved together, a particular day can be dedicated for some news section. Baarakallahu feekum.”
Sadiq Abubakar from Kebbi State in his contribution to the discourse, congratulated Muslim News Nigeria on on its 3rd anniversary, saying “you have been a good source of information for Muslims in Nigeria. I advise you expand your news reporting, beyond Islam. Focus also on general news, so that you can do what you’re doing with Muslim News with the general news outlets.”
Abeboye Malik Olamilekan from Ogun State said, “This medium has really tried in terms of promoting the religion, against discrimination, proffers solutions to many of the problems we are facing today as Muslims. It’s the right channel for authentic Islamic news. I pray may Almighty Allah grant the management and staff more knowledge to efficiently run this newspaper.”
Mohammed Auwal Haruna from Kano said “Masha Allah! May Almighty Allah bless you…and keep doing a great work. I have one suggestions the MUSLIM NEWS. The newspaper should have correspondents in the 36 states in Nigeria; east, south, north and west.”
MUSLIM MEDIA PRACTITIONERS SPEAK…
The former chairman of the Lagos State chapter of the Nigerian Union of Journalists (NUJ), Dr Qasim Akinreti charged Muslim News to compete with its counterparts in the mainstream media in terms of reach and bounds.
Dr. Akinreti, giving his goodwill message at the 3rd Year Anniversary of the media outfit and Muslim News Awards 2020, also appreciated the reportorial style of the outlet.
In his words, “I say congratulations to Muslim News Nigeria for the value adding, positive and developmental initiative of Muslims globally and bringing well researched and documented issues to the front and of course being a Muslim media organisation, it has also been extremely passionate in also reporting secular issues and more importantly, it has taken the issue of human rights of muslims as one of the major which we have known them for.
“My wish for Muslim News in coming years is for them to compete well with their peers and also to grow in reach and bounds, and I also hope there will be tremendously assistance from the Ummah. It takes a lot to grow.
“Media is business globally and I want to say Muslim News should also take advantage of the business angle of the media. Yes, it’s promoting Islam as a religion and its personalities, it also need to grow its own business.
“I want to see Muslim News diversifying into other areas. Carry out research on Muslim issues, do opinion polls in major issues online, using Google as a tool. That’s what I want to see.
Recounting his readership experience, the Multi-Media Journalism Lecturer at the Nigerian Institute of Journalism (NIJ) noted that the style of reportage and analysis is a product of adequate journalistic training.
“Another thing I appreciate in Muslim News is that when they are reporting secular news, they look at the issues, (state the) facts and also proffer solutions. They balance the reportage of secular issues and that for me, is very important, because the team lead for Muslim News has gone through a professional Journalism school and he understands the nuances of reporting news. He tries to balance all the angles of the argument. I’m proud that one of my students at NIJ, the team lead of Muslim News has brought practicality to bear and remained focused.
“What is also important is that in three years, Muslim News has changed the narrative. Apart from the conventional newspaper publishing, he has also tried to leverage more on multimedia, and that for me is also a major feat.
“In three years it’s not easy because for me, it’s competing with its peers in the multimedia journalism and of course, in the conventional mainstream media, there is no way you can talk about multimedia journalism that you won’t talk about Muslim News“, he added.
Also speaking at the event, the Group Managing Director of Complete Communications Limited (CCL), the Publisher of Complete Sports, Dr Mumini Alao called on the Muslim ummah to support Muslim News, Nigeria’s most authoritative Islamic Newspaper through sponsorship and donations, saying these are part of the means of sustaining the publication.
Dr Mumini, who recently completed his PhD programme at the prestigious University of Lagos, eulogised the outlet for its striving for media balance while noting it came at the right time.
“What I want to talk about is sustainability. Alhamdulilah, Abdurrasheed and his team have done well in projecting the publication and I know what it takes to sustain a publication, whether print or online. Just as our father (Alhaji Femi Abbas) said earlier, Muslim News has come at the right time.
