If the present media in the information age has such a powerful influence on people’s minds across the world, that has even outstripped the influence of armies and weapons in invading peoples and striking cultures, and if its authority over people poses a threat to the civilizations and ideologies of nations, you can imagine the power of the media policy in the shadow of the Khilafah Rashidah (righteous Caliphate) State and how effective and influential it can be when it emanates from the Islamic Aqeedah and nothing else, and is linked to the jurisprudence of the Shariah rulings, derived from the greatness of this religion which is sent down by the Lord of the heavens, and keeps abreast of the latest technologies. It will undoubtedly be a powerful, effective and disciplined media policy. Its strength is derived from the strength of the ideology which it is based upon and the power of the state which embraces it, especially since the media is one of the institutions and a pillar of the Khilafah State!
– The Concept of the Media Policy in Islam
Media and politics are inseparable, as the state cannot dispense with the media to influence the public opinion and the speed with which ideas and goals reach people. The media is the way to convey news in a specific format and for specific purposes.
It is known that politics in Islam is taking care of the affairs of the individual, the state and the society, and their interests according to the Shariah rulings. The media is to provide people with the news, information, knowledge and cultures that help them to form a correct public opinion on an incident or a problem through its various means (printed, audio, visual and electronic) in order to influence the mentality or the instincts of the common people.
Thus, the media policy in Islam is to link the affairs of the media to the Shariah rulings and to take care of them on that basis. That is, Islam determines the nature of the information, cultures and knowledge reported by the media to the people. It also determines the goals and objectives of their reportage, broadcasting, blocking and allusion, according to the right time and the right media.
– The Body Responsible for Developing the Media Policy in the State
It came in Article 103 of the Draft Constitution, which Hizb ut Tahrir adopted and presented to the Ummah: “The institution of the Media Office is responsible for drawing up and executing the political media strategy for the State in order to support the interests of Islam and the Muslims. Internally, it works to build an Islamic society that is strong and cohesive, and it refutes that which is malicious while confirming that which is good. In external affairs, it is to promote Islam during peace and war in a manner that explains the greatness of Islam, its justice and the strength of its army, and exposes the corruption and oppression of the manmade system and the weakness of its army”.
We understand from this that the one who supervises the media policy and is entrusted with the approval of what is broadcasted to the people and the monitoring of what is published is an assigned institute by the state (by the ruler) composed of politicians, media and intellectuals of a high degree of culture, awareness, political analysis, and ability to link the news and good formulation of it using the required means. In addition, they are highly capable of understanding or deriving the Shariah rulings to link them to the news scripts and ensure that they reach the people in a manner that serves the affairs, safety and security of the Ummah.
With the presence of the official (state) media, there are also private media; as individuals have the right to own media outlets, and the Khilafah Rashidah State supports and cares for both the state and private media. Thus, any individual who holds the citizenship of the Khilafah State is allowed to set up a media outlet of their own. This does not require a permit, rather they must only inform the media office in writing about the media outlet they established; this is what was adopted by Hizb ut Tahrir in the Draft Constitution in Article 104.
But what if the private media were involved in violating the Shariah and infringing the law? And what if they go against the basic rules of media policy and publish what is not appropriate to be broadcasted and announced among people?
The Basic Rule upon which the Media Policy in the Khilafah State is Built
This means that the fundamental rule in publishing news, information and knowledge must be based on protecting the Islamic Aqeedah, the Deen of Islam and the State of Islam and its security, from one side. And on the other side, destroying and fighting any misguided thought that threatens the security of its state and the security of Muslims or harms the Islamic Aqeedah and its rulings.
This is the general strategy of media policy, and accordingly, the media institution has two main departments:
The first: Its task is related to news that has connection with the State, such as the military industry, international relations, and the military matters and related issues, such as the movements of the armies, news of victory or defeat. This type of news is linked directly to the ruler to decide which news has to be concealed and which news must be announced.
The task of this department is the direct supervision of such news. So, such news is not broadcasted in the state media or the special sources of media except after their presentation to the institute of media.
The second: is related to other news; intellectual, cultural, economic and social news and its supervision of them is not direct, whether the outlet is a state media or private media. The owner of the media outlet is responsible for any violation of Shariah.
Specifications of Islamic media
There are a number of basic features in the Islamic media that must be fulfilled and adhered to:
1- Credibility: Truthfulness is a Hukum Shari (Islamic ruling) that must be adhered to either in the media or otherwise (except what is excluded by Shar’). The truthfulness in reporting the news, presenting it and citing its narrator (a person or media agency), is a basic condition in the media work.
2- Professionality: Here we talk about the competence of the media professionals, their cognitive and cultural ability, their dynamic presence and possession of influential and committed personalities. The Khilafah State will seek to create proficiencies and specialized frameworks for media work, as courses on how to write media reports will be held and specialists will be assigned and it will be taught in universities at a high and professional level with good preparation of its subjects.
