Islamonline going offline?

It’s been a surreal week for us at Islamonline.net, the world’s premier Muslim website.  The editorial office is based in Egypt, and headquarters are in Qatar.

On Monday 15 March, fears which had been brewing for over a month came to a boil. We were abruptly told, with no forewarning, that the Egypt office would be immediately closed.

It started in January, when the new executive board members of Al-Balagh Society, the holding company of Media International (which produces the websites Islamonline & others) sought to gain control of the editorial agenda planning.

They issued guidelines calling for more conservative, religious content, and wanted to remove the youth and arts sections. They objected to the coverage of Valentines Day-despite it being from an Islamic perspective.

They appointed someone of their choosing to preside over the new General Manager, after the General Manager at IOL resigned, due to heavy handedness by the board.  This man, Dr Atef Abdel Mughny, then appropriated control of the server, and transferred the Arabic youth site, 20at.com, to a smaller server.

There was talk of layoffs and restructuring. A letter was sent to them to explain what’s going on, but they didn’t respond to the concerns listed by employees. A letter was also sent to Sh Qaradawi, the chair of Al Balagh, to intervene.

On Monday, staff arranged a sit-in to protest against the lack of answers. They sent in the police, & said all employees who had signed the letter would be investigated. The server was then blocked, and we could not upload content. Then they announced Al Balagh would not be renewing its contract (hitherto unknown of by the staff) with Media International. All employees would be released. But they said if employees resign, they’d be compensated. Almost all 350 employees resigned.

But the next day they reneged on the deal offering adequate compensation.

The following day they started removing content. All of IOL Radio’s content has been removed, and certain material from other sections.

On Wednesday, an emergency board meeting was called by Sh Qaradawi. He revoked the decisions of the executive board members, who said they acted with the backing of the emir of Qatar. The emir denied involvement.

They were suspended, and an Acting Exec Board was appointed in the interim. Within two weeks, a General Assembly Meeting of Al Balagh will be held, & decisions put to a vote.

3 board members want the Egypt editorial office to remain, 3 want it moved to Qatar, and 3 are undecided.

We still don’t have access to the server, & the strike continues.

For more information, please see links below.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/belief/2010/mar/18/islamonline-strike-justified-qatar?showallcomments=true#end-of-comments

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2010/mar/16/egypt-islam-online-crisis-workers-protest

http://bikyamasr.com/?p=10076

Please do support us with leeters of support, and comments on Bibi-Aisha’s op-ed.

We need your duas and visible online support through words.

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Do you believe in finding a spouse online?

Muslim marriage websites have proliferated in recent years. No longer seen as a social stigma for those unable to find a marriage partner, these sites have become social networking sites and are viewed as perfectly acceptable in today’s times. Success stories can be found on each site, and it’s made to look very easy. But is it? Is putting one’s profile online in the hope that someone with similar interests will find one, a recipe for success. Does widening the net really reel in more fish? Can one click with a person one has never met, and if so, will that compatibility carry over in a real life meeting?

Often on matrimonial sites, the person’s profile is just as important as the picture. But yet, those who don’t make their pictures public, receive little or no response. And for those with great profiles, but whose pictures are deemed unattractive, the response rate is also far less. Does being online build, or destroy one’s self-image?

Is parental involvement important during the process?

We’d love to hear your answers to these questions, and more.

Email us iolradio@iolteam.com

Let us know your views, and please remember to include your telephone details so we can call you to participate!

Where is Al-Quds in your heart?

Al-Quds, Jersusalem, the Arab culture capital of 2009.

Jerusalem, holy to Muslims, Jews and Christians.

Jerusalem, ravaged by blood and war.

Al-Quds, the ailing city.

Al-Quds, the city under siege.

Al-Aqsa, the first qibla.

Al-Aqsa, Islam’s third holiest site.

What emotions does Al Quds evoke in you? Where is Al-Quds in your heart?

Nominate Your Person of Inspiration!

IOL Radio knows that within the wider Muslim community, there are scores of inspirational people from all backgrounds who serve to motivate others in a myriad of ways.

Be they intellectuals, youth, scholars, home executives, leaders, there are numerous role models in Muslim communities.

If you know of someone who’s providing a valuable voluntary service in their community, or someone who’s been elected to their local Parliament, or a person who’s invented something, achieved something major, then let us know!

Nominate Your Person of Inspiration!

Send us your nomination by providing us with a brief bio of the nominee, and both your contact details and theirs.

Email: iolradio@iolteam.com

Subject Line: Person of Inspiration

Bio:

Nominators’ Contact Details:

Nominee’s Contact Details

Let us together inspire the Ummah

Share your Eid with IOL Radio

Assalaamu alaikum

In a few days time we’ll be celebrating Eid (hopefully not by overeating :D) & IOL Radio would love to hear from Muslims around the world.

On Fri 18 September and Sat 19 September we’ll be having an Eid broadcast.

Fri: 16:30-17:30GMT
Sat: 16:00-17:00 GMT

Join our facebook group (IOL Radio) , follow us on twitter (iolradio) and add us on Skype (iolradio)

Let us know when the moon has been sighted in your country.
Email us: iolradio@iolteam.com

Share your Eid experiences with us.

Email us with your thoughts & contact details.
We’ll call you

Listen in!

http://www.islamonline.net/English/Radio/index.shtml

What is the significance of your mosque in your life?

Join IslamOnline.net’s Radio on Sunday, September 13,  at 15:00 GMT for a special live broadcast:

“Of what significance is the Masjid in your Life? ”

Share your thoughts with IslamOnline’s Radio and Art & Culture page by sending your comments via iolradio@iolteam.com

During the blessed month of Ramadan, mosques are filled with worshipers around the clock. A common scene is the mosque overcrowded with people who usually resort to the neighboring streets or buildings to join the Prayer.

In Ramadan, people go to mosques not only to pray but also to benefit from the services provided there.

For example, some mosques arrange for sessions on and competitions in tajweed (rules of Qur’anic recitation) and hold daily circles to enlighten Muslims about their religious and social duties. Added to these are the usual everyday activities of helping the poor and providing the needy with food.

Take a moment and tell us:

– What is the name of the mosque where you perform your Prayers? And Where is it located?

– Do you attend any cultural or religious gatherings at the mosque? If yes, how can you describe these events?

– How do you evaluate the role of mosques as cultural meeting points in your country?

Welcome to Islam

http://www.islamonline.net/English/Radio/programs/topic_02/archive_01.shtml

http://www.islamonline.net/English/Radio/programs/topic_08/archive_01.shtml