By Maurice Makalu
The Zambian media has disappointed in their coverage of the President’s statement calling on the Muslim community to participate in national development.
On the occasion of the Muslim holiday, Eid-Ul-Adha, the president said, “I wish to urge all my brothers and sisters in the Muslim Community to let love, sacrifice and compassion, influence their everyday interactions with one another. I challenge you all to lend a hand in the national effort to fight crime, corruption and all other evils so that we can make our beloved country a better place for all to live in.”
The media went on to explain that Eid al-Adha or “Festival of Sacrifice” is an important religious holiday celebrated by Muslims worldwide to commemorate the willingness of Abraham to sacrifice his son Ishmael as an act of obedience to God, before God intervened to provide him with a ram to sacrifice instead.
While this explanation is correct, it is lamentable failure in their duty to inform, for the media not to have clarified that, “Muslims believe the Koran as their Holy Book; it teaches that the sacrificed son was Ishmael. Christians on the other hand believe the Holy Bible, which teaches Isaac as the sacrificed son.”
By omitting this clarification of ‘authority books’ used to identify the sacrificed son, the media “misinformed” and therefore failed in their duty to “inform.” In a mostly Christian country like Zambia, this has no doubt left some people wondering: was it not Isaac who was sacrificed? People definitely are left seeking clarification.
In truth, the Koran does not mention the name Ishmael as the sacrificed son. It is just a reasoned conclusion Muslims make, based on the chronology of events when you read the Bible together with the Koran, and also based on the character descriptive words that God used to refer to Ishmael.
Who the sacrificed son was is a highly disputed point as both Christians and Muslims use the ‘sacrificed son’ as the forefather of God’s legitimate religion. The religion Islam was started by Prophet Mohammad, an Arab and historically Arabs descend from Ishmael. So Arabs argue their religion, Islam, is the legitimate one.
Christianity on the other hand was started by Jesus Christ (some arguably say, Apostle Paul), a Jew and a descendant of Isaac. So Christians argue Christianity is God’s legitimate religion.
This dispute of the sacrificed son is what translates into the Middle East Crisis, the dispute over land in the Middle East between Palestinians (Arabs) and Israelis (Jews).
The media must have clarified this issue; especially bearing in mind that the larger audience listening were Christians. We urge them to execute their duty to inform more diligently in future.