Saturday, 24 January 2015

Ogunleye, Johnson named new NIJ Provost, Deputy Provost

Mr. Gbemiga Ogunleye

The Governing Council of Nigeria Institute of Journalism has approved the appointment of Mr. Gbemiga Ogunleye as the Provost , and Mr. Jide Johnson as the Deputy Provost of the Institution.


The appointment, which takes effect from March 2, 2015, is a demonstration of the Governing Council’s commitment to further repositioning the Institution, and upholding the spirit of excellence the Institution is reputed for in media practice, management and
scholarship.

The Provost: Mr.Gbemiga Ogunleye is a professional journalist, an educationist ,media scholar, an astute administrator, barrister at law and a foremost editor of reputable newspapers in Nigeria.
With over 32 years experience in media management and legal practice, he brings a fresh and unique perspective to media scholarship and management in Nigeria and Africa. His proven track record, cognate experience and excellent leadership qualities provide a springboard for the next phase in NIJ’s development.
Ogunleye, who succeeds Dr. (Mrs). Elizabeth Ikem, whose tenure expires at the end February,2015, is currently the Deputy Director of News, TVC News International. Before this, he was Director, News & Current Affairs, TVC, Chief Standards Editor and Associate.
He was once the Deputy Editor-in-Chief of The Punch newspaper, Editor Daily Times, Features Editor,A.M News, Acting Features Editor The Guardian Times and the pioneer Head ,Corporate Communications ,Arik Air.
Mr.Gbemiga Ogunleye ,a Barrister at Law, holds a Master of Science degree in Media & Communication from Pan Atlantic University, Bachelors of Law & Letters degree from Lagos State University, Post Graduate Diplomas in Journalism , and Education. He is a graduate of Linguistics from University of Benin. He is married and blessed with children.
The Deputy Provost: Mr.Jide Johnson is a teacher, a coach, an author and instructor in media audience scholarship.
He graduated from University of Lagos, with Bachelor and Masters Honours’ degree in Mass Communication.
He is also a graduate of Daystar Leadership Academy, with Basic and Advance certification in Leadership.
Johnson is currently the Head, Mass Communication department of the Institution. He had also served as the Student Affairs Officer of the Institution. He is a member of the Editorial Board, Hallmark newspapers and a regular contributor to national and international discourse on major Radio and TV stations in Nigeria.
He has published many books as well as several articles in local and international high impact journals.
He is married to Foluso Johnson, and they are blessed with a son.
Dotun Adenijo
Registrar/Secretary to the Governing Council

Friday, 23 January 2015

A Muslim's Response to the 25,000 Anti-Islam Protesters in Germany

Dear 25,000 Anti-Islam Dresden Protesters and Pegida,

I hear you marched in your thousands against my religion. Last week, and last month. You marched against immigrants, foreigners, and anyone a shade darker. I will not draw comparisons to Nazi Germany. I will not call you bigots, I will not insult you, and I will not label you. But we do have a problem.

You marched with banners claiming your city is overcrowded with Muslims. Yet 0.1% of Dresden are Muslim. You marched claiming immigrants are cramming your schools and leaving your children to travel miles for an education. Yet 2.5% of Dresden are foreign-born.

You claim that Germany is being invaded by Muslims. Yet only 5% of Germans are Muslim.

You march "against the Islamization of the West". Yet within a century containing two World Wars, the decolonisation process, countless civil conflicts, foreign intervention, globalisation, and further displacement, Muslims remain a fringe minority in Europe. Less than 6%. A pretty lousy colonisation process, no?

You marched against refugees and asylum seekers, claiming Germany is their target for welfare and social security. Yet according to UNHCR, there are 51.2million refugees worldwide. Germany caters for less than 0.01% of them. Is that too much to ask? Is such a humanitarian obligation too large for the Refugee Convention 1951 your government ratified? Or is it actually punitive, for example, in comparison to Lebanon where every fourth person is a Syrian refugee?

