Absolute Internet Freedom in Malaysia is Destructing the Behavior of Many of Malaysia’s Youth

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم
News & Comment
Absolute Internet Freedom in Malaysia is Destructing the Behavior of Many of Malaysia’s Youth

News:

On the 18th of November, the news website, Malaysiandigest.com reported on a story about an unhealthy trend among the youths in Malaysia to mimic the liberal Western way of life propagated through billions of internet sites, including many pornography sites. The report addresses the worrying fall out on the youth of absolute freedom of the internet, associating it with the rise of rape cases. It is estimated that 10 women are raped every day in the country, with many more going unreported. At least half of the victims are said to be children and teenage girls below 16 years old. Some pornography sites even deliberately target the young by registering website names that mimic children’s TV shows. Former Prime Minister Tun Mahathir Mohamad also stated recently that he thinks the internet should be censored.

Comment:

According to a study conducted by the National University of Malaysia, 60% of internet users in the country utilize it for entertainment and pleasure such as watching videos on YouTube and playing games. Thus, unhealthy cultures have spread within the society and influenced people, especially teenagers and children. It has caused many teenagers to become obsessed with games, watching videos, and chatting on the internet, affecting their education and causing them to become lazy in other spheres of their life or in fulfilling their Islamic or family responsibilities.

Further exacerbating the situation, pornography videos which are very easily accessible on the internet have influenced teenagers and even children. Although pornography magazines and other similar material have been prohibited to enter Malaysia, the advent of 'absolute freedom' provided under the Communications and Multimedia Act 1998 and the Bill of Guarantees MSC related to the internet, has facilitated the speedy online spread of pornographic videos within the society and without censorship. This absolute internet freedom that has been endorsed by the Malaysian government and that is based on Western liberal values, allows internet companies and sites to function with few limits and also encourages individuals to pursue and fulfil their desires in any way they wish, carrying with it therefore the high possibility of causing an increase in acts that violate the dignity of women and girls within the society. Many cases of rape involve teenagers who initially met and socialized through social networking sites like facebook and twitter.


Worried about this social ill, the government has begun to take steps to develop a system of Internet censorship as is done in many countries, including China and Australia. Nonetheless, these actions have not brought a resolution to the problem because what should be removed from society is not only pornographic and obscene material but also the concepts and corrupt values stemming from ideologies such as liberalism and secularism that underlie such images. These values, that promote immoral, loose behavior between men and women, are also propagated through many other means within the state, including in magazines, books and entertainment. Hence, these ideologies will not only damage the faith (Aqeedah) of Muslims but will also corrupt and destruct the minds of our future generation, causing them to imitate the terrible and destructive cultures brought in from the West. Therefore, through the ideas of liberalism and secularism, the government has provided absolute freedom to use the internet without thinking of its negative implications.

The government's failure to apply the Islamic Shariah as a whole, including the education and social systems has cause adolescents to become more susceptible and influenced by information gained from the internet. The Islamic education system that emphasizes the development of the Islamic mentality and disposition within children from a young age shapes the pattern of attitude and mindset of young adults. Consequently, the Islamic faith will shine through an adolescent’s behavior and way of thinking, empowering them with the ability to differentiate between Islamic thoughts and those ideas and actions that contradict Islam. In addition, the Islamic social system also segregates men and women, and should be applied - whether in the real world or the virtual world as in social networks. This system will also curb the culture of free-mixing as practiced by the West. Therefore, the state must implement the Shariah comprehensively to gain back the purity and cleanliness of the Muslims alongside discarding all damaged concepts, ideologies, and systems that have influenced our youth in a destructive way.

Written for the Central Media Office of Hizb ut Tahrir by
Sumayyah Amar
Member of the Central Media Office of Hizb ut Tahrir
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