Interview with ELEVEN Magazine for “Change”
ELEVEN magazine is a biannual publication produced by Nanyang Technological University Muslim Society (NTUMS). The title ‘ELEVEN’ comes from the summation of the 5 Pillars of Islam and 6 Pillars of Imaan.
ELEVEN seeks to be a source of inspiration, a spiritual revivification and an easy yet intellectual read.
On 11th November 2011 (11.11.11), they officially launched their new publication titled “Change”. Muzlimbuzz managed to speak to Ashikin, the Chairperson for this edition of ELEVEN Magazine to get her thoughts on it.[divider] [box_dark]Muzlimbuzz: From the trailer, I sense a focus on activism and global issues. Can we expect that from the new publication?[/box_dark]
Ashikin: Yes, InsyaAllah. You can also look forward to articles addressing other forms of change in our new publication. Head over to our official ELEVEN website at http://www.ntums.com/eleven to read the articles.[/box_light] [box_dark]Muzlimbuzz: How long did it take for the team to come up with this publication? What were the unforgettable moments they had during the scope of this project?[/box_dark] [box_light] Ashikin: We started on this publication end June after a rejuvenating break. We were unofficially done with our publication late October but needed extra time to make final minute touches and amendments. We thus decided to unveil our magazine on 11th November so all in all, we took about 5 months to complete it.
The most unforgettable moment was definitely when we decided to transform this new publication to an online one, a platform where we hope that it will be more interactive. Since all preparations were made for it to be a physical edition for the past months, it was exhilarating yet at the same time daunting when we decided on the change. We are definitely looking forward to the responses towards our online edition. We will review them and see how we can further improve our magazine to make it more beneficial to the community at large InsyaAllah.[/box_light]
[box_dark]Muzlimbuzz: With revolutions and movements sweeping across the Middle East and Wall Street, what movement or revolution does NTUMS want to see or initiate?[/box_dark]
Ashikin: A change that NTUMS would want to see, in my opinion, would be for us Muslims to take a more active role in addressing issues that affect us. I feel that there is possibly a need for a revival of sorts of the Ummah in Singapore. Things are (once again in my humble opinion) relatively easy for Muslims in Singapore (compared to others) apart from the few instances where we are put into the spotlight, so this could have caused some of us to be a tad too comfortable in our own little world.
The movements and revolutions that we hear of are at times, just brushed off as mere news that we hear every now and then. When apathy starts creeping into the Singapore Muslim community, this is when things get worrying.
Just how many of us Muslims, make it a point to be well informed about the revolutions and movements sweeping across the Middle East? This is not something that should only be asked to the “intellectuals” of the society; this desire to want to know about issues affecting our Muslim community should be present in all Muslims, affected or not. The realization that the people affected are our own brothers and sisters in faith, should at least evoke and stir some emotions in us.
I think at the moment, there is still the need to be reminded about the current state of Singaporean Muslims and often question ourselves about what we, as an Ummah have done to help ourselves. Before we start talking about how to address the revolutions across Middle East, maybe we should first and foremost ask ourselves just how much we have done to help our sisters and brothers in faith within our local context.
To what extent does the local media (which targets the Muslims in Singapore) provide food for our soul or programmes that are in line with what Islam teaches? To what extent are the mungkar in Islam already normalized in Singapore and are intentionally/unintentionally propagated in the media? When we realize that the answers for both questions are unfavourable, do we do something to incite a change or simply hide behind our computer screens and lash out?
This is the kind of revolution that I personally would want to see, for us to be more engaged and involved in issues that affect us and our Ummah, translate our thoughts into actions and do it in a way that is befitting of a Muslim.[/box_light]
[box_dark]Muzlimbuzz: Is the publication available for students outside of NTU? How about non-students?[/box_dark] [box_light]Ashikin: Yup, definitely! This time round, we are unveiling ELEVEN as an online magazine. So, this will make our magazine accessible to everyone, definitely not only limited to students in NTU.[/box_light]
[box_dark]Muzlimbuzz: Why “Change”? What does the team hope to achieve with “Change”?[/box_dark]
Ashikin: This idea was first proposed by one of our editors months ago, late June to be exact. After intensive brainstorming, the whole team decided to take up the challenge to tackle a theme that will not only resonate with our readers on a personal and on a community level, but also to push our readers, the thinkers of society, to take the onus and responsibility to start making a difference to and for the Ummah, no matter how small it may be.
In a climate of misrepresentation, misconstruction and all sorts of negativity that is propagated about our Deen in the media, today calls for change. This is what our team hopes to achieve, to remind ourselves and our readers that change starts from us and that our time is now.[/box_light]
You can go over to http://www.ntums.com/eleven to read the latest articles from ELEVEN!