Ranao Star founder to aspiring Muslim scribes: Adhere to journalism ettiquette, Islamic values

Message of the Founder During the Opening Ceremony of The Ranao Star’s Iligan Office on Monday, Dec. 28, 2020

Assalamo ‘aleikom wa rahmatollahi wa barakatoh.
May you have a pleasant and blessed Monday.

About 17 years ago, in May 2003, a two-fold long bond reso-print small paper hit the streets and mainly distributed in major Mosques in the Islamic city of Marawi.

Founder, The Ranao Star Publication

The size of the paper and the way it was printed did not of course attract the public. In fact, we received some sort of ‘bullies’ and negative criticisms. What attracted the public was its ‘make-up’, the ‘layout,’ the ‘headlines,’ the ‘simplicity style of writing’ and the ‘contents.’ Alhamdulillah.

From then on, The Ranao Star has become a byword in the city. Despite all the challenges it has faced which included direct or indirect bullies from friends or otherwise, it has gained the reputation of being the ‘longest running community weekly in the Ranao Region, and an independent organization for it has not received nor asked for financial funding either loan, grant or dole-out from any individual or institution.

The Ranao Star is not the first media outfit that I had founded.

In 1983, I founded Friday Times in the heart of Manila. It was the first Muslim weekly to hit the streets in the metropolitan aas well as Muslim-dominated cities in the country but due to financial constraint and cruel circumstances, it did not last long.

The failure of Friday Times did not discourage me. Instead, it had strengthened my vision to have a media organization truly representative of the Muslim Filipinos, thus compelled me to upgrade my knowledge on newspapering and media practice.

Therefore, I joined local and international outfits including the defunct daily Brunei Times in Brunei Darussalam. I also joined the Organizing Committee of the World Federation of Muslim Journalists based in Kuala Lumpur and was elected its ‘protem secretary general.’Until lately, I wrote for The Manila Times.

Today, as we open this office in Iligan City, we mark another milestone in the history of The Ranao Star. But allow me to say, our dream is for the Muslim Filipinos to have more media outfits and organizations adhering to the true etiquette of journalism with Islamic values which are at par and competitive globally

As founder of The Ranao Star, in behalf of the men and women behind it, and of my family, especially my wife Bai Rocaya Sumndad Otical, who now serves as its General Mamager and Publisher, I dedicate this momentum to all the good people of the two provinces of Lanao — Lanao del Norte and Lanao del Sur, from which the word ‘Ranao’ of The Ranao Star derives; to the cities of Iligan and Marawi; and to all those who in one way or another have contributed for the success of this institution I also dedicate this momentum to the Muslim Filipinos and the Bangsamoro..

Mabuhay Kayong Lahat. Mabuhay ang Ranao Star.

Iligan City, December 28, 2020

Founder, The Ranao Star Publication

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