MUSLIM Views and Muslim News have a combined history of almost 57 years. Muslim News was published for 26 years, from December 1960 to August 1986. An estimated 670 fortnightly editions of the newspaper saw the light of day.
Muslim Views was launched in September 1986 and has published 368 monthly editions to date for just over 30 years.
This record of publishing 1 038 editions of the two titles is unique and remains unparalleled in South African media history.
The contents of the collection dating back 57 years is a valuable resource reflecting the social and political history of South Africa, particularly that of Muslims in our country.
Muslim News ceased publication in a period of political struggle of resistance against apartheid. Muslim Views was published for eight years under the apartheid regime and for 23 years under a democratic dispensation.
This history reflects the narrative, over two generations, of people of vision and courage who sacrificed during an era of political struggle for freedom.
An integral part of this history is the legacy of Imam Abdullah Haron who offered the ultimate sacrifice for speaking truth to power.
It is in this thirtieth year of publishing Muslim Views that we undertake a major project of digitising the contents of both titles. This process involves collecting every single one of the
1 038 editions in hard copy and sorting them in chronological order.
All available editions of Muslim News and Muslim Views have already been sorted in an archive built recently at the Muslim Views office. Each edition published subsequently is added to the growing collection of Muslim Views.
The next step is the scanning of every page of the two titles for storage in a digital archive. All 670 fortnightly editions of Muslim News are designated for scanning. However, only 133 of the 368 monthly editions of Muslim Views need to be scanned because digital archiving on CD and DVD format commenced in November 1997 when Muslim Views was re-launched.
Just over 20 000 pages in 803 editions of Muslim News and Muslim Views will be scanned. Muslim Views will outsource the scanning to a suitable service provider.
An exciting aspect of the scanning process is that it is enabled for optical character recognition (OCR). This involves the electronic conversion of images of printed text into text that is readable by commercial word-processing software. The process therefore enables word searching as well as copy and paste functions of text from all editions.
This is of inestimable value for academic research and for the general public because the entire collection of the editorial text of Muslim News and Muslim Views will eventually be made available online.
Farid Sayed, who served on the editorial board of Muslim News and was founding editor of Muslim Views in 1986, says this process is historic for the two titles, for their readers and for the broader community.
Sayed says, ‘The 57 years that span the existence of the two newspapers cover an exciting period in our history from the repression of the apartheid era to the dawn of democracy and the challenge of establishing social justice in one of the most unequal societies on earth.
‘The two titles are also unique in that they can claim to have covered for over half a century the challenges and the triumphs of the Muslim community – particularly in Cape Town – for an unbroken period; first on a fortnightly basis and then monthly.’
CALL FOR BACK EDITIONS OF MUSLIM NEWS, MUSLIM VIEWS
IN its efforts to digitise the contents of Muslim News and Muslim Views, the publisher has discovered that a number of editions of both titles are missing from its archive.
We are therefore calling on members of the public and organisations that have copies of Muslim News, which was published from 1960 till 1986, to please contact the Muslim Views office. Similarly, anyone who has copies of Muslim Views from September 1986 till November 1997 is asked to contact our office.
If you have copies of the newspapers, kindly contact our office and advise the year, volume and edition number so that we may check if this is on our list of missing editions.
We will then arrange to source these missing editions from you for purposes of adding to our archive and scanning.
The support of our readers in this digitisation project is appreciated.
Please call our office on 021 696 5404 or e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org