Fame is power. With the youth of most nations being the most populous group in most countries, governments realize that the passion and abilities of young people can make or break the political futures of a regime- the most recent example being the Arab Spring. It is for this reason that every government globally has a defined agenda on how to control the minds and activities of the youth to keep them distracted and weak enough to exploit and control them so that they are neutralized as a political force of change. Noam Chomsky explained the critical role media has in this process in his work the “10 Strategies of Manipulation” by the media. With western governments wishing to secure their authority in Muslim lands in order to economically dominate and drain our wealth and resources, the control of Muslim youth has never been more relevant on the political agenda.
Barack Obama stated in February 18th 2015 that the “U.S. must engage with local communities to win the “hearts and minds” of young Muslims to prevent their recruitment by terrorist groups.”
Professor Gilles Kepel, a member of the French commission which recommended banning religious symbols from schools, argues in his 2004 book, The War for Muslim Minds, that “If governments ensure the success of young European Muslims, then they will export their positive experiences eastwards”.
At this point, it’s worth noting that violent “terrorism” is not the greatest danger to western Neo-colonial hegemony. The greatest threat to the political status quo are the young thinking NON-VIOLENT Muslim who reject the copy-cat culture of fake rebellion and truly embraces their free will to think for themselves. In doing so they realise that everything around them is a recycling of Europe’s 18th Enlightenment period and that what is being “exported Eastward” are the same old broken records crackling out the monotonous tune of unquestioning submission to reductionism and the scientific method, separation of religion from the politics, individualism and the worship of one’s own thoughts and ideas and freedom to pursue happiness regardless of moral rights and wrongs. It is Muslims who dare to think outside of the defined political box that realise that there is something very wrong with the world today and only submission to the laws of Allah سبحانه وتعالى and the political system of the Khilafah (Caliphate) will solve this for all humanity.
Well-known personalities have always existed in society, as there have always been people that have distinguished themselves in some form or another. What has been refined over social development is the Cult of Personality – or the utilization of one’s persona to achieve mass influence for personal gain or political objectives. History is littered with the rise and fall of such figures in every nation from Cesar, to European Monarchs, Stalin, Chairman Mao and all current leaders. With the rise in the global disillusionment of the worlds youth with their political figures, celebrities and their influence provide a very powerful and strategic weapon of social programming and distraction from the really important matters in life, so that the elite can remain the only true personalities free to do whatever they want, whenever they want, to who ever they want.
Today, Celebrity Culture is the western version of Polytheism. Famous people are idolised and worshipped not necessarily because they are they the best at what they do, or for their virtuous sacrifice and commitment to human development. They earn their place on the pedestal of public adoration simply because they have agreed to play the fame game according to the rules that the elite has contracted them by, those that refuse to submit to the policy of political silence and empty-headed hedonism are promptly removed from the pulpit of public gaze and confined to the ranks of the mortals. Those celebrities that seem to express some kind of ‘alterative’ to the sickening syrup of mainstream soda-pop culture are in fact controlled opposition as everything they represent will still never amount to any real change in the power of the elite. It is historically true to find that the most highly paid, media exposed and influential superstars are those that represent the most depraved moral conduct, and represent the lowest levels of human aspirations, as the elite know well the power of imitation when you have a youth devoid of any convictions of their own. The plan of governments to control the youth is more effective when society has been designed to remove the care of the mother and the sound family unit. A British Survey compiled by YouGov in July 14th 2014 studied the impact of Celebrity Culture in British Society, particularly its youth members. The survey shows that 74% of British people think that celebrity culture is having a negative effect on young people. 72% feel that Celebrity Culture has a negative effect on the perceptions of women and their bodies and 46% say it is even having a negative effect on men. If this is the result of the Cult of Celebrity on young people in the western world, then what about the Islamic Lands?
For Muslims this active assault on the Islamic personality has been well established for decades and has had a very negative impact on our youth.
Put simply when it comes to celebrity culture today there really isn’t much to celebrate. Here is a summary of the main dangers to young Muslims fed on a toxic diet of celebrity culture.
- The celebrity represents a false god that seeks to distract their fans/ followers/ worshipers from observing the commands of Allah سبحانه وتعالى Himself – a matter Allah سبحانه وتعالى condemns in Surah Baqarah verse 165;
مِنَ ٱلنَّاسِ مَن يَتَّخِذُ مِن دُونِ ٱللَّهِ أَندَادًا يُحِبُّونَهُمْ كَحُبِّ ٱللَّهِ وَٱلَّذِينَ ءَامَنُوٓا۟ أَشَدُّ حُبًّا لِّلَّهِ وَلَوْ يَرَى ٱلَّذِينَ ظَلَمُوٓا۟ إِذْ يَرَوْنَ ٱلْعَذَابَ أَنَّ ٱلْقُوَّةَ لِلَّهِ جَمِيعًا وَأَنَّ ٱللَّهَ شَدِيدُ ٱلْعَذَابِ
“Some people set up equals to Allah, loving them as they should love Allah. But those who have iman have greater love for Allah. If only you could see those who do wrong at the time when they see the punishment, and that truly all strength belongs to Allah, and that Allah is severe in punishment.”
