City of Brass

City of Brass

Islam Online – status update

This is a guest post by Dilshad D. Ali.

We here in the U.S. are holding our breath, living off of Facebook updates, Tweets, and email messages from colleagues in Cairo as to what is happening at the Islam Online offices there. On Monday, in a surprising and swift turn of events, a new board of directors in Qatar who were displeased with the tone and breadth of Islam Online’s content and coverage of controversial (and some may say not strictly Islamic) topics, seized control of the site’s servers and changed passwords, effectively locking out the more than 300 editors and journalists responsible for producing and changing its content on a daily basis.

Reports are emerging that more than 200 editors have tendered their resignation in protest and are currently fighting feverishly with the directors for their financial and employment rights. Some wonder why Islam Online has not put forth an official statement: Lamia El Sadek, part of the IOL team and the co-founder of the Islam Online support group on Facebook, posted that until financial and employment rights had been reestablished for the 330 Cairo newsroom editors and journalists and the 475 contract reporters and editors working abroad, they would not put forth an official message.

I wonder at if this is the right way to go, with blogs, media outlets and other sites scrambling to report the story from Cairo. Individual editors are making statements, but it would be helpful to have an official line about this. Still, even though the world has been made much smaller, speedier, and concise by the proliferation of internet journalism, I cannot make a qualified judgment on how the Cairo newsroom, who is directly affected by this the most, is handling this. It’s easy to sit here in the States and worry, pray, and get frustrated. But for those in Cairo, the width of the problem is far more expansive.

Many are suggesting that IOL editors and journalists begin a different site, that the thousands of readers of Islam Online over the years will flock to a new site staffed by the same editors producing the same quality and amount of diverse, useful, and important content. But as El Sadek said in a FB post:

“Right now we need to think of how to secure the rights of employees. Many homes and children will be affected by these incidents. People cannot be free to think of creative and effective solutions as long as they are worried about their future and paying the rent …

Once things become more clear and the rights mentioned above are secured (being worked on right now) then we begin to think of rebuilding our home and finding a better anchor for it to help us sail through the next period….”

Although the situation feels dire, people in upper management at Islam Online are saying that hope is not lost yet. It’s hard to know or be comforted by that. What is interesting to note is that after Islam Online began in 1997, it opened up an office in the U.S. outside of Washington D.C. to anchor its coverage in the States, only to shut it down a few years later.

I began freelancing for the site in 2000. In 2002 the D.C. office was shut down due to, as some employees from that era recall, a difference of opinion between how “Islamic” the content was that was being produced here. Said one former U.S. employee, “At one point [the Cairo management] had accused us, because we were American Muslims,[of] not being Islamic enough. But it was more than that: We tried to be objective, instead of toeing political propaganda, and they didn’t like that either.”

Since those early years when the site was figuring itself out, the direction and scope of Islam Online has evolved and the editorial pool has broadened to push for and promote the coverage of all Muslim-related news, topics, issues and the like. They don’t shy from controversial topics. If the past few years of coverage and push into foreign markets (including the U.S.) show anything, it’s that the site serves to spread news and information, not propaganda. And now it’s being shut down by the directors in Qatar for not toeing their editorial line.

In addition to her work at Islam Online, Dilshad D. Ali is a writer and former editor for This is the second post in a series of posts about the coup at Islam Online; see here for the previous entry.

  • xccvd

    sorry to disturb u. just take u a little time.
    If you are in need,
    welcome to :
    |?|?|?? ?|?|?|?
    50%off ca,ed hardy t-shirt$15 jeans,coach handbag$33,air max90,dunk,polo t-shirt$13,,lacoste t-shirt $13 air jordan for sale,$35,nfl nba jersy for sale
    free shipping
    accept paypal credit card
    lower price fast shippment with higher quality
    Packing: All the products are packed with original boxes and tags also retro cards/ code
    1) The goods are shipping by air express, such as EMS,the shipping time is in 5-7 business days
    2) They are in stock now;
    3) Various styles and color for clients’ choice
    4) The Products are fit for most people, because of our wholesale price
    puma gucci$35,nike jordans six ring,yeezy$%5!!
    new era caps$13 gucci handbags jeans,t-shirts sunglass,caps
    true religion jeans$35,ca,ed hardy jeans$35
    our website:
    |?|?|?? ?|?|?|?

  • http://HTML syed ismail quadri

    Actually I am confused regarding my wife’s own sister,Iam in Deep Love with her and vice versa,I want to marry my wife’s own sister,is it permitted in ISLAM,SHARIAH,Please let me know

  • payday loans toronto is great! Why We Dont Like Payday Loans Why We Dont Like Payday Loans By Tim Parker Tim Parker Level Platinum Tim is a freelance writer and owner of elementaryfinancecom His company Eposition Creative Services writes articles for print and dozens of websites around the world

  • payday loans in canada

    Do you have any more info on this?

  • payday loans no fax

    Wow! Thank you! I always wanted to write in my internet site something like that. Can I take part of your post to my blog? xsedhopujwx

  • payday loans

    This website is the most beneficial website. brewsgjs

  • college scholarships

    This website is the leading internet site. lkpcufgk

  • sample resume

    This website is the most reliable world-wide-web site. rjlluerb

  • football online

    I am looking for football online betting guide. How can I find it?

  • calendar template

    Thanks for the info about Islam Online – status update
    – City of Brass

  • payday loan online

    Your post about Islam Online – status update
    – City of Brass rocks!

  • green home

    Unbelievable post about Islam Online – status update
    – City of Brass!

  • hair removal

    Very very nice post about Islam Online – status update
    – City of Brass!

  • payday loan advance

    Marvelous blogpost around Islam Online – status update
    – City of Brass!

  • payday loans calgary

    I like your bloge very much. Great job author of

Previous Posts

Bomb blast in Karachi targets Dawoodi Bohra community
This happens almost every day in Pakistan - fanatic hirabists commit arrogant blasphemy and murder fellow Muslims in cold blood. This time, the target wa

posted 8:22:26am Mar. 20, 2015 | read full post »

Proof denies faith
On Reddit, someone posted the following question: "What convinces you that the Quran is the literal Word of God?" I think this is precisely the wrong question. The book/movie Life of Pi directly

posted 9:33:46am Mar. 13, 2015 | read full post »

Proud to be American, proud to be Muslim
This is a guest post by Safiya Dahodwala. Syedna Mufaddal Saifuddin TUS graced the land of America for the first time as the 53rd Dai (spiritual leader) of the Dawoodi Bohra Muslim community. It has been nearly a decade since his predecessor, Syedna Mohammed Burhanuddin bestowed his bountiful bl

posted 12:58:00pm Mar. 05, 2015 | read full post »

is ISIS Islamic? Wrong question.
There is an excellent longform essay on ISIS published in The Atlantic, "What does ISIS Really Want?" that lays out an excellent case fore ISIS being genuinely different in ideology, motivation and ethos than Al Qaeda. The real question boils down to, is ISIS "Islamic" or not - and makes an excellen

posted 11:34:08pm Feb. 17, 2015 | read full post »

The Price of Extremism
This is a guest post by Durriya Badani. The execution style murder of three young North Carolina students, two of whom were hijab wearing Muslim women, raises questions regarding the rise of Islamaphobia in the United States in the form of hate crimes. Some will argue that the motive for the inc

posted 11:26:53am Feb. 12, 2015 | read full post »


Report as Inappropriate

You are reporting this content because it violates the Terms of Service.

All reported content is logged for investigation.