The influx of Liberal Secular Culture in the Muslim Lands from popular movies and dramas series that are ‘dubbed’ into the local languages is a well-established style of infiltrating Muslim societies with values and ideals that undermine Islamic morals. The availability of contracts and licences to reproduce well known formats such as ‘American Idol’, ‘Big Brother’ and ‘Britain’s got Talent’ (known as ‘Arab Idol’ ‘The Boss or Al-Ra’is’ and ‘Arabs got Talent in the Middle East) is nothing new.
However the failure of certain formats in the Muslim world, such as ‘Big Brother’, have highlighted the need for greater cultural adaption of some of these shows in order to ensure longevity and secure the personal allegiance of the viewers in any given country. Whilst many of these shows are already firmly embedded into the viewing schedules of our nations, a number of formats have had problems establishing themselves and have prompted public protest from the Muslim populations in certain areas of the world. One such format was Big Brother, a show that has now been cancelled in the Middle East.
Kwintessential, a UK company specialising in business management across cultures commented on the failure of the Big Brother format to succeed in the Muslim World in the following quote:
“Targeting an audience comprising of mainly Muslims, Al-Ra’is (The Boss) failed to read the cross cultural signs. The close quarter interaction between men and women was culturally unacceptable to the majority of viewers. “It is normal for males and females to mix, but not to put them together in the same house for a long time,” said 21-year-old student Maryam al-Sayrafi, who summed up most Muslims feelings on the show. The failure of Al-Ra’is (The Boss) points to two things:
1) The adverse consequences of a failure to incorporate cross cultural analysis into a business strategy; in this case a TV show.
2) The importance of cross cultural understanding in transferring ideas and concepts across cultures.” (Kwintessential 7th September 2012)
From this analysis it is clear that western companies understand that in order to succeed in implanting specific concepts and ideas in a society and in order to mould mentalities and personalities on a massive scale, there needs to be a clear awareness of the culture that you are operating in. This cultural ‘sensitivity’ is in no way a benign expression of a corporation’s willingness to elevate the nation and promote the best that is traditionally available in any given region. On the contrary, this deep awareness of the society is needed and valued in a business model in order to comprehensively subvert any independent ideas and values that may be an obstacle in a personality so that they conform to the actions that serve the interests of the business. In the case of our Muslims governments and the Capitalist companies operating in our lands, television advertising revenues can only be profitable as long as Muslim audience rating remain as high as possible. There is a direct relationship between how much more domestic viewers can identify with the media material presented to them and how sustainable audience rating become in any given region.
Whilst dubbing movies and dramas serves its purpose in the literal translation of popular western culture and is not likely to ever end as it allows for high viewing rates and advertising profits, there is currently an unexploited and growing market in the sales of popular western drama series such as “Desperate Housewives” that are being bought by countries such as Turkey, to be adapted using local actors and even local political issues so that viewers feel more drawn into the storyline and are more likely to invest and advertise the program to friends and family. The Licences issued by the original program owners even allow for adjustments in the title of the program, for example in Turkey ‘Desperate Housewives’ is called ‘Desperate Women’. However, regardless of the fact that these media licences permits the reproduction of these shows in light of local languages and cultures, it does not eliminate the circulation of the dangerous cultural ideas that contradicts Islam. Muslim governments allow internal media corporations to pay millions of dollars to import philosophies that directly undermine the Islamic Social system with the aim of corrupting the minds of Muslims, in particular the women and the youth. It is well known that shows such as ‘Desperate Housewives’ have very consistent and clear themes in every episode such as:
1) Promoting feminism
2) Advocating secularism
3) Encouraging individualism
4) Undermining the role of wife and mother
5) The glorification of fornication and adultery under the guise of pursuing ‘romance’ and personal happiness
6) Endorsing free mixing of males and females
7) Promoting unrealistic expectations of what a man and women should be like including distorted body images aspirations.
8) Encouraging unceasing dissatisfaction with the life one has regardless of how much you have in terms of relationships and material wealth.
Of course this is not a comprehensive assessment of the conceptual attack that is being unleashed upon the Muslim Housewife, they are to name but a few. One thing is certain and that is with the use of local actors, languages, dress styles (even the incorporation of the Hijab and Jilbab) there is no possibility of eliminating these themes or compromising on the conveyance of a very ridged set of alternative viewpoints to the Islamic Way of life.
