TV Channels and The Arab Youths [Archives:2002/03/Focus]

January 14 2002

Nawar Al-Hadad
The big and deep effect of TV on people, especially the young is noticeable and tangible. This medium is armed with double edges that should be channeled carefully and constructively to contribute to the establishment of a cultured and distinct society. To achieve that, this medium must be independent not aped. But what is happening with Arab satellite channels is the opposite. They blindly imitate foreign channels in a lot of their programs, deforming the Islamic and Arab values.
A lot of foreign TV serials and films try to discuss ideas and demonstrate behaviors that are alien to the Islamic and Arab societies. There are also a lot of Arab singers who blindly imitate the westerners in their video clips. Big groups of shameless dancers with semi-naked bodies are utilized to help popularize their empty diction.
When I watch some Arabic channels I think they do not represent Arab and Islamic countries despite their Arabic tongue. Some of them call for freedom of youths through vulgar manners. Some other channels are all the time busying themselves covering dance and song parties, soirees and concerts as something essential and important to show how civilized they are and to attract a large number of the audience. I wonder why don’t such channels allocate some time for presenting something Islamic. They seem to have forgot the basic and essential objective they are supposed to be concentrating on, which is building a sober generation based on respecting its Arab and Islamic identity.
They think that Islam calls for backwardness and is full of restrictions. But what is really happening is that they are helping divert the youths’ attention from the most important cases that really concern them such as the Palestinian struggle for freedom and liberty. They engage the minds of young Arabs with trivialities and meaningless thought.
Islam was, has been, and will always be sufficient to educate the individual. But this education is perceived as a threat on the future of Israel. This may justify the continued attempts to debilitate the role of Islam in building up the Arab character.