[email protected]: Why you should work at The Express Tribune

The Express Tribune family welcomes everyone, including cynics like you.

Yousuf Saifuddin March 08, 2012
There comes a point in everyone’s life when they are about to start university and have to make choices, pertaining to what subjects they should choose in line with what career or profession they plan to pursue. This can get very tricky, if you are a person of faith - particularly a Muslim.

Since Islam, besides being a religion, is also considered a way of life, Muslims are faced with the moral dilemma of choosing a career that is also in line with the teachings of Islam or at best, does not go against the teachings of Islam.

There is a reason why this piece starts off as a sermon, because this is a reply to a fellow ‘Muslimah’ who is faced with the same aforementioned dilemma.

I recently came across this forum, a platform for Muslims of a particular sect, wherein a lady (according to her brief bio) under the handle [email protected] had initiated a thread asking for advice on whether she should appear for an interview call from The Express Tribune, since according to her, the newspaper has an “almost secular/anti-Islamic stance on every single issue”.

Interestingly enough, she does not mention what position she had applied for - an editorial one or one in the corporate departments.

Default Should I should I not work in the Express Tribune?




Assalamu Alaikum wa rahmatULLAHI wa barakatuHU dear all,
I have just received an interview-call from the Express Tribune...
I was wondering if it is a good idea to work there, given their almost secular/anti-Islamic stance on every single issue...
Will the income I receive from there be mubaarak?

Looking forward to your mashwarahs ( Remember seeking mashwarah is a Sunnah of our Beloved Prophet SallAllahu alayhi wa Sallam),
JazakumULLAH Khair,
Wassalam ma'al-ikram



To be honest, I can relate to this as I, too, have been taunted by friends for working for a newspaper with a 'seemingly anti-Islamic, anti-Pakistan agenda, fuelled by the Jewish lobby'.

The title picture, by a page on Facebook that loves to hate the newspaper, makes an even more ludicrous allegation as stated in its highly amusing caption that reads:

 



"The employees of SexPress Tribune hail their god Lucifer by making the devil horn sign. Our hypothesis that The Express Tribune is the illegitimate child of Satan is proving step by step. First the illuminati symbolism of Lakson group of companies, the owner of The Express Tribune. Then the promotion of homosexuality. Then showing Israel as innocent and propagating that Pakistan should make diplomatic ties with Israel. And Now this! Is there anyone still blind who cannot see all the illuminati agenda going on in Pakistan? "

Hogwash!

I want to make it very clear to all the critics and ‘[email protected]’ as well, that as an employee (a subeditor at the web desk) of The Express Tribune, who has spent over a year at this organisation, the newspaper has no agenda! The closest to an agenda that it has, is an editorial policy, which is every newspaper’s prerogative and an industry requirement.

Default Re: Should I should I not work in the Express Tribune?




Waalaikumussalaam dear sister:

I think your heart is already set against the matter and I personally think you are right; otherwise, I suppose you could pray for guidance. I don't know what the job entails but if it has anything to do with writing and disseminating anti-Islamic material to households, then I think you are right to be cautious (and actually say 'no'). While the job may bring money and perhaps even pays really well, I don't think it is worth it if we consider the consequence of having impacted who knows how many minds against Islam... insha'Allah a better, more mubarak job will open up for you.

I say: don't take it.

Wa'assalaam dear.



About the paper being ‘secular’, let us first ponder over the definition of this rather controversial word in our part of the world. The popular meaning of the word is:

Denoting attitudes, activities, or other things that have no religious or spiritual basis.

Organisations, including newspapers, are not supposed to have a religious identity, unless it is a religious organisation. Going by the definition above, every English daily in Pakistan is secular; simply reporting events and happenings as they are. This also addresses the misconception that The Express Tribune is anti-Islamic, since once again if there are conflicts in the Muslim world, including Pakistan vis-à-vis sectarian violence and terrorism, then the newspaper is simply reporting it.

Having worked for the newspaper as subeditor, for over a year now, I have been a part of the news selection process, and the seniors are very keen on taking ‘pro-Pakistani’ and ‘Pro-Islamic’ stories. Stories, spanning from supporting achievements in Pakistan’s academic sector, health sector, and social development so on and so forth. In fact, a simple Google search for Islam and Pakistan related stories on The Express Tribune website is enough to refute all the absurd allegations about the newspaper having an anti-Islam/secular or anti-Pakistan agenda.

In terms of religious stories, The Express Tribune, just like any other daily, celebrates positive news and happenings of all religions practiced in Pakistan. Specifically, Islam related news; the daily has always strived to promote the various Islamic festivals in the country, stories on promoting Islamic banking, also promoting pro-Islam related articles in its blogs and opinions pages.

