Edit | 21 Jan 2015 : 12:36 am PST | The authenticity and validity of the list has been challenged by the following website. Click here for more details.
This is a very difficult topic to write about, but such topics should no longer be pushed behind the taboo banner. Some things are plain wrong and they must be addressed appropriately. All it takes for the bad people to take over is the silence of the good people. Oppression can take multiple forms, it is the moral/social oppression which can be the most subtle yet the most deadly one. Armed oppression is easy to identify and resist, but one cannot identify moral/social oppression that easily. Why? Because moral oppression appeals to the most basic animal instincts within us, this is something people easily succumb to. Recently Google released the list of most pornography searching countries. The result for me at least was disgusting. Consuming pornography itself is a disease, a very serious disease ( This is discussed later ) . The list issued by Google is: 1. Pakistan 2. Egypt 3. Vietnam 4. Iran 5. Morocco 6. India 7. Saudi Arabia 8. Turkey 9. Philippines 10. Poland Can`t do anything else except hang my head with shame. 6 out of 10 countries in the top 10 list are Islamic countries. Something is very very wrong with us. On one hand without any doubt Islam promotes a culture of modesty and self-control. It is sad and heart breaking to see that most of the Muslims are following the code of a book other than the Holy Quran. The last couple of weeks have seen protests by Muslims all across the world against the publishing of blasphemous cartoons by Chalie Hebdo. It is about time that the Muslims had a reality check. Prophet Muhammad`s (Peace and blessings be upon him) honour is most important but we must see. Charlie Hebdo did not do as much damage to his honour as we Muslims are doing by blatantly disregarding his teachings. Prophet Muhammad ( Peace and blessings be upon him ) was the most modest person to walk upon this earth yet us Muslims who claim to love him more than anything are setting a prime example for the world by showing up in the list of countries which consume the most pornographic material. The world will not respect us unless we learn to respect ourself. The world will not take us seriously unless we follow the teachings of Islam in letter and spirit. Like terrorism, this sick habit must not be attached with Islam. The teachings of Islam are exactly the opposite of what the trends suggest. Prophet Muhammad ( Peace and blessings be upon him ) said that when Islam began, it was a religion of strangers ( Understood/practised in true spirit by very few) and as the hour draws close it`ll once again become a religion of strangers. This is remarkably true for the era we are living in. In reality Islam expects both the men and the women to observe modesty.
Tell the believing men to reduce [some] of their vision and guard their private parts. That is purer for them. Indeed, Allah is Acquainted with what they do. (24:30) And tell the believing women to reduce [some] of their vision and guard their private parts and not expose their adornment except that which [necessarily] appears thereof .. (24:31)It was narrated from Abu Hurairah that: The Prophet [SAW] said: “Modesty (Al-Haya’) is a branch of Faith.”
It was narrated that ‘Abdullah said: “The Messenger of Allah said to us: ‘O young men, whoever among you can afford it, let him get married, for it is more effective in lowering the gaze and guarding chastity, and whoever cannot then he should fast, for it will be a restraint (wija’) for him.’
Abu Huraira reported Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) as saying. Allah fixed the very portion of adultery which a man will indulge in. There would be no escape from it. The adultery of the eye is the lustful look and the adultery of the ears is listening to voluptuous (song or talk) and the adultery of the tongue is licentious speech and the adultery of the hand is the lustful grip (embrace) and the adultery of the feet is to walk (to the place) where he intends to commit adultery and the heart yearns and desires which he may or may not put into effect.(The last hadith talks about being exposed to obscenity, the adultery of the eye is to gaze upon what is illegal/immodest, but the God fearing part of a man can overcome that desire, thus controlling/saving himself from committing adultery in the real sense.)
The morals of Islamic culture have been eroded and torn apart, it seems that Islam exists only within Quran and books of Hadith. The problem in part lies in the manner we have dealt with these issues. When Islam came, there were no “bans” , Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him ) did not have a reactionary approach, he had a pro-active approach to deal with social issues. His door was open for the sinners and pious alike. He treated everyone kindly, if a person confessed 100 sins, the prophet would still forgive him. He focused on conditioning the mind of people so that they can discern the good from the bad.
Muslims on the contrary, in past few decades have dealt with this issue in a reactionary manner. As the world became a global village, the boundary between cultures became blurred. Today entire America has “embraced” pornography as a form of “entertainment”. Muslims have failed to educate their youth as a result the reactionary measures like all out bans exist in almost every Islamic country.
The interesting thing about “bans” is that sociology tells us that bans are only effective when they are complimented in the short run by efforts to enlighten the people regarding the evils of the banned “commodity”. If bans are placed indefinitely, they become counter productive.
Probably all of Islamic countries have failed to address this problem effectively. Instead of pro-actively dealing with it, they have always brushed the topic under the carpet by terming it as a taboo. Those readers who are coming from Islamic backgrounds can probably agree how big of a problem this is. Furthermore, pornography is only one part of the whole problem, it leads to multitudes of social evils. The following BBC documentary sheds light on Pakistans hidden shame. It is something Pakistani`s know, but fail to acknowledge.
Sickness abounds these lands. Peshawar is the provincial capital of KPK province which is ruled by the Pakistan Tehreek e Insaf, a political party which represents the youth and the enlightened class of Pakistan. They too have been unable to curb this sickness, lack of intent or inability to do so?
Peshawar however is not the only city. Karachi, the provincial capital of Pakistan, the economic hub and the largest metropolitan city of Pakistan is unfortunately not far behind. Karachi has one of the largest red light districts of Pakistan. School/college/university going students bunk classes to pursue their “interests”. Such is the degradation of social fibre.
The institution of police itself is involved in human trafficking, many rings have been exposed by investigative journalists to no avail. Not just the police, many ministers have been caught red handed. But nothing has happened. If you can understand Urdu then you can watch the investigative shows on this link.
I am a Muslim and a Pakistani, it has not been easy for me to compose this post. Not everyone is alike, there are alot of good people, but the blame also lies on the good people, for they silently watched this plague spread in the country. The 180 million people may have turned a blind eye towards this, but one day probably in the near future it`ll come to haunt us all in the worst possible manner we can imagine.
Please watch this lecture by Shaykh Hamza Yusuf, he explains the disease of pornography in social context with great depth.