I have read your June 2013 issue and I am surprised to read the report which refers to a story appearing in previous issue. You should have published the clarification issued by persons whom you had targeted. Being ‘Islamic Voice’ you should not indulge in gheebat (backbiting) and should not go on hearsay. Your staff writer has misreported the facts. Your magazine has made a name for itself in the Muslim community. In this issue by reporting wrong facts and by belittling some individuals, your staff writer might be having vested interest against some of the individual earlier associated with the bank. It would be better you name your magazine as “People’s Voice” rather than the present “Islamic Voice”. As a Muslim who believes in the teaching of Islam, I request you to highlight the teaching of Islam in your magazine rather than misreporting about non-Islamic issues because we all know that each one of us is answerable before God.
I request you to meet the individuals whom you feel have let down the community and seek an explanation from them about their point of view with documentary evidence and once you are convinced who is wrong then you can ask your Staff Writer to write the story. Please do not go by hearsay and be influenced by your Staff Writer as even you will be answerable to God.
Editor replies: A letter writer must introduce himself fully with address and possibly phone number as everyone affords at least a cell phone. By withholding this information, you have not done justice to the cause of defending the persons whom you desire to defend. A letter with address and phone no. would have lent certain credibility to the exercise. However, the postal seal says that the letter has been posted from Yeshwantpur in Bangalore.
The story would bear out that there is nothing hearsay in the story. Our staff writer has spoken to several sources within the bank and with depositors and spent a day looking at auction of mortgaged properties. No one has been accused of misappropriation and hence there is no question of defaming any individual. The story bases itself on public information available from the bank, its notice boards, depositors (whose names have been quoted) and even a bank official whose name has appeared. Gheebat (backbiting) could have been alleged if some specific individual would have been named.
There is a section for highlighting the teachings of Islam in the magazine. Other pages are devoted to write and comment upon the issues related to the people currently. There is no need to merely highlight the teachings of the Quran, Hadith and Fiqh. These stock subjects are already available in books and websites. A magazine must address itself to the current events and issues in order to be relevant to the readers to whom it caters. It is therefore necessary that we comment upon and interpret the current issues and events. You have not pointed out where the story suffers from misreporting despite claiming that you have all the facts at your disposal. We stand by the story by our Staff Writer.