The Express Tribune's seemingly ‘un-Islamic’ stance is usually associated with its coverage of the rather controversial blasphemy law and encouraging discourse in its blogs and op-ed pages. Bringing to light human rights abuses, carried out under the garb of Islam and tradition, such as karo kari and child abuse at madrassas or homosexuality are issues that need to be addressed or provided a platform for discussions and that is exactly what this daily, like any other, strives to do.

But seriously, let’s take this in perspective, aren’t all dailies, particularly the English ones highlighting such issues? Why is this daily being singled out? Since when did encouraging dialogue over religion, including Islam, become illegal or ‘un-Islamic’. The Express Tribune has always strived to give a balanced perspective, instead of a linear one.

Here, I would like to enlighten my fellow Muslimah and like-minded people that unlike The Express Tribune, it is no hidden fact that there are various popular Urdu newspapers in Karachi and Pakistan, backed by political and religious parties, promoting their respective agendas, which are not always in the best interests of Pakistan ─ often ending up creating sectarian and ethnic tensions in the country.

When it comes to choosing a livelihood, Islam has laid down some basic fundamentals on how to go about it, the bottom-line being that the profession should not indulge in practices that goes against the teachings of Islam, it benefits mankind in general and in turn a ‘halal’ income.

I would never claim to be a pious and virtuous Muslim, because that is exclusively God's prerogative, but I, too, am a God-fearing Muslim striving to be a better human being. Taking decisions in life, in light of my religion, which do not have a negative bearing on me personally or professionally are all my decisions to make.

I’m guessing  that issues in like are the same concern bogging down [email protected]’ to who I would like to say that, I have been working here and am very comfortable knowing that what I do does not have a negative bearing on society. There is no such thing as a 'perfectly religion compliant' job, but one can only try and stay within one's religious parameters to an extent, but at the end of the day, the choice is yours not the institution you work for!

Default Re: Should I should I not work in the Express Tribune?








Quote Originally Posted by muminah View Post

I don't know what the Express Tribune is. If its anti-Muslim, go in there, show your good character and work ethic, work hard and move to the very top, and inshallah things will change. We can't keep hiding away. We desperately need Muslims in the media!I wouldn't turn down the offer, in fact I would look at it as an opportunity to remove misconceptions about Islam. Even just your presence there may change things inshallah




REPLY:

Its a newspaper. It is impossible to voice your views in a secular and anti-Islamic media front due to the strict rules of reporting and the majority of people high up in the job hierarchy being secular and immensely liberal.

I would just reject the offer, would not even think of it. It would be aiding the purpose of Kuffaar if we work in such a place.



The Express Tribune is no different than any other news organisation, and you will always have the freedom to present and defend your point of view regarding any topic, including religion.

Personally, despite not being a mass communication or journalism graduate, I hold this profession in high regard. To sum it up in one sentence, it gives you the power to educate and inform people, enabling them to make informed choices and decisions that in turn would have a positive impact on their lives.

I hope I have for one and all quashed any allegations of the aforementioned nature against this daily, shutting up those overzealous critics and naysayers alike.

The Express Tribune, affiliated with the world renowned and trusted International Herald Tribune, is a responsible newspaper, owned by one of the most respected business families of Pakistan, the Lakson Group. It has rapidly emerged as one of the most popular English dailies of the country, both in print and online, with the latter having a truly international reach and appeal.

Dear [email protected]’,

The Express Tribune family welcomes everyone, including a cynic like you. Take it from me ─ it’s not every day that one gets to work with such a highly competent, hardworking and vibrant team.

All my best,

An employee at The Express Tribune.

Follow Yousuf on Twitter @yousufsaifuddin
WRITTEN BY:
Yousuf Saifuddin
The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necassarily reflect the views and policies of the Express Tribune.

COMMENTS (54)

Flossie Laurino | 8 years ago | Reply Enjoyed studying this, very good stuff, thankyou . "To be positive To be mistaken at the top of one's voice." by Ambrose Bierce.
Anam | 8 years ago | Reply There is no doubt about the fact that Express Tribune is a completely left-wing newspaper. From the people I know, who work there, and having been well-acquainted with the majority of ET's workforce, II can safely say that ET has a very forward-looking, left-wing mentality amongst its employees, which clearly reflects in its content. But thats not the point, the point is, irrespective of what kind of content the newspaper has, or what kind of people work for it. It shouldn't really bother the staff of ET if there is a anti-ET campaign against it on FB, or if there is a woman seeking a solution to a dilemma she has. Because you are a newspaper, and all that the blogger, has respectfully done, isnt really necessary. Although I respect the sentiments of the writer, and what he is trying to say, I think higher authorities at ET shouldnt really be bothered about this kind of stuff, and even publish such a piece, even if its on the blogs section. Because even though, the blogpost is submitting a clarification, it is also highlighting the negative perception about ET. Plus the fact that ET is even entertaining all this, is just proof of the petty-ness of the publication.
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