Making Fast Money or Serving the Community?

I am a regular reader of Islamic Voice and had subscribed for the publication for 25 years, some 17 years back. I was very happy then, to read articles like “from darkness to light” in the publication. But of late, your paper has become like any other commercial paper. In the April 2014 issue of Islamic Voice, there was a letter to your editor about the hardship faced by the traveler who went on an Umra trip in February 2014, through a private tour operator. I was also one of the travelers in the group. The name of the tour operator was not mentioned in the published letter, though the writer had clearly mentioned it in his original letter. I expected that from the month of July 2014, the advertisement of this tour operator will not appear in Islamic Voice again, but to my dismay, a very colourful half page ad has appeared in your latest issue.
I presume your paper was set up to convey the authentic message to the community in the light of the Quran and Sunnah as your name “Islamic Voice” also illustrates. But sadly, by publishing such misleading advertisements of tour operators who take pilgrims for a ride, you have also become a party to misguiding the community.
In the July 2014 issue of your paper, there is a piece about a girl who has been selected for a football team and is travelling to Brazil. What is Islamic about the fact that she is dressed in shorts and a T-shirt, going abroad for 20 days, in the holy month of Ramadan with strangers, most likely missing her fasts also? What message are you trying to convey to the Muslim women?
Your matrimonial advertisements are all the more full of contradictions! The ad says that the boy is looking for a religious girl, and at the same time demands for the photo of the girl to be posted or emailed. Why do you entertain such ads?
It is your responsibility as a paper to check with your readers about their experience with various Hajj and Umra tour operators and get their feedback. Take advertisements of only the genuine and honest tour operators! Also do not entertain matrimonial ads where the groom insists on a photo of the girl by post or email.
I hope, care will be taken about my suggestions from the September 2014 issue of Islamic Voice. Your publication is there to serve the community and not to make fast money!
Syed Rafiq Ahmed, Bangalore

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