By Iqbal Jassat – Chairman, Media Review Network
(source: Voice of the Cape fm Online)
Is he relegated from mainstream media’s opinion pages to a coffee-table magazine known for its spectacular coverage of largely mundane stories? This seems to be the fate of a controversial self-professed “expert” on so-called “Islamic terrorism”: Hussein Solomon.
Following years of parroting an Israeli narrative which seeks to demonise popular resistance as “terrorism”, Solomon seems to have run out of allies in the mainstream media. If it’s true, I’d be the last person to be surprised or to complain. After all, most serious media houses continuously strive for depth, accuracy, balance and credible accounts – not half-baked theories dressed up as “fact”.
Many will remember the consternation and anxiety caused by Solomon
during the run-up to the soccer world cup. He insisted that “terrorists”
were going to blow the football spectacle to smithereens and claimed
too that he knew who the targets were! What happened? The FIFA World Cup
turned out to be a resounding success without any hint of terror
strikes. A feat that South Africa prides itself with.
Solomon’s desperation to be vindicated by having some stadiums go up in flames resulting from a bombing spree by Muslim “terrorists” must have been painfully agonising. Indeed, I could almost hear him rehearsing thelines for a grand press conference: “I told you so!”
I suppose Solomon would have learned that making public pronouncements especially of the type that stinks of 42such as accusing Muslim schools of “training terrorists”, requires elementary verifiable evidence.
Orby branding Hamas and Hizbullah “terror organisations” as Netanyahu regularly does enjoying unflinching support from the United States government, Solomon then conflates popular support these groups enjoy within Muslims here with his ridiculous notion of “terrorism”.
Solomonknows that no-matter how sensationalist or outrageous his wild allegations are, serious media and journalists committed to integrity will be reluctant to provide oxygen to myths unless tangible and verifiable proof is provided. If he doesn’t acknowledge this fundamentaltruth as being intrinsic to media’s role, I expect him to feel increasingly frustrated and perhaps even accuse journalists of being part of some hidden “terror-conspiracy”.
This by the way is what he has accused the ANC-led government of. Indeed his recent “revelations” undertake to expose government and officials for the crimeof collaborating with “terrorists”. Solomon’s “new” allegations are in fact stale! Citing old boring details and names such as Pagad or Aswat and “terror camps” in Port Elizabeth will not do. The challenge he facesis to provide evidence and to place it in the hands of relevant authorities. If he fails to do so as is clear from his non-performance thus far, South Africa can justifiably disregard him as another “Cry Wolf” character.
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