Protesters, you are not alone. In my country, Britain, we have our own anti-immigration party. Ukip won their first seat in Clacton with nothing but anti-migrant rhetoric. Yet only 4.3% of Clacton are foreign-born. In a Parliamentary-based system, where each constituency elects a representative to voice their views, there is nothing Ukip can do for the people of Clacton.

Do you see a pattern? Perhaps I should explain. Your kind tend to establish themselves where their "problem" does not actually exist. Is this therefore an issue of negative perception? Fear of the unfamiliar? Intolerance in ignorance? Scapegoating an underclass? Media misinformation?

I will elaborate. London has a 36.2% foreign-born population. Relatively, that is fifteen times the population of foreigners in Dresden. A far greater diversity. Ukip poll the lowest in London compared to the rest of the country- in every demographic, foreign or not. London is a metropolis of brown, black, and white working side by side. We thrive. I saw an atheist today. Guess what? I did not try to convert him nor behead him for blasphemy; I helped him off the bus. He was 74 years old.
Does that make sense?

Your only insight into Islam is a box in your living room. Confirmation bias andcognitive dissonance infest the information you expose yourself to. Information which dehumanises and polarises anyone unlike you.

You enjoy the far-right media portrayal of Islam. It makes you feel good. Superior. Better. The barbaric Muslims, we are. We disrespect women, and we impose our beliefs on to others.

Yet did you know that Turkey, Indonesia, and Bangladesh, all Muslim majority stateshave had more elected female heads of state than almost every other Western country? Did you know that the Quran explicitly says "there is no compulsion in religion" (2:256), and our Prophet clarified "whomever hurts a non-Muslim will not smell a whiff of paradise"?

Did you know that your twisted misrepresentation of my religion helps the terrorists? Did you know that you and the terrorists agree on what seems to form an integral part of your identity: that Islam is violent? Did you know that you even use the same methodology to proclaim this; taking a verse out of context and evading any intellectual discourse?

What are Muslims to you, anyway? Arabs? Less than 20% of us are Arab. Indian or Pakistani? Again, less than 20%. Turkish? Less than 5%. Nothing else? That is more than half of us you cannot identify.

You assume our identity by our race. Is it not disheartening to you that such a narrow world view is legitimately held by so many? Does it not display a perspective so constrained to the contents of immediate life and prejudice? Is that not likely to lead to ignorant assumptions and offence in face of what is unbeknownst?

What becomes of the German Muslim, I wonder? Is he spared because he is white? Or is he declared a traitor and shunned? Is it difficult to choose between racism and neglecting a fellow countryman? Choose neither. Choose education. Tolerance. Kindness.

Detach from the vicious cycle of far-right media (who are unfamiliar with foreigners) feeding the far-right populace (who are unfamiliar with foreigners) what they should think about foreigners.
I ask you, have you ever met a Muslim? "Met" is not a synonym for shouting abuse at or stabbing to death in or outside their home. No, have you ever sat with a Muslim? Talked to a Muslim? Worked with a Muslim?

You should. At an airport perhaps, where we are 42 times more likely to be searched, and thus declared safe for human interaction.

Sincerely,
A Real-Life Muslim (not the ones on TV)

Written by: Rabah Kherbane (Law student specialising in international law, human rights and legal analysis of current affairs.