“The chances for survival are very bright because you are dealing with the internet and then you can do a lot of cost management for the publication to continue to survive forever. I will be interfacing with you a lot more in that direction and how to sustainably run the publication. You have done well so far, but you can only get better.
“For us here, what we can do for Muslim News Nigeria is to give our widow’s mite. There is no shame in asking for support, especially for an Islamic media like this. Media platforms in the UK do that”, he buttressed.
Speaking on, he emphasised on the need for timely and regular evaluation and assessment of the media outlet.
“In a year’s time, when we would be celebrating the 4th anniversary, I want us to know where Muslim News is, in terms of reach, audience, subscription and others, so in a year, we would know how far we have gone.
“Abdurrasheed, I will like you to put your story permanently on the website. It is inspirational. Such inspirational story should be on the website with the photo. Media is all about emotions.”
He further congratulated the awards recipients and charged them for continuity of their good works.
“Congratulations to Abdurrasheed and his team. 3 years of Muslim News Nigeria. Also, to Alhaji Femi Abbas and other awardees, to whom much is given, much is expected. The reward for good work is more work.”
In his own submission, veteran broadcast journalist, Alhaji Tajudeen Uzamot also commended the effort of the media outlet, describing it as the mouthpiece of Islam and Muslims, home and abroad.
The CEO of Uzamot Communications said, “Indeed to congratulate Muslim Newspaper on their 3rd anniversary and Award 2020. Honestly speaking, Muslim News Nigeria, under the able leadership of my dear brother, Abdul Rasheed, is representing Islam very well. They are the mouthpiece of Islam in Nigeria and all over the world. We need to assist this particular newspaper and I need to commend the other people who are really working with him.
“It has been representing Islam very well in all ramifications. I urge all Nigerians most especially Muslims to rise and support this particular newspaper. I was so marvelled when I got here and so many people who came and poured encomiums on the newspaper. Honestly speaking, if you give them support and assistance, it’s going to represent them both locally and international,” he emphasized.
The former chairperson of National Association of Women Journalists (NAWOJ), Hajiah Sakinat Lawal also hailed the reportage style of Muslim News on issues affecting Muslims and Islam.
Hajiah Lawal encouraged its management not to rest on its laurel.
In her words, she said “Muslim News has done a great job. They’ve really done well in terms of portraying Islam in good light. Saying what Islam really stands for, celebrating Muslim icons, those who are doing well in their various professions and fields of endeavour, and telling the world the truth, changing the narratives.
“We have a lot of wrong notions, stereotype, Islamophobia all over the place, where many people are not saying the truth. It’s just propaganda in many places, thereby causing crisis. We thank God for Muslim News coming on board in the last three years changing the narratives.
“In terms of contribution to reporting Islam in Nigeria and abroad, their activities in the last 3 years have been highly commendable and we need more of such and hope the management of the newspaper will maintain its objectivity and ethics of the Journalism profession as it’s been doing in the last 3 years, because this is key and germane and for most of the media outlets, this is what is missing. Many people no longer follow the ethics of the profession. They just dance to the tune of their owners or whoever’s interest they are in support of.”
Speaking on, she advised, “In terms of expectations from the management, we just hope and advise they will continue in the good light that they have started, continue to celebrate Muslim icons, continue to showcase the goodness of Islam and continue to let people know what they could see Islam as and not what many people have been carrying about wrongly for decades and passing on to generations, because knowing the truth will set people free.”
The medium, created in August 2018, was founded to serve as a mouthpiece for Muslim achievers and Islamic events while covering the gap of bias reportage tilted against the Muslims.
Muslim News Nigeria was founded by Rasheed Abubakar, an author, writer and a columnist with The Daily Independent in Lagos, Nigeria. It debuted in August 2018. It was established due to the media reportage of Barrister Firdaus Amasa’s Hijab saga and several other cases of under-reporting of news about Islam and Muslims.
In September 2018, Muslim News Nigeria went online with regular Muslim content and in-depth analyses of happenings around the Muslim world. Its website www.muslimnews.com.ng is fast becoming the most frequently visited Muslim news website by majority Muslims, and some non-Muslims.
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