By Ehsan Masood
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Extra info for British Muslims, Media Guide
They are adept at lobbying journalists, writing letters to newspapers, issuing press releases and staging press conferences. An early example of this was in 1992, with the launch of the Muslim Parliament. The fact that it became a global media event was in part because of a carefully planned PR strategy. The launch had a dedicated communications team, which ensured that the media knew about it long before it took place and which looked after the needs of journalists on the day, providing quick and unrestricted access to all the parliament’s principal people to maximise coverage in the following day’s news.
Almost at the same time came The Crescent, a fortnightly newspaper on global current affairs. The Jang (an Urdu word meaning ‘war, conflict, or disagreement’), Pakistan’s largest-selling Urdu daily newspaper, also established a London edition in the 1970s for the growing community of diaspora Pakistanis. The 1980s saw two further entrants to the Londonbased Muslim print-media stable. These were Arabia: The Islamic World Review, funded from sources in Saudi Arabia and Africa Events and its stablemate Inquiry, a Muslim equivalent of today’s Prospect.
Examples of more diverse content in the broadcast media include regular and extensive coverage of the Hajj and week-long series of programmes on Islamrelated themes on both the BBC and Channel 4. Channel 4 has also broadcast an innovative weekly show called Shariah TV in which an invited audience of younger Muslims puts questions about the practice of Islam to an invited panel of scholarly experts. This programme was aimed exclusively at a Muslim audience. Such Q&A programmes are popular in both the print and broadcast media throughout the Muslim world.