Ireland’s first Muslim paper is being launched today. A free title, the Friday Times is edited by two journalists, Tariq Elgezouli, from Sudan, and Mohammed Tsechoev, a Russian.
The newspaper will be funded by advertising and the founders have enlisted the help of public relations and marketing agent Abdul Haseeb. He said the newspaper was being launched with the full support of Ireland’s 25,000-member Muslim community.
Imam al-Hussein, the head of the community in Ireland, said that while the Irish media has always been fair to Muslims, the introduction of a free newspaper for people interested in Muslim affairs was very welcome.
Financial support for the venture is being sought from, among others, a range of professionals such as solicitors and doctors and the owners of halal shops. The Irish Government and nongovernmental agencies are also being approached.
Elgezouli has been living in the Republic since 1989 after working in London for the Muslim newspaper Al Arab.
Tsechoev left Chechnya three years ago, having worked for several Chechen newspapers.
The Friday Times will initially be printed fortnightly, but it is planned to publish a weekly edition by the new year, in Arabic and English.
Elgezouli said the main aim was to help Irish people to find out more about Muslims as well as to inform the Muslim community about their adopted country. They plan to report on all Muslim news, good or bad.
“We want to inform people about events that are not necessarily printed in Irish newspapers,” explained Tsechoev.
He added that the newspaper hoped to attract young writers keen to have their work published.
By Des Cryan