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Opinions Sun, 25 Sep 2011

Thumbs up Metro TV

INTRODUCTION

In this open era of technological advancement allied with the marauding speed at which information is sent, one cannot discount the pivotal role of media to the advancement of any cause; good and even aberrant.

The different media forms open to the average Ghanaian populace is akin to that which cuts across societies the world over: broadly the electronic (radio/TV and internet) and print media (newspapers/magazines) systems come to mind.

Relative to this piece, we wish to zero-in on a component of the electronic media (Television) and subsequently make suggestions on how the Muslim Ummah – Community – can consolidate our gains within the media generally.

ISLAMIC PROGRAMMING It is quite instructive for a business oriented institution as Metropolitan Television to have an Islamic desk that sees to the churning out of very educative, informative and entertaining programs for the Ummah in Ghana and beyond.

Metro TV’s Islamic Belt under the able leadership of Imam Abass Abdul Karim and technical direction of Ibrahim Seth Ayi, are doing a great job in advancing the frontiers of Islam and that undoubtedly is a task that only Allah can reimburse them for.

In a time where religion and media are inextricably linked, it is sad that Muslims command less than an hour of coverage on some networks and more sickening yet, we are absolutely absent on other networks.

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Thus, the Metro TV conduit serves the Ummah greatly especially on Fridays, where Islamic programs take center stage between the peak hours of 9:00 am to half past midday.

That certainly is a great time frame within which different programs ranging from Quranic recitals, exegesis of the Quran, local language discussions, women issues and other extra components are carefully woven to serve the best interest of the Ummah.

For that (Confidence Muslim Youth Association, CMYA) as an organization with the advancement of the general society, particularly the Muslim Ummah, at heart wish to laud Talal Fatal and his team of lieutenants for a good job they have done, are doing and we believe would continue so to do.

Indeed it is via the Metro platform that Sheikh Ishaak Nuamah’s ‘ISLAM IN FOCUS’ program has become a household name and a very well respected and authoritative thirty minutes exposition that has always brought the Islamic perspective on pressing social issues and global debate.

We take particular note of how Metro TV have endeavored to double their efforts during Ramadan, allotting time to Muslim programs before fast starts and when sunset is nigh, sacrifice it is of time resource and to Allah we pray they are fully reimbursed.

Whiles lauding the current Islamic desk of Metro, I would be fair to take note of the effort of predecessors who set the tone for what today is a dexterous and well engineered output; Alhaji Rahim Sinare stands tall in this case.

THE METRO GOODWILL

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Having said all of the above, we take note of how Metro TV have been putting their resources at the disposal of Muslims for close to nothing. That the company barely charges anything compares to what they take from churches is no news.

But for us as a group, whose activities are directly or indirectly impacted by Metro’s providence, we are of the opinion that over and beyond showering Metro with Allah’s blessings, an effort should be made at getting some sponsorship for the various compartments of especially the Friday programs.

If for nothing at all, there are admittedly Muslim individuals and businesses with the financial clout and wherewithal to inject funds into a worthy cause that is being championed by Metro; LET US LOBBY WELL-TO-DO MUSLIMS (within and without) TO DO GOOD AND ALSO BE BLESSED.

SUGGESTION/PROPOSAL CMYA

by this slot wishes to put forth a forward looking working plan that should help galvanize the effort of Muslim groups, relative to putting their activities within the media sphere and doing so with enough punch and to gain desired impact as it were.

We see a reliable and updated register of all Muslims within the media as a good start. So with Musah Yahya Jafaru at the Daily Graphic, Farida Khailan, Shamima Muslim and Moro Awudu at Citi fm, AR Gomda of Daily GUIDE, Fati Shaibu Ali at E-TV Ghana.

Not forgetting Abdul Hayy Mumin at GTV, Ibrahim Ridwan Asante at Multimedia (Joy FM) and fellow Muslim Awudu (Programmes Manager at Multi TV), Alhassan Suhini at Radio Gold, Amin Lamptey and Ibrahim Seth Ayi at Metro TV, certainly the Muslim fraternity has great resource within media.

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Other two ‘big fishes’ within the fraternity who cannot be discounted in all of this are; the father – and – son pair of ace investigative journalist Anas Aremeyaw Anas and Abdul Malik Kweku Baako, of the New Crusading GUIDE newspaper.

The big question then is; why is it that Muslim issues still do not get the needed coverage no matter how critical issues we raise. So having pooled such professional database together, the chief Imam’s message should travel very far in all media.

The individual efforts, aggregation if you like, of all the Muslims above mentioned and of many others, would unquestionably amount to a greater impact on the national debate and for that matter the global discourse.

CONCLUSION

The religion in keeping with the pace at which others are actively propagating their faith must take concerted steps to ensure that it can do its bit to better the lot of adherents and to better the lot of the general society.

We hereby propose that lead organizations as the Coalition of Muslim Organizations of Ghana (COMOG), the Ghana Muslim Academy (GMA), the Islamic Education Unit of the Ghana Education Service (IEU, GES), Office of the National Chief Imam and others come together to organize an Islamic Media confab to aid our efforts as Muslims.

Our little prayer for the station and its partners in advancing the frontiers of Islam; “We have seen Metro TV grow over the years and we wish them a more accelerated growth in years to come, our prayer is that Allah strengthens their aid for Muslims in this country.”

© Abdur Rahman Shaban Alfa (General Secretary of CMYA)

Personal email: alfarsenal@yahoo.com

Group email: confimya@yahoo.com, confimya@gmail.com

Facebook name: Confidence Muslim Youth Association

Columnist: Alfa, Abdur Rahman Shaban