Some years ago a friend asked,
“When we start telling our youth “haraam, haraam” you wonder why they aren’t responding. I have learned through behavioral psychology, “if you want to diminish a behavior, you better replace it with a different one.” When we tell our children dating is haraam, you can’t marry right now, you just can’t do anything. Why are we surprised when we find out the youth has been dating, sleeping around and is serious about this non-halal relationship? There must be a halal replacement, any suggestions? We can’t condemn the natural feelings Allah has given to humans as haraam, we can help channel these feelings into the halal Godly way. Let’s start with being honest with our youth, let’s talk it over without the “just believe statements,” shall we?”
A similar question was asked by Saudi psychologist Samira Al Ghamadi,
“Instead of becoming upset that such images (of naked Saudi women) are being broadcast, we should ask why such things happen in our homes. Why do our children enter these sites? Out of curiosity. They seek answers to things we never explain to them. We tell them that this is forbidden, and shameful, shameful, shameful, shameful… We never answer them. We always say: “They will learn in the future.” But they learn the wrong things, I am very sorry to say. We do not give them a sense of security. We do not give them enough room to express themselves, so they go to chat rooms. Many women might be upset with me for saying so, but there are married women whose husbands constantly pressure them, while they themselves go out at night and hang out. So the wife withdraws into the Internet and meet many people. She chooses an imaginary name, and meets guys who value her and treat her properly, while on the other hand, her husband humiliates her. Why wouldn’t she go there?”
This video clip was aired on LBC TV and is a TV Monitor Project of The Middle East Media Research Institute. The video illustrates how young Saudi women (who are allegedly oppressed by their husbands) turn to stripping in Internet chat rooms. The reporter begins the clip by saying:
“Behind closed doors and far from any supervising eyes, they remove their shame and turn their backs on all customs and traditions. Girls display their bodies in chat rooms on the Internet, in most cases, free of charge. As soon as one of these girls places the camera in front of her, she begins to strip, displaying her seductive charms to more than 300 young men of different ages. Some believe that the phenomenon of stripping over the Internet may be understood within the framework of social hypocrisy, especially since they believe that our religious and educational discourse does not attribute importance to the strengthening of self-restraint, and prefers the appearance over the essence. This drives some people to play several roles and wear several masks.”
What is the solution? Where are we going wrong? What is it that we are doing that isn’t quite right? Do we, as Muslims, think that “our religious and educational discourse does not attribute importance to the strengthening of self-restraint, and prefers the appearance over the essence”?