Publication: Cape Argus Issued: Date: 2004-10-20 Reporter: Suraya Williams

Why Mention Shaik's Religion?



Cape Argus

Date 2004-10-20


Suraya Williams

Web Link


I shudder to think about the impression created by the media about being a Muslim. I thought the media onslaught against Islam only happened in Britain, the US and Israel.

I refer to the front page of the Cape Argus of October 18, which displays a portrait of Schabir Shaik.

A two-line caption says nothing newsworthy, but does not fail to mention that he is a Muslim.

How many reports of crime and corruption are reported daily? How many of these reports mention the religion of the accused?

Well, the answer is quite simple : if the accused is a Muslim, his religion is mentioned, notwithstanding the fact that Muslim people have Arabic names, which clearly identify the religion they ascribe to (save for a few exceptions).

I do not recall a news article on Tony Yengeni that said nothing but only commented on his religion.

We have come a long way since 1994 and it is sad to witness that some media continuously fall into the trap of religious chauvinism.

Kindly note that the writer writes in her personal capacity.

Suraya Williams, Parliamentary Officer, Commission on Gender Equality

With acknowledgements to Suraya Williams and the Cape Argus.