Source: HuffingtonPost


Sunday, 18 January 2015

PARIS ATTACK: OUR PHOBIA FOR TRUTH

We lie and it is unfortunate. We lie that no death can gladden the heart and we all know that we lie. If a person kills our siblings we follow through with the case and pay lawyers to ensure that he is convicted i.e. killed, after that we lie again. When Osama Bin Laden was murdered Americans took to the street in jubilation, then after it we all went back to lies. Lying that nobody can die and the news makes us happy but we know too well that we lie: obvious, large, mammoth, and hypocritical, name it anything; we lie
We lie that nobody deserves death for mocking another person but when Layla Al Attar, an Iraqi woman, drew a statue of President George Bush Snr. calling him a criminal, President Bill Clinton ordered that she be killed and the missile attack with which America killed her left her daughter blind. But since we lie then this never happened, the only terrorists are the guys on hood who attacked the cartoonists
Why are we so afraid of the truth that we result to lying so much? We make laws that condemn people to death for as much as robbing with a weapon even if such weapons are not used but we lie that nobody deserves to die. Bare face lie, but we lie it anyway. We have learnt hypocrisy the same way we learnt how to breathe and sleep, it has become life to us
How else does one explain people becoming “Charlie” in solidarity with the provocative cartoonists gunned down in Paris for years of pissing off people in their billions? When you are Charlie then you describe catholic women as “cocksuckers”, you describe Jesus as a pig, you describe France’s black Minister of Justice as a Monkey, and you depict the Prophet of Islam, a man so revered Muslims pray for him every time they call his name, naked with a star in the anus spread out among other offensive atrocities I cannot even mention. And what was the goal? Let us hear their Editor in Chief Stéphane "Charb" Charbonnier:
“"We have to carry on until Islam has been rendered as banal (boring and lacking originality) as Catholicism."
When you are Charlie Hebdo you piss off billions of people and act surprise when 3 of them shot you dead
Even the President of France whose successor is now playing to the gallery had this to say when Charlie Hebdo first republished the Danish cartoon in 2006:
“Anything that can hurt the convictions of another, particularly religious convictions, must be avoided. Freedom of expression must be exercised in a spirit of responsibility. I condemn all manifest provocation that might dangerously fan passions, these events have stressed the importance of combining freedom of expression with respect for religious beliefs." (President Chirac, See BBC’s “Chirac warns media over cartoons” Published Wednesday, 8 February 2006, 17:12 GMT)
Today his successor pretends as if he did not see that what he described as irresponsible dangerous provocations that fan passion will lead to a gunshot 9 years later when it persisted and got worse. We just fear the truth and it is unfortunate
What a lot of people do not know because a lot of other people dare not say is that Charlie Hebdo Magazine did no start as Charlie Hebdo, it started as Hara-Kiri Hebdo Magazine and guess what? It was ban by the same government of France for mocking the death of President De Gaulle. Can you imagine this level of hypocrisy? You say let people “speak” freely and lie and mock and assassinate the character of a man who lived over a thousand years ago and whose tradition is followed and respected and strictly so by over a billion people, but at the same time you ban the same magazine from mocking one of your Presidents
There is obviously no space to address the mountain of hypocrisy that the solidarity with the cartoonist who were shot is. In 2009 the same Charlie Hebdo that says it is for freedom of speech sacked one of its staff Maurice Sinet who has served them for 20 years for saying “He’ll go a long way in life, that little lad.” When he spoke about the President’s son who was rumoured to want to convert to Judaism. Charlie Hebdo called this offensive, anti-semitism, racial hatred, among other strong language but it cartooned the Prophet Muhammad crying and saying it is hard to be loved by idiots (“Muslims”). The same people who find no problem mocking Prophet Muhammad, Jesus, Chibok girls, and respected Nuns who they described referring to oral sex.
The French Government had problem with free speech before, then they didn’t, and then when Comedian Dieudonné M’bala made a facebook post saying “Tonight, as far as I’m concerned, I feel like Charlie Coulibaly.”, the French government ran back to having problem with free speech and they arrested Dieudonné because they “think” the post is a mockery of the atheist cartoonist
How about the hypocrisy and fear of the truth that made world leaders go on the street in protest of solidarity with these cartoonists whereas they did not go on the street neither did they suggest it when Eric Garner was strangled to death for being black by the Police in the streets of New York and his cry of “I can’t breathe, I can’t breathe” did not elicit sympathy, he was strangled until he died for allegedly selling cigarette stick by stick without tax. All of these after many other cases the same period and bitter years of slavery and nobody in the name of a world leader walked the streets
This was one hypocrisy too many the Pope could not agree to join; he had to make it clear that if you as much as insult his mother he is going to punch you in the face. He did not just say this, he did not just say he will punch a random stranger in the face when he insults his mother, he said he will punch his own friend in the face for insulting his mother! Maybe President Hollande will also play to the gallery and arrest the Pope for “supporting terrorism” when next the Pope comes to France.
We are glad this statement was not made by a Muslim leader the world would have been on fire by now with everyone condemning the comment in the strongest words their speech writers can discover
Lastly, I think the “problem” of violence against those who insult the Prophet of Islam has a solution and the solution is simply: DO NOT DO IT.
A person needs to do a paternity test if someone cartoons his father with another man’s private part in his mouth and he is not provoked. For those who claim tolerance we say let us test your tolerance level; get us a picture of your father and mother doing the lawful and let us publish it in just one street and see how tolerant you will be. You see, if these cartoonists wrote or spoke about Prophet Muhammad in a derogatory way they would have been speaking French hence billions of people won’t hear. But this is not speaking but pictures; damaging and defaming to a man who is not around to defend himself. So we ask, when you defame a man who is alive he sues you to court for defamation, when you defame a dead man how do you expect a legal response?
Prophet Muhammad is worth more than a father and a mother to over a billion people. If you piss off over a billion people over and over again so much so that your President called it ‘irresponsible dangerous provocation of passion’, there is the likelihood that just 2 or 3 of them will attack you and there is even the likelihood that a court will dismiss this as a Crime of Passion. The maths have not change with government and weather, 1,000,000,000 minus 3 is still 999,999,997 who should not apologise because they have respected human lives so much they don’t cartoon dead people as homosexuals
To the government of France we say that we pray for more security for France. We advise that they make up their mind as to if they are for freedom or not. You cannot be up and down so that when your President is cartooned you ban the magazine but allow the same magazine under another name to cartoon the Prophet of a billion people. To impersonate the President of Tahiti is death sentence, how can mocking the Prophet of over a billion be free speech? How come women are not free to wear a Niqob in your country in expression of love for their faith but cartoonists are free to mock people in expression of hate for their religion. What makes you choose hate over love? I will call this a ‘dangerous provocation of passion’ too if you ask me
The truth should not be so scary. Let those who can speak it do so, let those who are too weak to do so find solace in silence
Eseoghene Al-Faruq Ohwojeheri
Director, Moral Project
(@faruqish)