3- Flexibility: It is meant to deal with modern and advanced technologies that create an influential environment for the masses, from keeping abreast of material developments, devising successful and influential styles and means, and if necessary, bringing in equipment and experts in this field (as permitted by Islam). This requires financial support and potentials both from the State directly and private organizations or institutions.
4- Language: The official language of the Khilafah Rashidah State is Arabic. Therefore, the adopted media policy will establish a strong link in the Ummah between its creed and its cultural identity. This does not mean that it will not offer programs and information materials in other languages in order to carry the Islamic Dawah abroad, rather, the adoption of the Arabic language will be intensely and palatable to people in an effective and powerful way.
5- Purposeful media message: The news, programs, information and knowledge communicated to people whether they are related to the security of the state, its creed or society must be in the service of Islam as an idea and a method.
The media should be an effective tool in focusing Islamic values and concepts, creating a specific perception of lifestyles in the Islamic environment, explaining the Shariah rulings related to the economy, for example, from contracts and transactions, or the rulings of the social system and men’s relationship with women or other systems of ruling and administration. It must take into account the disparity in the age, cognitive and educational levels in the recipients. So, there will be Dawah programs, children’s programs, programs for women and others related to science and industry, and the materials in this area are dense and inexhaustible, but the important point is using them well in order to perform their role.
Accordingly, the media will be a tool to spread Islamic values and virtue within the society and a platform for Islamic Dawah internally and abroad. The Islamic media will also be promoted abroad in different languages to be a means for introducing non-Muslims to Islam and embracing it. The media will work to break the national barriers between the people of the one nation and to refute the idea of borders and dams between Muslims, thus contributing in the creation of a vision committed to the issues of the Ummah.
What about movies, serials, recreational and entertainment programs?
Because we have lost our intellectual and cultural orientation amid all this media momentum dominated by Western culture, many Muslims think according to the pivotal symmetry mentality that is just like the Western media have films, series and recreational and entertainment programs, there must be an Islamic side on the same general line to entertain and amuse the audience!
This causes confusion to many Muslims in many of the Shariah rulings that they missed in reality and have imagined their existence with the Khilafah State, so they change the titles and keep the contents. But what we must remember is that Islam has a special way of living and a unique view of happiness, bliss and pleasure. Entertainment, enjoyment and recreation are legitimate in Islam, but in their legitimate ways and disciplined rulings. Thus, it will not present movies or serials which involve mixing between men and women, revealing of Awrah and Haram act. And it will not broadcast obscene songs, and all things that are non- beneficial. Instead, everything presented will be, with the permission of Allah, beneficial, and anything that causes harm to Muslims will be prevented and the responsible individuals will be held accountable.
Some may exaggerate and imagine that the Islamic media only presents Dawah programs and broadcasts the Holy Quran, as is the practice of the “Dawah channels” in our time, rather, the media policy in the Khilafah State will be more comprehensive and deeper than the repetition of this stereotypical and sophisticated image.
Media Policy in the Khilafah State and the Challenges Ahead
The capitalist and liberal ideas that have penetrated for decades through the intellectual and military invasion of the Islamic Ummah and have shaped the concepts of large groups in the Islamic countries will not be extracted from the minds of the people by the mere proclamation of the Khilafah Rashidah State. So, the Islamic media policy will find obstacles and difficulties at first to break the rigid deposits of nationalism, patriotism, dependency and defeatism. Accordingly, the Khilafah State will rely on the media to influence public opinion and create new perceptions, criteria and visions, including the entrenchment of the Islamic Aqeedah and the Shariah rulings, and it will strengthen the Aqeedah bond and the link between the ruler and the subjects, and urge Muslims to jihad and spread Islam abroad. And this requires intensive, focused and professional efforts.
The Western media will not stand idly by in front of its Islamic antagonist. Therefore, the media policy in the Khilafah State will be a wakeful and watchful of their conspiracies, which the West is trying to infiltrate to the Ummah internally or to disrupt the arrival of Islam abroad. The Khilafah State will do so through devising sophisticated technologies and devices that monitor media penetration, obtaining the capability to own state-owned satellites, and the establishment of independent search engines, private information networks and advanced anti-piracy programs, together with the preparation of plans and methods to present Islam abroad and address non-Muslims. This leads the Khilafah State to protect its institution with the material and logistic capabilities and provide professional media staff with a high level of knowledge and awareness.
Last but not least, this is “some” of what we can talk about regarding the media policy in the Khilafah State to realize the greatness of this Deen, the breadth of its bases and the comprehensiveness of its rulings which established the details and origins of all the people’s problems and provided treatments at the individual, collective or international level in a manner that achieves discipline and stability in our life, and in alignment with the idea of the Creation and the idea of Baath (resurrection) and the Account.
We ask Allah to content us with a rational policy under the Khilafah on the method of the Prophethood so that we see and witness a fair and honest media that adopts the issues of this Ummah and we heal our chests from this corrupt and hateful media to Islam and Muslims.