Philippine Muslim Today: Struggle for a share in the mainstream

Expected to come out on the web is a new media outfit, Philippine Muslim Today (PMT).

Its forerunners said if all is well they would issue its weekly electronic paper on Friday, June 19, 2020, and every Friday henceforth. Of course, this is kind of a dryrun for the outfit has to be formally organized.

PMT primarily aims to be a national strong media entity encompassing the traditional print (hard copy) as well as the digital and online media platforms wherein independent Muslim journalists and Muslim thinkers with support from Muslim community and non-Muslim sympathizers are united for the common good.

It will operate as a non-government and non-political organization under the laws of the Philippines adhering to press freedom and the freedom of expression.

Founder Masiding Noor Yahya, a veteran and renowned Muslim journalist in the country, said he was motivated to initiate this noble program with the support of his colleagues who are equally respected journalists and thinkers in their own rights for the following objectives:

1. As a unifying factor of all Muslim journalists and media practitioners in the Philippines irrespective of tribe, social standing/outlook in life, or political affiliation and persuasion.

2. To be a voice of the Muslims in the mainstream media, on the one hand, and as reliable source of information, on the other.

3. To help strengthen the Muslim solidarity in this country and elsewhere for their own common good and welfare.

This may sound easier said than done. With the Muslim community is still struggling for equal opportunities that the mainstream society has yet to accept and allow — at least, in practice — the planned Muslim national outfit may sail through tempest along the way. So far, no Muslim media has thrived, not yet, in a non-Muslim nation like ours. Hopefully, PMT will make a difference.

The infant Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) which is an outcome of a series of difficult negotiations and armed confrontations that led a loss of thousands of lives and properties, has yet to prove that it can bring the Bangsamoro or the Muslims into an equal space with the rest of the society. Infant as BARMM is, it is too early to opine.

Perhaps, the birth of Philippine Muslim Today can help in the realization of the Bangsamoro aspirations to complete fruition, and the entire Muslim community for a fair and equal place under the sun. For PMT to succeed, it would be noble if the present BARMM officials should support, financially and morally, the first Muslim national media outfit to be established in the country in this digital age.

Ranao Star Philippines

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