We regret the inadvertent publication of the article titled “Shia-Sunni reconciliation” by Saleem H Ali of Burlington, VT, US, in our print edition of December 9, 2011 and subsequently on our website. The article was immediately removed from the website.
The article was published without exercising proper editorial judgment. We sincerely apologise for the mistake to our readers whose religious sentiments were hurt.
Published in The Express Tribune, December 10th, 2011.
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Nice to see this much-required apology, but please ensure strict scrutiny of all material before publishing. And a note to all ignorant people who do not know the history of Azadari (Majlis & Noha): The first majlis was held by Hazrat Zainab (S.A) after being released from Yazid's prison and Imam Zainul Abideen (A.S) spent rest of his life in all sorts of mourning in the memory of Imam Hussain (A.S). This tradition was kept alive by the household of Prophet (SAWW) and taken on by the entire muslim world who were not influenced by the royal propagande of Yazid and his progeny. Lets not get too liberal and respect the basic sanctity of religion and its custodians, plz.
Ah,,, the dilemma of freedom of speech
I follow the sect which was ridiculed by the author but its a request that please dont ban him...maybe this might be an opportunity for Salim Ali to learn and understand the rational behind the Muharam rituals.
E,T is free to right against main streem muslims but not allowed against shia and qadianis shame on u E,T shame on u
accepted. good step by ET. thanks
Much appreciated! Why can't all the media be like ET??
please also make sure blogs are properly edited or selected carefully. recently et blogs also published pieces on shia-sunni/muharm themes that initiated long debates.
Apology wasn't needed really. The article even said things like "the educated elite should not remain silent just because Shias have sadly been a persecuted minority in Pakistan."
Just want one clarification from ET - If they remove one article because it is deemed offensive to religious beliefs of a group (the Shias). Can they also stop publishing articles which are deemed to be offensive on certain basic Islamic principles. For e.g. ET's obsession with publishing articles on Homosexuality, which btw is extremely and utter offensive to almost all the Islamic sects (shias included) and also directed against the main Islamic laws. I am not from the morality brigade. But I just want a clarification from ET as to what their policy is. Is there selective censoring? Or targeted propaganda on certain things? Are certain religious beliefs ok to offend but not others. ET should either strictly censor everything or publish everything. This selective censoring is huge hypocrisy on ET's part!
I too had reservations about the article and commented over it. But why won’t ET accept his articles in future? He could have further explained his stance. Don't ban the author.
ET puts fetters on free and rational speech
Well done, ET, for gracefully accepting the error and for rectifying it! I am happier still that a contributor who have holds such distasteful and disrespectful views of other sects will not be writing in these pages.
While others here talk about being open to criticism, there is a difference between open discussion and debate v/s being insulting and deliberately hurtful of other's religious sentiments and practices. Saleem Ali clearly crossed the line and I'm happy that your editorial policy sees that as well. Ali certainly has the right to free speech, but I'm thankful that he will be exercising it elsewhere.
I don't think the writer should be boycotted for expressing his views...you may choose to not publish this particular piece but i believe the reaction to entirely boycott him is a disproportionate one. At the end of the day he hasn't abused anyone just expressed his own opinion which most of us might not agree with.
@Usman: brother it means that you dont have any issues with cartoons of our holy prophet (PBUH) and if you have then it comes again in selective freedom of speech .Dont support any of that causes as well.
Oh for goodness sake! There was NO hate speech in that article. ET, what are you playing at? Since when is it forbidden to tell facts as they are? Isn't all that is mentioned in the article fact? Doesnt it happen? So if they do it, why make hue nd cry if someone says they do? I found the article realistic and sensible. There was no hate speech in it. Stop looking for things to make an issue of. Pity uve decided not to take more from the writer. Ultimately its ET's loss.
I think ET must discern between free speech and hate speech. Saleem's views were not directed to a person but a practice which defies common sense and basic principles of civilized human behavior. Perhaps you should also ban articles against the Hindu practice of 'Sati" or the muslim practice of polygamy, or for that matter any critique of a ritual. The Quran and Sunnah make no sanction or otherwise of these man made practices. I have met people of a certain sect that have a problem with my name. Maybe mentioning here that some 'drunken horses' have blocked ambulances with humans in desperate need of medical attention. Should I as a tax payer not question the millions spent by the state to secure these ritualistic processions. Perhaps I should not criticize anything at all. Just play safe and be an apologist for all that may have nuisance value. Saleem Ali is a brave man for speaking with the truth and candor of a discerning and cultured human being.
dear editor, thanks for the apology. but it was very disappointing to read this article in express tribune. how can a responsible news paper, like yours print the article such as this, without checking the facts. kindle promote responsible journalism not tabloid journalism.