People consumed with the celebrity culture look for solutions to life’s problems in the advice or commentary from famous people who themselves are failing in so many ways. They will never have the truth in contrast to the sublime guidance of our own creator. The celebrity life is an abnormal one that is built on disobedience to Allah سبحانه وتعالى and directs people to look at worldly pleasure only. This is why the self-destructive practices of drug abuse, the fashion for mental illness and shamelessness as a way to ‘happiness’ will always be the message given to young people who are left picking up the broken pieces of their lives with the celebrities they followed completely oblivious to the disasters that they are suffering.
- Celebrities, due their position in the entertainment industry, exist to promote themselves and their image for economic advancement. As a result, they embody the most concentrated form of megalomania narcissism possible. Their words, image and the products that they endorse for companies teach self-obsession and personal promotion to young people, this arrogance is hated by Allah سبحانه وتعالى: Abdullah ibn Mas’ud reported: The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, said:
»لَا يَدْخُلُ الْجَنَّةَ مَنْ كَانَ فِي قَلْبِهِ مِثْقَالُ ذَرَّةٍ مِنْ كِبْرٍ«
“No one who has the weight of a seed of arrogance in his heart will enter Paradise.”
Today’s society is suffering from “selfie-addiction”. Young women and men compromise their Islamic values of modesty and humbleness to blatantly expose their adorned bodies and material accessories to advance their social status regardless of the Islamic teachings that advise otherwise. Celebrity status is seen to be the ultimate goal and the pinnacle of success, literally, it does not matter what you have done – the important thing is HOW MANY PEOPLE KNOW YOU HAVE DONE IT!!!.
- To facilitate one’s own celebrity Social Media (SM) apps are collected and looked after as if they were living beings. In January 2015, the BBC reported that online usage has overtaken TV in the UK and 15-16 years olds spend around 5 hours a day in front of an electronic device. Young Muslim boys idolizing sporting figures and becoming obsessed with match results often live vicariously via the video gaming culture instead of being helpful and mature personalities. This amounts to a great deal of wasted time as often the content designed for young people relates to some haram concept or image or some other inane celebrity pursuance. As Muslims we are advised to stay away from idle pastimes and work hard to be bright stars for the pleasure of Allah سبحانه وتعالى as he sees and records everything and will account for all of our deeds as Surah Yunus describes in verse 10;
وَمَا تَكُونُ فِي شَأْنٍ وَمَا تَتْلُو مِنْهُ مِن قُرْآنٍ وَلَا تَعْمَلُونَ مِنْ عَمَلٍ إِلَّا كُنَّا عَلَيْكُمْ شُهُودًا إِذْ تُفِيضُونَ فِيهِ ۚ وَمَا يَعْزُبُ عَن رَّبِّكَ مِن مِّثْقَالِ ذَرَّةٍ فِي الْأَرْضِ وَلَا فِي السَّمَاءِ وَلَا أَصْغَرَ مِن ذَٰلِكَ وَلَا أَكْبَرَ إِلَّا فِي كِتَابٍ مُّبِينٍ
“You do not engage in any matter or recite any of the Qur’an or do any action without Our witnessing you while you are occupied with it. Not even the smallest speck eludes your Lord, either on earth or in heaven. Nor is there anything smaller than that, or larger, which is not in a Clear Book.”
In celebrity culture, perpetual immaturity and babyish qualities are considered trendy, aging is a crime punishable by public humiliation and responsibility to your family or community is not cool. Young people’s self-worth is increasingly defined by the “likes” and “shares” a person has on their SM accounts. The trolling and negative feedback that insecure personalities have unleashed upon their victims have destroyed many young people’s lives. Many young people have felt so helpless that they have killed themselves. Online abuse/ cyber bullying and crime is a growing danger for our young people who are inexperienced in life, the celebrity culture of invading the privacy of people, backbiting and spying is a hideous aspect of western culture forbidden in Islam.
- The celebrity culture invites young people to escape from their social, economic or emotional problems using fame as quick fix solution. The exporting of talent shows and reality TV programs to the Muslim world allows even small children to participate and have their “failure” publically advertised. The all too common sight of little Muslims girls and boys suffering an emotional breakdown for our entertainment is a disgusting social phenomenon that amounts to child abuse in Islam. It would seem that parents have been so brainwashed by the “Cult of Celebrity” and wealth pursuance that they sacrifice the innocence of their youth on the altar of celebrity and we watch on without the sense to account for this great wrongdoing. What does this teach our young Muslims? These shows send the appalling message that courting the praise of people (society is represented by the panel of judges) becomes more important than the praise of Allah سبحانه وتعالى which contradicts the Ayat of Quran:
أَفَغَيْرَ ٱللَّهِ أَبْتَغِى حَكَمًا وَهُوَ ٱلَّذِىٓ أَنزَلَ إِلَيْكُمُ ٱلْكِتَٰبَ مُفَصَّلًا وَٱلَّذِينَ ءَاتَيْنَٰهُمُ ٱلْكِتَٰبَ يَعْلَمُونَ أَنَّهُۥ مُنَزَّلٌ مِّن رَّبِّكَ بِٱلْحَقِّ فَلَا تَكُونَنَّ مِنَ ٱلْمُمْتَرِينَ
“‘Am I to desire someone other than Allah as a judge when it is He who has sent down the Book to you clarifying everything?’ Those We have given the Book know it has been sent down from your Lord with truth, so on no account be among the doubters.”
