In the race to impact the lives of our children, it is not the family, or the school, or the masjid that is light years ahead of the rest - it is television. Spend a day watching TV with children and you'll find out who they want to meet and be like, what types of foods they want to eat, which toys they would like to play with, and how they want their next haircut. Children spend more time in front of TV than they do in school. It molds their morals, personality and character. Their physical health, sleeping habits and literacy skills are affected by it. Today the only thing many children do more than watch TV is sleep but soon that too may change.
In the face of such a massive cultural and psychological attack, what's happening to our children? More than 95% of Muslim parents do not take their children to masjids and Islamic centers. The 'Islamic' education at home is often no more than a conducing mixture of culture, superstition and the Truth. The minds of our children are engulfed in an ocean of un-Islamic values that are constantly promoted on television, in magazines, on billboards and in the lives of their school friends. Islam offers them little or no protection. Let's face it, the majority of our children learn more about Islam and Muslims from the media than anywhere else. They see Islam presented as something foreign, mysterious and, at times, something evil. By entrusting our children to the one-eyed babysitter we have practically guaranteed that they will see homosexuality presented as something normal and the religion of Allah as evil. Despite its positive traits, television is robbing children of their very identity-right in our own homes How can any of us not fear for our survival when our children know more about Michael Jackson and Madonna than Muhammad and Musa (Peace be upon them)?
Since most programs are designated for adults, letting them watch TV without our being there is the worst thing we can do. Dinner, homework and the like should not take place in front of the tube. Encourage your child to read and to take part in outdoor activities, even if it means giving up some of your own leisure time.
The Islamic Bulletin
P.O. Box 410186, San Francisco, CA 94141-0186