Saturday, December 6, 2008


The Express Saturday edition has a story written by Joel Julien explaining that local Muslims will not be able to attend this year's Hajj at Mecca.
The headline (which may or may not have had any input from Mr Julien) reads: "No pilgrimage this year for ASJA, Trip to Mecca costs $45,000 a head".
Right off the bat that headline suggests that the trip has become too expensive for potential pilgrims, because of the world financial crisis or rising annual costs.

But after using four paragraphs to explain the purpose of the Hajj and the detailed costs, Mr Julien tells us in the fifth paragraph "However, the potential pilgrims, who were expected to leave last Saturday, have still not received the mandatory visas for the spiritual journey."
So the visa is the problem? It has nothing to do with affordability?
Mr Julien, you and your editor need to sit down together and discuss how NOT to mislead your readers. Why not say something like "No visas granted" for the sub-headline instead of putting in the cost of the trip?
As a matter of fact, you probably owe ASJA and Sheikh Majid Ali an apology for leading the population to believe that members of his organization cannot afford to go to Mecca.