"Engaging Responsible Media"

Tanveer misrepresents ‘Open Letter’ to ISIS

Sunday 19 October 2014

In an opinion piece written by Tanveer Ahmed for The Australian
newspaper on 8/10/14, he grossly misrepresented aspects of an
open letter to ISIS with factual inaccuracies and statements it
did not include. JMA wrote to the newspaper about the errors.
On 16/10/14 the paper amended and published only part of a letter
sent by JMA to the editor. Below is the entire JMA letter submitted:
In the opinion piece “Muslims must engage with Islamic ideas that give
rise to terrorism” (8th October 2014) Tanveer Ahmed referred to a recent open letter by more than 120 scholars “refuting theological points that were the basis” of the group known as ISIS. Ahmed wrote that the letter “says that unbelievers should not be killed unless they openly express their lack of belief and faith.” This claim is factually incorrect. The actual letter in reference to the specific case of declaring a Muslim as a non-Muslim stated that: “It is forbidden in Islam to declare people non-Muslim unless he (or she) openly declares disbelief.” Ahmed also wrote: “The letter does go on to state that such killings have no basis in the modern context.” This too is nowhere to be found in the letter. Even more disconcerting is this quote from Ahmed’s article: “This letter is not meant for a liberal audience.” A simple Google search has revealed that the quote does not belong to the open letter but rather to Nihad Awad from the US as reported by the Huffington Post on 24th September. It is of grave concern that Ahmed may not have read the letter himself. (Submitted Sunday 12/10/14)

Telegraph amends 'prayer meetings' headline

Monday 29 September 2014

On Monday 22 September, the Daily Telegraph
published an online report with the headline
“Goulburn Jail cancels Muslim prayer meetings as
prisoners go berserk.” JMA wrote to the newspaper
complaining that the headline did not accurately reflect
the substance of the report. The report quoted an
unnamed source suggesting that a good behaviour
privilege was withdrawn in response to verbal abuse and that that started the ‘riot’ and not the cancelling of prayer meetings. The newspaper amended the headline removing the reference to prayer meetings being cancelled. JMA then referred the newspaper to NSW Justice’s statement issued later that day which made no reference to prayer meetings and also clarified that there was no religious basis to the ‘disturbance.’

Harmonious Existence
Feb 16, 2013: JMA wrote to thank Emma Partridge for her report - a welcome contribution to responsible engagement of communities in the media promoting harmonious co-existence. "Ms Smith said those who thought of Islam as a religion that oppressed woman had probably never had a conversation or cup of tea with a Muslim woman."

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Peaceful Coexistence
July 27th, 2012: JMA wrote to Bernard Salt acknowledging his insightful analysis in The Australian on religion in the suburbs based on Census 2011. Particularly his comment on religious communities living harmoniously – a reality that is too often overlooked in the daily preoccupation with conflict in the media.

Related

APC Rules Against Fairfax
SMH 16 September 2013: The Australian Press Council ruled that two passages published by Fairfax about Slater & Gordon "were so serious and adverse that the firm should have been given a reasonable opportunity to respond before publication." Slater & Gordon complained that "two statements in the report inaccurately and unfairly implied it was concealing the existence of a file about incorporation" or "delaying release of the file." The two articles were "about the role of Julia Gillard in the incorporation of the AWU Workplace Reform Association in 1992."

Media Watch Rapped
SMH, 28 September 2012: The Australian Communications and Media Authority ruled that Media Watch breached the ABC code of conduct by not giving a journalist the right of reply. Ironically, the 2011 segment in question had attacked The Daily Telegraph for running "blatantly one-sided" coverage "as the government's poll figures slide."

Alan Jones broke rules
The Age, 15 June 2012: ACMA finds Alan Jones' 0.001% greenhouse claim in breach but tossing the PM out to sea in a chaff bag not. Sydney radio station 2GB "was also found to be in breach on two counts of failing to comply with the complaints-handling provisions of the code."

ACIJ Finkelstein Forum
Tuesday, 20 March 2012, UTS
The Australian Centre for Independent Journalism at the University of Technology held a public forum to discuss the Finkelstein Media Inquiry report. The forum featured frank and vigorous debate between panelists: Professor Julian Disney, Peter Fray, Philip Clark, Paul Kelly and Anne Dunn and the audience.
Watch the video online [link]

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