October 16, 2010

The paradigm shift — Dawn takes shelter under Islamic extremism

By S.A.R. Naqvi

Some veteran journalists have pointed out that over the time, the daily Dawn, which was considered the flag-carrier of Mr. M. A. Jinnah's liberal ideology, was being turned into a right-wing newspaper as a part of the secret agencies' strategy.

"Zaffar Abbas, considered the moderate face of the spy agency ISI, has been running the newspaper since June but his name appeared in the print-line only on October 4. During this time he did many experiments which proved paradigm shift in the history of Dawn," a source said. "Those things, which were earlier banned are now often seen in the pages of the national broadsheet."

So what? "This is bigotry," the source adds. "It's demise of the liberal policy of the founder of the country and the newspaper (Mr. Jinnah). I've never worked with the Dawn Media Group, but I've always admired the newspaper in the jangle of the so-called jihadists."  

Not only content wise, insiders say, the employees of the organization are also raising beard with each passing month, and extremism is on the rise at the organization. "Recently a man was appointed editor of the Herald magazine, who has raised beard and has become a reborn-Muslim recently."

"The man was called from Lahore to take the editorship of the magazine just because of his changed lifestyle... otherwise Karachi has enough people to take over as editor," said a journalist from Karachi.

After example of the increasing radicalism among the employees of the Dawn Media Group, the source gave example of content by showing a letter published in Dawn on August 18, 2010. It reads: "Ramazan not for eating."

  1. I AM shocked to find so-called Muslims eating and drinking tea or soft drinks in many offices which I happen to visit being a freelancer. And it is all the more shocking because they do it openly in front of many people who are fasting. They feel the least ashamed about it. While watching TV also you get the impression that it is a month of eating rather than of fasting. Numerous 24-hour channels are about cooking and food alone. And all the ads they show have to do something with gastronomy. People keep thinking about food 24/7 instead of doing good deeds and adhering to religious tenets! Nawab Qureshi Karachi.

I've been showed an advertisement of  hate literature in Urdu language, which was published in the Books & Authors section of the newspaper on August 15, 2010. "Why Ahmedis are out of Islam?", "Answers to the arguments of Christians" and "Islam doesn't allow women to become head of government/state" are names of the books being sold by a nameless bookshop (as seen here in the image of the ad).  

"No-one had seen such a sectarian hatred in the pages of Dawn like the Jang Group, which openly publishes ads against the Ahmedi sect," said a senior citizen, wishing not to be named for the obvious reason.

"Zaffar Abbas is taking full advantage as the don of Dawn," a media person accused. "He has failed in his game... and his name is now appearing in the print-line as an editor, so he should now act like a responsible man. Otherwise in the efforts to catch new readers, Dawn will lose those people who read the paper for generations and for decades, especially in Karachi."

One perturbed employee and a once leftist activist said: "But unfortunately, now no-one takes notice of the complaints of the readers at the Harroon House (the headquarters of the newspaper in Karachi). The MQM (a dominant party of the city) after the assassination of one of it's major leaders in London and Dawn after the financial crisis have taken shelter under the strategic Islamic extremism... let's see what happens!"  

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