Saturday, 17 January 2015

IMPLICATION OF NOT VOTING WITH SINCERITY

By: ‎Abd'hakeem Adeoye

An Islamic Scholar, Ustaz Abdulhakeem Thanni, has ‎appealed to all eligible 
voters especially Muslims to vote with sincerity during elections.
‎
Ustaz Thanni said this during a discussion segment on a radio programme, 
MSSNLagos HALF HOUR, on Star FM 101.5 between 8:30am-9am.
‎
The programme, which usually holds every Saturday, had 'Islam versus Democracy: The views on Leadership', as its last episode's topic.
‎
‎Thanni alerted voters that they would account for all their deeds on the day of 
judgement, including how they exercised their voting right.
‎‎
‎The scholar also ‎advised Muslims to ensure that they participate in the forth-coming February election.‎
‎
“It is a way of changing evil and setting uprightness to the Nigerian society‎.
Voting according to Islam is testifying that an individual is trusted and reliable," he added. ‎
‎ He explained there are some practices in democracy that have firm root in Islam and emphasised that laws made by Allah are supreme.‎ ‎ He said, “Representation, voting, leadership, freedom of religion, freedom of expression among others are identified and supported by the Quran and hadith. On the other hand, favourism, personal interest, making of laws which 
democracy recognize are not in the religion."‎
‎ The scholar added that  ‎participation of competent and trusted Muslims in democracy was imperative to rescuing Nigeria out of its crumbling society. He quoted Prophet Muhammed(SAW) ‎ as saying, "If any of you sees something wrong, let him change it with his hand; if he cannot, then with his tongue; if he cannot, then with his heart and this is the weakest faith."‎ For advert placement on the programme contact: 07045639818 or 07043554356