Little Muslim girls singing silly songs for a prize in the Dunya life will not be so cute or appealing when this same girl becomes a woman and wishes to trade-in her femininity to be just like one of her lowly judges misleading her away from the true Jannat and aiding in the corruption of other youth!
- Celebrities are required to perform in an industry that utilizes illusion and deception to win the financial benefits of a wider audience. One example of this deception is the way young famous people follow a very predictable career path designed by companies to exploit the innocent and trusting nature of parents to trick Muslim youth into becoming rebellious animalistic personalities. The highly controlled early stages of young stars will start off showcasing quite mild expressions of sexuality and lifestyle. However as the star matures the fans are encouraged to ‘grow’ with them and at some point an executive decision will be made when the young star emerges into a fully-fledged servant of Satan that expresses everything hated by Allah سبحانه وتعالى. The corporations who own the ‘stars’ will often request that employees consent to harmful diets, plastic surgery and the airbrushing of photos to create unrealistic human features. This has caused countless of young girls to hate the God given
beauty of their own bodies made in the best form as described in Surah Sajdah;
الَّذِىٓ أَحْسَنَ كُلَّ شَىْءٍ خَلَقَهُۥوَبَدَأَ خَلْقَ ٱلْإِنسَٰنِ مِن طِينٍ
“He Who has made everything which He has created most good: He began the creation of man with (nothing more than) clay”
The “thinsperation” trend that originated on pro-anorexic Internet sites (…..yes they actually exist) has aided the rise of eating disorders globally. On the 18th of April 2016, UK teenage magazine BLISS reported on a survey it conducted that showed “90 percent of British teenage girls are unhappy with their body, with mothers appearing to be responsible for passing on their own insecurities”. The ridiculous fact is that many of the rising teen superstars are having multiple-plastic surgeries even before they have completed the process growing into women, as their career demands immediate profits! How can this be empowering and liberating for young women?
The Prophet ﷺ is the most deserving of his position as an international role model, the Irish writer George Bernard Shaw in his book ‘The Genuine Islam,’ Vol. 1, No. 8, 1936 stated;
“If any religion had the chance of ruling over England, nay Europe within the next hundred years, it could be Islam…… I have always held the religion of Muhammad in high estimation because of its wonderful vitality. It is the only religion which appears to me to possess that assimilating capacity to the changing phase of existence which can make itself appeal to every age. I have studied him – the wonderful man and in my opinion far from being an anti-Christ, he must be called the Savior of Humanity…..I believe that if a man like him were to assume the dictatorship of the modern world he would succeed in solving its problems in a way that would bring it the much needed peace and happiness: I have prophesied about the faith of Muhammad that it would be acceptable to the Europe of tomorrow as it is beginning to be acceptable to the Europe of today.”
There are many similar quotes by non-Muslim intellectuals and if they can see the outstanding example of our beloved Prophet ﷺ then surely our Iman should give us even greater sense of ownership over his ﷺ legacy. For Muslim youth today facing the challenges of the Cult of Celebrity, they should take time now put down the Gossip magazine or stop sports page spotting and pause the “InstaFaceSnapTwittering”. Instead all youth should Google the Seerah to truly see how Mohammad ﷺ is the most exceptional personality to have ever existed as Allah سبحانه وتعالى describes him ﷺ as the best of all creation and in Surah Al Qalam verse 4, he Prophet is described as the best character;
وَإِنَّكَ لَعَلَىٰ خُلُقٍ عَظِيمٍ
“Indeed you are truly vast in character.”
Our beloved Prophet Mohammad ﷺ holds his position of fame and notoriety for all the right reasons, we should admire, love and imitate the Prophet ﷺ whether we are males, females, young or old. For all Muslims, success and dignity is not dependent on wealth or body type, it is an ideal truly accessible to all and is free from false promises, lies and airbrushed imagery that indorse certain racial features or material products.
A final message to all the young Muslims around the world is that celebrities exist NOT for our entertainment, but for the entertainment of the elite who designed the “fame game” as a modern day amphitheater where the young gladiator youth slaughter their futures in the battle of the brand names. The “Cult of Celebrity” is the political weapon to maintain their power while they watch the unwitting young fall in the bottomless trap of worshipping false idols and chasing the mirage of fake hopes and dreams that will only distract you from true success with Allah سبحانه وتعالى and His Messenger ﷺ.