Thursday, September 25, 2008

UPDATE: More of my tendentious writing ...

A certain tabloid columnist recently described my writing as tendentious. According to the AskOxford website, the word "tendentious" means: "calculated to promote a particular cause or point of view" The bulk of what I write is opinion and review. So obviously I do promote a point of view. As for whether I promote a cause, I wonder what possible objection the tabloid columnist in question would have to the causes promoted here, here, here and here.

Anyway, here is some of the stuff I've written recently ...

The events in Islamabad shook all of us. The disgusting and cowardly attacks against civilians brought home yet again the fact that terrorism affects all people regardless of background, ethnicity and faith. My take on these dastardly acts appeared in The Age here, as well as on the Brisbane Times website here.
The New Zealand Herald published this piece I wrote about Western silence on the continued attacks by (pseudo-)Hindu militants against Indian Christians.

A recent piece I wrote for Crikey on the documentary Embedded With Sheikh Hilaly broadcast on SBS on 23 September 2008 appears here.

UPDATE I: In relation to The Age article, I received correspondence from Professor William Shepard, who taught religious studies at the University of Canterbury in Christchurch, New Zealand. Professor Shepard is fluent in written and spoken Arabic (both classical and modern) and is regarded as a world authority on the work of Syed Qutb. Here is what Professor Shepard said ...

Good article, but let me point out that Ramadan is not one of the "sacred months" when there is to be no fighting. I believe they are Dhu-Qa‘da, Dhul-Hijja, Muharram and Rajab. I might add that it is not only the "post-modern left" have hijacked terrorism studies but also the neo-conservative right.

Thanks to Professor Shepard for his correction and comment.

UPDATE II: A Kiwi chap named Bill wrote this response to my NZ Herald article ...

I have just read the article by Irfan Yusuf your associate editor in the NZ Herald 22/8/08. May I congratulate him for his courage and honesty. I have never seen an article in a New Zealand paper criticizing Hindu and Muslim extremist and government actions against Christian minorities in Asia (especially those who have changed or wish to change their religion). It blew me away! Our politicians and Western media are too secular, anti-Christian and self-interested as well as being scared of the political and trade consequences. Coming from Mr Yusuf they carry great weight and are overdue.

I have often thought of contacting our government or some authorities in Asia over this long standing tragedy but have been warned off as it might put local Christians in danger from Islamic and Hindu government security police who constantly harass them or from violent religious extremists. If your protest is taken to heart it will go a long way to right a wrong and convince us that Islam's claim to be a peace loving and tolerant religion isn't just words. However I'm afraid I won't be holding my breath waiting as it has been allowed to become so ingrained and widespread.

Well done! I respect you for your stand for what is right.
Yes, tendentious writing indeed!

UPDATE III: In relation to the Crikey piece, one chap named Tony had this response on the Crikey website ...

The Hilaly 'documentary' was an exercise in opportunism which didn't work for either the sheikh or the interviewer because both were so clearly inept in the art of ingenuous communication. What positive outcome this show could possibly have delivered remains a mystery, as does the steady decline of the SBS ethos to report intelligently on our multicultural society. I can hear dopes prattle incomprehensibly any day of the week. Both these clowns should retire.
I guess all this controversy about the program will do wonders for the ratings. Once again, SBS will be laughing all the way to the bank! Given their positive nett contribution to television in Australia, good luck to them.

Words © 2008 Irfan Yusuf

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