Yoni Cohen, senior vice president for development and sales at 20th Century Fox commented on ‘Glee’, one of the top-rated shows in the U.S which, like ‘Big Brother’, could prove problematic in some markets as the show has openly gay actors and discusses pregnancy in unmarried teenagers, he says. “We try very hard not to let other cultures dictate…..and we’d rather not do a show in the end if it steps beyond an adaptation and into a reinvention.”
The moral lines have been clearly drawn by the original programme owners. There is absolutely no willingness to remove the western cultural perspective in order to secure any Islamic value system, one has to now wonder why our own Muslim leaders do not share this great determination to secure the Quran and Sunnah as a measure for life and progress for our men, women and youth. The answer is simple; our own governments have a lot of financial and political interests in allowing this cultural invasion to spread further into our lands. They themselves exist to serve and obey their Western masters and are employed by them as tools for indirect colonialism. With new and evermore subtle and sophisticated styles available, Muslims are more likely to be duped into watching and allowing their families to watch programming that is not so obviously different to their own lifestyles and in doing so, they would have fallen into the media trap that is being so carefully tailor made for them. After all, if a housewife is too busy being ‘Desperate’ for an unattainable life based on false principles that have no basis in reality and has her energy directed into destroying the happiness of herself and her fellow citizens, then where would she get the time for political activism against the very regime that is the real source of her oppression and misery.
In the absence of a sincere leadership that rules from Islam and that serves the interests of the Muslims, our Islamic Lands are wide open for this cultural attack. Indeed they are being invited into the lands and are being welcomed in the warmest of manners by the very leaderships that should be protecting us from their harmful influence. The Islamic State (Khilafah) existed in the past and served as the correct guardian for the Muslims not accepting any form of colonialism (direct or indirect) as it acted independently and purely for the protection and promotion of the Islamic thoughts and systems. In its draft constitution of a future Islamic Sate the political party Hizb ut Tahrir, who’s objective is to re-establish this Khilafah , has outlined a number of constitutional points that give some indication as to how these news styles should be dealt with:
The use of foreign capital and its investment within the State is forbidden. It is also prohibited to grant franchises to foreigners.
The Islamic creed constitutes the basis upon which the education policy is built. The syllabi and methods of teaching are designed to prevent a departure from this basis.
The purpose of education is to form the Islamic personality in thought and behaviour. Therefore, all subjects in the curriculum must be chosen on this basis.
The goal of education is to produce the Islamic personality and to provide people with the knowledge connected with life’s affairs. Teaching methods are established to achieve this goal; any method that leads to other than this goal is prevented.
With regards the superiority of the Islamic thought over the non-Islamic thought, there is no room for cultural relativism as Allah سبحانه وتعالى says in the Qur’an:
بَلْ نَقْذِفُ بِالْحَقِّ عَلَى الْبَاطِلِ فَيَدْمَغُهُ فَإِذَا هُوَ زَاهِقٌ
“Rather We hurl the truth against falsehood and it cuts right through it and it vanishes clean away!” [Surah Anbiya, 21:18]
And when dealing with those that are the enemies of Allah سبحانه وتعالى and the fact that our leaders give them control over the media in our lands, we should bear in mind that Allaah سبحانه وتعالى warns us.
وَدُّوا لَوْ تَكْفُرُونَ كَمَا كَفَرُوا فَتَكُونُونَ سَوَاءً
“They would like you to be kafir as they are kafir so that you will all be the same.” [Surah Nisa, 4:89]
In light of these principles the laws relating to how the media supports or works against these constitutional points and evidences would be regulated by an Islamic State and it is the absence of this comprehensive Islamic System that leaves the minds and indeed homes of the ummah exposed to all manner of sick and depraved viewpoints that work against the progress of Muslims, both socially and at a personal level. The solution to counteracting this new media style is to account our leaders for permitting that which is impermissible and harms our interests as well as working to resume the Islamic way of life in calling for no other system except the Khilafah, as prescribed by Allah سبحانه وتعالى and His Messenger صلى الله عليه وسلم.
The Messenger of Allah صلى الله عليه وسلم said;
”The one who removes his hand from obedience he will meet Allah without a proof for himself’ and Whosoever dies without a bay’ah (pledge of allegiance to a Khaleefah) on his neck dies the death of Jahiliyyah.” [Muslim]
Central Media Office of Hizb ut Tahrir