News,_ Media_ and_ Social_ Ethics — Aqdas_ Hashmi

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Media is also called the fourth pillar of a state. In the concept of Islamic state, a lot is said about Islamic court, Islamic education system, Islamic civilization, Islamic economic system and Islamic social system. Let us leave for a few seconds whether these matters are kept in mind in an Islamic state or whether all of the above matters can be guided by religion. Do all these issues relate only to an Islamic state? Doesn’t a group of people, if it is called a nation, has to take care of all these matters and their moral aspects in order to run their daily life in the best possible way? There are some things in life that do not belong to any particular religion, sect or nation but belong to mankind and a healthy society. Ethics is a key element in all these matters. Now let’s talk about our modern day journalism organizations including print and electronic media channels which include both news and entertainment channels. Has any organization framed its journalism structure to basic social ethics or not? What are the specific factors by which we can fulfill our journalistic responsibilities without disobeying Allah and His Messenger and interfering in anyone’s personal matters? Does religion allow us to express ourselves in the same way that today’s society has conceived? Or does it mean that there is a certain circle of journalists that we are obligated to do? Is it not the case that we put religion behind us? Exceeding their limits, most people separate employment and profession from religion.

Journalism is also a field and a source of livelihood. Journalism means conveying the news with truth by writing, speaking or showing the facts, providing effective messages and awareness. Such news or message need to be avoided that spreads chaos or sectarianism, bigotry, linguistics, hatred, corruption and, above all, moral decay is anticipated ;and threaten the security of the country, the nation, the state and its institutions, and the moral training and protection of the people. In this regard, laws have been enacted at the journalistic level in our country. It means, you cannot say that I have invested money and can publish, narrate and show anything by taking the advantage of freedom of speech. Therefore, there is a set boundary to be restricted to. But nowadays, looking at the media industry and organizations, it seems that there is no such law and no boundaries at all. Neither media reflects Islamic society in terms of programs, talk-shows, headlines and interviews nor Islamic teachings are kept. Rather than reflecting Islamic civilization, our media reflects Hindu and Western civilization. Spicy news is broadcasted or published in a way that hurts the feelings of others. Ethics are not taken into account. Debates are made on the personal affairs of a person. Unbridled disruption and bloodshed is shown. Unconsciously, new types and methods of incidents are introduced in the society. In order to get ratings, false news is published or broadcast without confirmation.

On Saturday, May 29, there happens a protest in Faizabad against the holding of exams by students and people are stuck in traffic for three hours but there is nothing on the channels. Then where is the news, which is the real responsibility of these channels. In talk shows, personalities are seen smirching each other and our anchor persons are sitting on it as silent spectators and having fun.

Speaking of news, the greatest news of the universe which is based on truth came from Islam in which it was told about the Day of Judgment. It was said that you will be resurrected before your Lord and will be responsible for your deeds. Qur’an was given to us in the form of a scripture in which there is news of the existence of Allah, the life after death, the concept of heaven and hell and the news of the existence of angels. It was told by Prophet SAWW to spread Allah’s message even if a single verse. The whole world had to know our justice system. We had to publish and broadcast our civilization. We had to make the name of Allah practically resonate by using effective means like media for preaching. We had to be a model for the whole world through our civilization, had to embark on the mission that the Prophet SAWW told us to do. Today, our media is presenting a self-made concept of Islam under the guise of religious extremism.

There are nationwide protests against Israel in favor of Palestine, but even on this occasion, YouTubers are discussing people’s personalities with microphones and cameras. A female reporter who is not from any regular TV channel but from YouTube news channel talks about the exciting and bold dresses of other women participating in the protest and calls it a dating point. Our media by showing the programs of Islamic festivals and occasions (Eid, Muharram, Ramadan, Rabi-ul-Awal), thinks that we have done a great service to the religion. However, this is capitalism and nothing more. It is by no means intended to invite people to religion or to inculcate religion in the people. No matter what the Qur’an says, it is not possible to act in this day and age. Therefore, religion should be kept away in social matters. Judicial decisions will be made by our thinking and guidance can not be taken from religion in this regard.

It is enough to write this much in the constitution that the constitution will be of Islamic style and no decision will be made against the Qur’an and Sunnah. Religion has no interference in business and economic race. Therefore, a principle was made that journalism is also a profession which cannot abide by the religion’s rules. Media is being used as a puppet to attack the faith through false ideas and concepts. People having no knowledge about Islam are busy in presenting it in new ways, in the guise of religious scholars. A layman thinks that these are the real concepts of goodness that are being shown, taught or narrated in the media. Basic social morals negate the whole system that has been propagated by them.

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