Muslims have always been projected in the Media as extremely backward people who are averse to progress. Muslim women have been projected as living under the male domination and ill behaved by them. People continue to portray Muslims as nonsense orthodox and bloodthirsty terrorists.
After 61 years of independence, the mainstream media ignores things of interest to Muslims— gatherings, processions, debate, cultural programmes etc. While debating on the Muslim issues the media quite conveniently ignores the problems pertaining to education and economic upliftment of the Muslim community. Therefore, Muslims need to have some sources to put a restraint on media and its prejudice against them. They must have some strategies to curb rein of those who are serving their ends in the disguise of media.
On the other hand, mainstream media cannot address all the issues for all communities due to its own limitations. Therefore, each one has to have its own vehicle to make sure its move forward and that the issues that are important to them are presented in proper context. We need to have daily newspapers as well as round the clock satellite TV channels in English from Muslims to report accurately on events as they are happening with true and honest spirits. Unfortunately, none of the aforesaid is still in existence in India, a second largest Muslim populated country in the world. Nevertheless, Muslims are running few magazines and journals, which range from quarterly to monthly and, somehow, are proven to be effective in raising socio-economic and educational issues as per Muslims’ concern. At the same time, these Muslim magazines are again not so effective in dealing with Islamic issues in religious context and even some times they present unsolicited twist to highly sensitive Islamic issues due to their lacking in proper religious education and their backgrounds being from the compromising class while practicing Islam.
The days of Muslims ranting and doing nothing about media bias and prejudice against Islam and Muslims are still prevalent; more Muslims should get courage to challenge these perceptions. Especially, ulama, who are labeled as conservative and stereotype must be ambitious to take a part of media into their own hands and respond to the responsibility of being the torchbearer of Muslim mass. It is high time for them to realize that sitting on the sidelines will be ineffective not only for them but also for the generations to come.
Markazul Ma’arif Education & Research Centre (MMERC), Mumbai therefore, came out with a monthly English magazine ‘Eastern Crescent, as an alternative and a voice to many genuine ‘says’ and venture in to this field with new strategies to deal with present brand of media prejudice since May 2006. Eastern Crescent is gaining market each day and is proven an affective ‘Alternative Media and Peoples’ Choice’. The magazine shared the top most position in the year 2008 among all English publications from Muslims in India in the year-wise review conducted by USA based towcircles.net.
EC files stories with views through research based analyses and conviction of the individual authors. ‘Eastern Crescent’ is a secular and dynamic magazine but with many differences. It carries most of the issues that other magazines produce but it has a clear distinct identity of its own.