NGO tasks Islamic organisations on effective media usage

Islamic Organizations across Nigeria have been urged to embrace the effective use of the media with a view to passing true messages and correcting the wrong impression being created by the misguided elements masquerading as Muslims.

The South-West Coordinator of the Muslim Media Initiative (MMI), Mr Abdul-Majeed Adebayo gave this advise at a Media Workshop for Islamic Organizations in Osogbo, Osun State, Southwest Nigeria.

Adebayo observed that unlike adherents of other religions, Muslims appeared to have erroneously relied on destiny and are refusing to use modern communication technology to propagate their religion, thereby leaving evil minded people to take the centre stage and creating terror and confusion.

The Assistant Information Officer of the Ondo State University of Science and Technology, Okitipupa said it is high time Islamic organisations explored the use of traditional and modern means of communications in propagating the religion of peace.

“It is no longer a choice, but an obligation for Islamic organisations to establish and maintain a rapport with the media if they must thrive and record a far reaching accomplishments in their Dawah activities, especially in today’s world.

“It is time Muslims and Islamic Organizations in Nigeria did away with the erroneous belief that investing in the media is a waste of resources. As Muslims, we must correct our deceptive cum erroneous belief that investing in the Media/PR is a waste and unworthy venture. Yes, Media or PR may not give us cash, but it has the potentials to win people’s hearts and their wealth eventually”, he said.

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The Coordinator told participants that the time has come when Islamic Organizations must adopt professionalism in their Public/Media Relations offices and not just employ anybody for the job.

He added that PR is neither a window dressing nor propaganda or falsehood, but truth, effective two-way communication, media relations and establishing mutual understanding between organisations and its public.

“PR is beyond making announcements or pasting posters. For Islamic organisations to be relevant in this age, they must continuously train their PROs in the art and practice of Public Relations,” he concluded.

Dr Abdus-Semiu Bello of the Department of Mass Communication in Olabisi Onabanjo University who spoke on, Islamic Organisations and the Need for Effective Public Relations argued that the gregarious, enigmatic and inter-dependence nature of human beings compel every organisation to employ PR in its endeavours.

“The complex nature of this world necessitates Public Relations for individuals and organisations. The enigmatic nature of man must make us realise that: man annoys and can be annoyed, he feels and felt for, he has impressions, perceptions and emotions; he influences and can be influenced.

“‘Man develops attitudes, actions, inactions and reactions; he has sentiments, bias, ill-feelings and hatred; he accepts, rejects, supports, condemns, believes and disbelieves; he communicates (to share and make common) and can be communicated,” he submitted.

Other facilitators included Mr Hameed Oyegbade, the Chairman, Correspondents’ Chapel, Osun State, who spoke on the ABC of Effective Media Relations and Mr Yusuf Jimoh Aweda, a social commentator and Microsoft Certified Technology Specialist spoke on the Effective Use of Social Media for Da’wah.

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While Mr Oyegbade urged Muslim organisations to maintain good public and corporate relations with the media and media personalities to achieve optimum result, Aweda enjoined the participants to invest in themselves with a view to building successful media personalities.

He said this should be developed even as they use textual, image and audio visual contents to pass their message effectively.

One of the participants, Engineer Qamarudeen Babalola, the immediate past National Coordinator, Da’wah Front of Nigeria commended the MMI for the program and called for an extension of such workshop to other organisations yet to be involved.

In the same vein, an Imam of The Muslim Congress in Osun State, Ustadh Sulaiman Gboyelade described the programme as timely.

He stressed that using media as a tool for propagation is not strange to Islam as the Prophet Muhammad also employed same during his time when he ascended Mount Saffa in Mecca to invite the Quraysh to Islam.

Adeyinka Aremu, Osogbo

 

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