General Concepts

Capitalism’s Core Concept of Commercialism Results in Babies Given Away as Trophies on a Pakistani Game Show

It has been reported recently on several media outlets including Sky News and CNN that plumbing new depths in the battle for television ratings, abandoned babies are being given away on a controversial prime-time game show in Pakistan. TV host Aamir Liaquat Hussain presented baby girls to two unsuspecting couples during his show, which is broadcast live for seven hours a day during the holy month of Ramadan. The baby girls given away on the show were found by an NGO, the Chhipa Welfare Association, which says it receives up to 15 abandoned babies a month.

This act of giving away babies in the race for increase in viewership and ratings to compete with the other TV channels of the country during the Holy month of Ramadan has proved that the core values of Capitalism are fully in work, whereby the most sacred of months and the Islamic emotions of the general public are being played with. This is the true face of Capitalism where everything, every human value, every social aspect and even every relationship is measured by the amount of profit and financial benefit that can be obtained through it. The owners of these TV channels in their blind race for money-making have bypassed all Islamic values and regard for human emotions, decency, and value. As Capitalism shapes the law of the land in Pakistan, such lowly actions are fully licensed by the state. Abandoned babies have always been given by these NGOS to childless couples in the past after a thorough process of investigation and paperwork, but it was never before used to gain viewership and make money for the capitalist entertainment industry.

Alongside the immoral acts of these TV channels, another point that requires focus and questioning is the cause of the increasing numbers of abandoned babies over the past few years. This heartbreaking problem which is a damning indictment of Pakistan’s capitalist, secular, liberal system can be directly attributed to the rising levels of poverty within the country and also to more cases of extra-marital or pre-marital relationships in the society that result in unwanted pregnancies and children. Many parents abandon their newborns due to desperate poverty, when they can’t even feed their remaining children. This is another fruit of the implementation of Capitalism that consists of flawed economic policies and where the state does not consider itself responsible to fulfill the basic needs of each and every one of its citizens, rather leaves them at the mercy of giant corporations to loot and tax them heavily. Even the poor and beggars are taxed by a capitalist state but the elite rich lawmakers easily evade taxes by making laws in accordance with their wishes and interests. On the other hand, the Western influence on the youth due to Cable TV channels, uncensored internet websites, multiple venues and opportunities for free-mixing between men and women, delayed marriage and mixed gatherings has all promoted pre-marital and extra-marital relationships resulting in increased cases of abortions and abandonment of unwanted babies. According to Edhi Trust, a charity organization, in 2012, approximately 1000 newborns were killed and dumped in Pakistan. The situation in India is even worse.

Capitalism and the Western liberal culture has fractured the very fabric of Muslim societies across the world and this can never be undone or stopped unless this system of inhumane concepts and values is uprooted from the Muslim world and instead the system given by Allah SWT is implemented; a system that ensures the worth of human life, dignity and honor and gives this priority over financial gains; a system that has sound economic policies to eradicate poverty; and a system that safeguards the basic rights of each and every citizen and views it unacceptable to leave even a single soul hungry or thirsty as the second Khaleefah of the Muslims Umar bin Al-Khattab (ra) once said, “Even if a goat dies of hunger at the bank of the Tigris, what would I answer to God?” This system is none other than the Khilafah which applies comprehensively the divine laws from the Qur’an and the Sunnah that ensure the protection of life and dignity of humans on one hand and regulate the social aspect and relationship between men and women on the other hand with a ban on indecent programmes, websites and free mixing. Alongside this, its educational system and institutions build the upright Islamic character that embodies hayah (modesty) and the other moral values of Islam, and the state promotes the Islamic beliefs and principles such as encouragement of early marriages. In addition, Allah سبحانه وتعالى says in the Quran:

وَلَا تَقْتُلُوا أَوْلَادَكُمْ خَشْيَةَ إِمْلَاقٍ نَحْنُ نَرْزُقُهُمْ وَإِيَّاكُمْ إِنَّ قَتْلَهُمْ كَانَ خِطْئًا كَبِيرًا

“Do not kill your children out of fear of being poor. We will provide for them and you. Killing them is a terrible mistake.”

(Al-Isra, 17:31)

It is only under the Islamic system of the Khilafah that this understanding and value of human life in ingrained in to the society through the media, education system and social system, creating a state where babies cannot be degraded to the level of cattle and goods, and where justice and fairness prevails. Indeed, the Laws of Allah give human life a value not given to it before or after Islam, as Allah سبحانه وتعالى says in Surah Ma’idah:

مِنْ أَجْلِ ذَلِكَ كَتَبْنَا عَلَى بَنِي إِسْرَائِيلَ أَنَّهُ مَنْ قَتَلَ نَفْسًا بِغَيْرِ نَفْسٍ أَوْ فَسَادٍ فِي الْأَرْضِ فَكَأَنَّمَا قَتَلَ النَّاسَ جَمِيعًا وَمَنْ أَحْيَاهَا فَكَأَنَّمَا أَحْيَا النَّاسَ جَمِيعًا وَلَقَدْ جَاءَتْهُمْ رُسُلُنَا بِالْبَيِّنَاتِ ثُمَّ إِنَّ كَثِيرًا مِنْهُمْ بَعْدَ ذَلِكَ فِي الْأَرْضِ لَمُسْرِفُونَ

“On account of that. So We decreed for the tribe of Israel that if someone kills another person – unless it is in retaliation for someone else or for causing corruption in the earth – it is as if he had murdered all mankind. And if anyone gives life to another person, it is as if he had given life to all mankind. Our Messengers came to them with Clear Signs but even after that many of them committed outrages in the earth.”

(Al-Ma’idah, 5:32)

Umm Musab

Member of The Central Media Office of Hizb ut Tahrir