Uyghur Figures – 03
Abdul Qader Tash was born in 1951 in Taif, Saudi Arabia to a family of Uyghur immigrants. He was a well-renowned figure in the media industry, particularly known for his work in promoting Islamic literature and advocacy.
Tash’s educational journey began at the College of Arabic Literature at Imam Mohammed bin Saud Islamic University in Riyadh, where he obtained his Bachelor’s degree in 1975. He later pursued further education in the United States, earning a Master’s degree in Journalism and Media from the University of Oklahoma in 1980, followed by a PhD in International Journalism and Media from the University of Southern Illinois in 1983.
During his time in the United States, Tash founded an Islamic magazine named “Al-Amal” (Hope), which was aimed at the Arab community residing there. He also established an Islamic center in Illinois, where he successfully converted several Americans to Islam. An ardent advocate for Islamic media, Tash believed in the fusion of Islamic advocacy with academic thought, transforming the traditional perspective of Islamic media.
In 1983, Tash took up a teaching position at Imam Mohammed bin Saud University’s Journalism Department in Riyadh, where he served until 1990. During this tenure, he played a pivotal role in setting up the university’s School of Journalism. This period also marked his first visit to East Turkistan.
The decade of the 1990s was a busy one for Tash. Starting in 1990, he took on the roles of Deputy Editor-in-Chief, and later Editor-in-Chief, of “Al-Da’wa” magazine. He served as the Editor-in-Chief of the newspaper “Al-Muslimoon” from 1990 to 1994, representing the voice of the Islamic world through this international weekly publication.
Tash’s contribution to Islamic media didn’t stop there. In 1998, he was instrumental in launching the Islamic television channel “Iqra”, acting as its director for two years.
In the new millennium, Tash managed the Islamic section of the “Al-Madina” newspaper and drafted the initial version of the religious magazine “Al-Risala”, serving as its editor. From 2001 to 2002, he served as the Director of Media and Public Relations Office and Conference Organization Management at the Muslim World League, while concurrently editing “Al-Alam Al-Islami” and “Al-Bilad” newspapers.
Tash’s career then took a turn towards academia. From 2002 to 2003, he assisted the academic director of the Technical College of Commerce. Post 2003, he chaired the Executive Committee for the “Office of Information, Research, and Consultations”, while continuing as the editor-in-chief of the government-affiliated “Jeddah” magazine. He also supervised numerous Master’s and PhD theses in journalism and media at Saudi universities.
Tash was a prolific writer, with his works spanning across various fields. Some of his notable publications include “The Stereotypical Image of Arabs in the Mirror of Western Media”, “Media Studies”, “Media and Cultural Westernization”, and “America and Islam: Coexistence or Clash?”. He regularly contributed articles to local and international magazines and newspapers. His intellectual contributions were sought at hundreds of Islamic conferences and seminars held in over 20 countries.
A member of several prestigious organizations, Tash was part of the “Saudi Arabian Human Rights Organization”, the “Education Council” in Mecca, the “Arab Press Association” in Dubai, and the “International Council for Islamic Education” affiliated with the Muslim World League, to name a few.
Tash’s ultimate ambition was to establish an international newspaper, which he named “The Future”. He realized this dream by setting up its headquarters in Cairo, Egypt, and managed to publish two issues before his untimely death. Despite his passing, his work remains a testament to his dedication to Islamic media and advocacy.
Throughout his illustrious career, Tash consistently pushed boundaries and opened dialogues across the globe. He balanced his roles as an academic, journalist, editor, and advocate with aplomb, leaving a lasting legacy in the field of Islamic media. Sadly, Dr. Abdul Qadir Tash’s life came to a sudden end on April 4, 2004. His story serves as a reminder of the profound impact one individual can have on the global stage.
Written by: Abdulcelil Turan