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Western Movies And Their Influence

Questioner

A (27_male_Egypt)

Reply Date

Apr 16, 2017

Question

Many among today's youth (just like my younger brother) see foreign, mainly American movies and TV series as the center of their world. Western movies are so popular around the world and we can see how movies change culture and society. As Muslims, what can we do to decrease this influence on our societies?

Counselor

Answer


movies

As-salamu ‘Alaykum,

That is the crux of the issue, isn’t it? But the question can be phrased in a different way. We can also ask:

“What has happened to Muslim society that makes sitting in front of a light emanating box instead of interacting with human beings seem like fun?”  Unfortunately, it is not that simple.

People would not consume American movies unless they are somehow already lacking in some basic components of healthy human relationships.

So, the bigger question is what has happened to us, to our cultures, to our forms of entertainment and other activities that encourage us to consume those things from the market, from the Western culture industries. Not to sound defeatist, but the reality it is, on some level, that you can do nothing.

These culture industries are run by powerful interests, and there is little the average consumer can do to effect change on that level, except to stop watching and stop consuming.

Why have we become consumers? Islamic civilization used to be productive, but now it is consumptive.

What happened?

We need, first and foremost, a more sophisticated diagnosis that links TV and movies to this broader issue of production/ consumption. It is not enough for youth to stop watching movies if you cannot provide something else for them to do. What will they do?

Play video games?boys-tv

Surf the net?

See the extent of the problem?

There have to be multiple solutions, or let us call them strategies, to address this problem. One is to encourage the local, authentic culture, especially those activities that involve face to face human interaction.

But if we must watch movie and TV, let us raise our standards a bit, and toward that end I would say we should encourage the kind of halal movie production coming out of Muslims/Muslim countries. While not all of what they do is going to solve this problem, they are providing alternatives to the Western culture industries.


 

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