I hope ET's editor doesn't get sacked. S(he) has been under a lot of criticism lately. We forgive you, no problem! But ET should not ban the writer, he is a brilliant and learned guy. Give him a chance!
Good that is what i like about ET.
Open discussions can only lead us to reconciliation. Why you have banned the author, whereas you never banned any one who wrote against Tablighi Jamat, those who wrote in favor of Gay Marriages and those who wrote against blasphemy law in Pakistan. Then why Mr.Saleem?
If anyone consciously blames ET for their emotional state, they're trying way too hard to find as many people as possible to blame on. It's controversial, but so are most of the world news opinions whether it's found in the article itself or in the majority of the comments/debate.
Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong. Just be cautious next time.
what was written in the article? Now I am feeling very curious to know.
Apart from certain words in the piece, there seems nothing that might hurt someone. Its very much rational. This is the very opposite of what the writer has called for.
That was a perfectly good article which made sense. The only people whose sentiments it hurt are those who cannot accept the truth. I am sorry tribune but i wont be visiting your website anymore. Selective freedom of expression is not good enough I am afraid.
Dear ET, thanks for the apology.. appreciated ..kindly also publish the same for the print version of the article!
All fine - but this should also serve as a reminder to the Express Tribune as to what constitutes 'free speech' and what doesn't. Plenty of other articles on equally contentious topics are written - specially in blogs, which are immature at best and silly at worst - and they are followed up by a pseudo-liberal notion of free speech. Clearly, you and others disagree with what the author wrote (or at least that it should not have been published), but it is ironic that this now prevents him from ever writing for you. I haven't really followed his work, but I have seen it printed in your paper before. Stop being an amateurish newspaper; see through the website, and you find multiple instances of free speech advocated, quite inanely many times. So let this be a moment of introspection for you as well.
Hello Editor, Even if I don't agree with all that was written in the article, yet I did not find anything offensive or lacking common sense that it had to be taken off and apology had to be offered. Frankly, I see so many crap articles published and then same authors keep getting printed on same papers.
This is typical attitude of yiedling in the direction of least resistance rather than following the line of greatest advantage.
Dear Kamal: That is extremely cowardly on the part of ET's editorial board. Shocking! The article did not criticise or attack any, I repeat any, religious or revered figured or divine concepts. It just criticised/highlighted certain practices which have no foundation in religion. If a large group of people around the world practices them then that doesn't make it divine. A large majority of the world population indulges in politics or masturbation and the subject gets discussed, critices, attacked, praised. So if I find it offensive, rally against discussion of either, would you stop publishing anything remotely related to either?
Vienna,December 9,2011 I just got a message from Reporters Without Borders some news and opinions may cause pain, prison and death. Some sketches or paintings lead to expulsion by sentimentalist hooligans as in the case of the late Maqbool Fida Hussain. Opinions are to be respected whatever unpleasantness may be.News are facts of life and death and inbetween events. There is always choices like silence,shutting ears, or closing eyes.Dear Editor no reason to apologise whatever. Taravadu Taranga Trust for Media Monitoring TTTMM India --Kulamarva Balakrishna
Appreciated! After 24 hours, article's finally down at last. Please make sure that the articles go through a proper process of checking prior to publishment. It really hurted the sentiments of every sane person down on earth. Using of such euphemistic words as to cause conundrum in already hostile situation for the Shi'tes across country and publishing it right after Ashura was nothing else but to hurt the sentiments. But still @saleem_ali owe an apology for the atrocious piece!
Thank you ET. i was v offended by hat article especially i never thought ET can publish this type of crap. thanks again for removing it and for the apology.
It is this taboo, censorship, 'treading religious sentiments' and political correctness that has kept us from reaching the “Shia-Sunni reconciliation” in the first place. Unless one is allowed to openly express ones opinion towards the other party how is one supposed to find out the points of objection? Having said that, I do agree that a national newspaper is not the stage for settling such disputes.