Are the Kids Alright?

1159090_teddy_bearAssalaamu-Alaykum (Peace be Upon you)

Well it would seem that this post has been a long time coming.

Not just due to the fact that it has been almost a year since my last post but also because so much has been written about this topic in the last couple of weeks, that I simply cannot ignore it any longer.

The Bailey Report came out recently which said that our children are being exposed to highly sexualised imagery across a range of media and commercial outlets and calls for there to be stricter controls from the government.  And whilst David Cameron has said that the ’state should not intervene’ by not backing it up with legislation, he has backed the thrust of the report and other proposals including selling ‘lad’s’ magazines in brown paper and music videos to be given age-ratings similar to the classification system in the cinemas.

And not just that.  Only a couple of days ago, Mike Stock who was the co-author of a string of pop music hits for Kylie Minogue and Jason Donovan in the 80’s has hit out against the “relentless torrent of sex-driven imagery” that young people are exposed to in music videos and on TV.

Now the importance of what Mr Stock has said must be realised.  You have to remember he was making pop hits in the 80’s with huge success so when he says that pop music in this country will gradually become ‘pornography’ then it is something to worry about as he was the man making pop in his heyday.

And if you look at these pop videos that he is referring to you will see what I mean.  It is quite unbelievable the sort of outfits that ‘artists’ like Aguilera and Rihanna are wearing, not to mention their raunchy, illicit style of dancing.  Furthermore, if you listen to the lyrics of ‘artists’ such as Nicole Scherzinger then I hope you will be gobsmacked by the downright suggestiveness and blatant sexual references contained within!!

Now take a step back and remember that this sort of material is being shown on ‘wholesome’ family shows such as X-Factor and Britain’s Got Talent and that there will be millions of children listening to these dirty words and millions of children watching these pornographic dance moves.

So what does that mean?

It means that right now, our children are watching, listening and thinking about sexually explicit material and thinking that it’s quite alright and that there is absolutely nothing wrong with it as they watched it with mummy and daddy in the living room on a Saturday night and mummy and daddy did not so much as even bat an eye-lid!  And what makes the situation even more dire is that now, with the advent of the internet, there is no such thing as a ‘watershed’ as material can be accessed by You Tube, iPlayer or anywhere else on the internet at any time!!

Yes at this point I can sense the liberalists come in and say we live in a modern era and we should be more ‘open minded’. But what, I ask you is so open minded about young girls watching their favourite pop stars strut about the stage with next to nothing on, dancing in a manner more at home in a strip club?

So what can we do?  Do we come down heavy and curb our artists’ ‘freedom of expression’ or do we sit back and do nothing and watch the children of today grow up with no understanding of the boundaries childhood and adulthood, between innocence and responsibility, between right and between wrong?

Well I say there is something to be said for an issue which has the concern of the Prime Minister and which is also an issue which is at the heart of Islam – and that is the issue of modesty.  As a British Muslim, I applaud the Prime Minister for speaking out and for backing the main principles of this report.  It resonates with me as a Muslim and as a young man living in Britain as the rapid decline of modesty, courtesy and general manners in our society is constantly on my mind.

But Muslims in general should also take this issue up and work hand in hand with all the faith and political groups and personalities on this to see what we can do about reducing the amount of illicit content available to children on TV, radio and the internet.  We have to take the middle ground here and campaign and persuade the powers that be that these sorts of videos, lyrics and acts must be toned down and the element of modesty inserted so that it becomes suitable for children.

And furthermore, the media and commercial world should stop selling and advocating our children to grow up faster than they should and let them be children and enjoy their childhood in innocence because there will come a time for them to be adults and to do adult things responsibly and behave in an adult way but, as I keep telling my 13 year old niece, that time is not now!

We should not be afraid to discuss in an enlightened way with those disagreeing that to put these sorts of choices and ideas into the minds of children at an age before puberty and the age of majority would not only corrupt the child but it goes against the very nature of being a child, the very nature of being human.

In short, more and more, our children are being subjected to highly sexualised and illicit material without any checks and balances in the media and the commercial world and without making the most fundamental point that these sorts of things are morally wrong, not to mention against everything which the 3 major faiths of this world stand for.  And to combat this, Muslims, Christians, Jews and anyone else who has some sort of moral barometer should stand united (the Prime Minister can join in too!) and stop this outrageous behaviour and wrest our children and our teenagers from the stranglehold of these depraved ‘artists’ and morally bankrupt companies who are out to make millions at the cost of the degradation of morality of our children.

Insha-Allah (God willing) through lots of Dua (prayer) and the right effort and political will, we will make a difference and insha-Allah our children will turn out right.

Ma’as-salaam – With Peace

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