Muslim scholars have urged media organisations to ensure fair reportage of issues that concern Islam and Muslims in the country.
According to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), the scholars made the call, yesterday, in Lagos at the 2nd Annual Conference of Muslims Media Practitioners of Nigeria (MMPN), Lagos State chapter.
Veteran journalist and Islamic scholar, Alhaji Liad Tella, said reportage of Muslims and Islamic issues suffers setbacks because non-Muslims dominate the Nigerian media.
In his lecture titled: “Analysis of Reportage of Islam and Muslims in Nigeria,” Tella urged Muslims to shun incompetence and embrace professionalism, to win the respect and admiration of non-Muslims.
Prof. Lakin Akintola, another prominent Islamic scholar, in his paper titled: “Imperatives of Media Ownership by Nigerian Muslims,” accused the Nigerian media of misrepresenting Muslims on several occasions.
He urged Muslims to own media houses, while advising the Nigerian Union of Journalists (NUJ) to sanction erring journalists who deliberately disseminate falsehoods.
He said: “Sometimes Muslims are deliberately shut out from the media on issues that concern them, while at other times, we see parochial representation of Islam and the Nigerian Muslims. It is now common to hear Muslims being referred to as terrorists in the media. That is condemnable. The NUJ also needs to wield the big stick and sanction media houses that misrepresent religions or incite violence.”
Chairman of the occasion, Prof. Lai Olurode, urged Muslim journalists to be more active in projecting the true essence of Islam as a religion of peace.