Spin Doctoring

By Assad Bhuglah

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The role of a spin doctor is to make unpalatable things look palatable by twisting some facts. He is the one who weaves reports of factual events into palatable stories.  The term "spin doctor" is based on the 1950s slang "to spin" which is a shortened version of "to spin a yarn". 'Doctor' comes from the various figurative uses of the verb 'to doctor', ranging from 'patch up' or 'mend' or ‘to falsify'. 'Spin doctor' became a common jargon of US politics in the 1980s. In 1984, Elisabeth Bumiller of The Washington Post picked up the phrase, defining spin doctors as:  ”the advisers who talk to reporters and try to put their own spin, or analysis, on the story.” It is a senior political spokesperson employed to promote a favourable interpretation of events to journalists. The quote does not say truthful interpretation; the emphasis is on ‘favourable’. The person knows the truth, but he purposely selects information to create a false interpretation.  A spin doctor must not just focus his Public Relations strategy on promotion, but must also know how to make it a face-saving device if the strategy backfires.

How the Hameids are saving the world

Evil In the World

When the Prophet saw people severely tried, he made the supplication: "Praise be to [God] who has given me well-being such that I was not tried like these people. And He has preferred me over so much of his creation." Compassion for those in tribulation and gratitude for well-being is how the Prophet responded when he witnessed people in difficulty.

What comes to a person in his or her life may help a person move closer to God when the response is right. Ibn Abbas said that if a person is tested with a tribulation, he will find in it three blessings: first, the tribulation could have been worse; second, it was in worldly matters and not in spiritual ones; and third, it came in the finite world and not the infinite one. All three are reasons to thank God even for tribulations.

Secret Schemes

Al-e-Imran (The House of Imran) Sura 3: Verse 54

"And (the unbelievers) plotted and planned (makr), and Allah too planned, and the best of planners is Allah.'

The word makr means a secret scheme to cause harm to someone. It has come to connote a negative sense as resorting to secret scheming against someone and betrays the weakness of the schemers. As it is usually the weak who fall back upon makr or secret schemes, its negative sense became more pronounced, and the term was taken to convey essentially a negative aspect. Wherever it is used, the assumption is that it must be in a negative sense. This is far from being true. At times, one has to resort to secret scheming to counter the schemers or to punish them. Any open action against the perpetrators of secret scheming can easily be depicted as unjust and an act of aggression. Most people who are unaware of the real facts may also be led to believe that the perpetrators were justified in their actions.

The Defining Moments of My Days at Islamic College

By Assad Bhuglah

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When I passed the Standard VI examination in 1964, my father was very anxious and inquisitive as to which college would be appropriate for me. My village did not yet have a college of recognized standard. My surroundings at home had mentally prepared me to opt for a college in Port Louis where my cousin had just completed HSC and had subsequently joined its teaching staff. However, my cousin convinced my father to try another institution, the Islamic Cultural College, which was reputed for its good performance in SC exams, exemplary discipline and fully equipped laboratories. In those days, the dearth of experimental laboratories had prevented many colleges to offer science subjects.