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An Intifadah Against Indecent Programming - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive
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The matter is no longer bearable and, as a result, she has declared her own intifadah.

She was horrified by the terrible crime and she cried out for help. Her own kingdom — her home — was surrounded in the assault, and she shouted: Help! Enough! Enough! It is a case of another Kifayah [movement in Egypt against Mubarak’s intention to stay on in power; Kifayah is Arabic for ‘enough’], but this time it had a media and not a political connotation.

This loud cry of “enough” emanated last Saturday from a group of Saudi female academicians and educated women during the inauguration of the “Association for the Call for Virtue in the Information Media.”

According to the Internet web site of the group in question, the inauguration of their association is an intifadah against any Arab satellite TV channel that broadcasts Arab or foreign subtitled serials showing marital adultery, nude scenes, Kissing, intimate encounters, and mediocre dialogue. It is an intifada against satellite TV advertisements containing lewd suggestions, signs, and ideas that focus on the sexual exploitation of women. This movement is a big ‘No’ to the broadcasting of video clips showing see-through clothes, immoral scenes and songs with words of a sexual nature. It is a resounding ‘No’ to any satellite TV channel that shows programs involving dancing halls, cabarets, and night clubs, and that brings this seedy world into every Arab home. It is a female cry of protest against satellite TV channels that allow or even encourage TV presenters, male and female, to exchange blatantly flirty words, make trivial jokes, and utter sex-laden words.

People, this warning is no longer the monopoly of religious callers, preachers, and pious persons. This matter is now of deep concern to all segments of Arab society, and this warning is shared by artists and educated individuals. In this respect, a well-known Arab producer, Najdah, has warned against the risk of Arab artistic work falling into mediocrity, and before him, singer Muhammad Abdu strongly denounced video clip songs that seek material gain at the expense of the morals of society. Before them, Zewail, the Egyptian academician and Nobel Prize winner, and others have also issued similar warnings.

So, the case now is no longer that of a religiously permitted or a forbidden matter or of a hard-line view, as those in favor of this Arab decadence imagine. No, the problem now is the threat to the stability of Arab families and to the safety of the authentic values inculcated into the minds of the new generations as they grow up, as the statement about the inauguration of this important association put it. We understand the eagerness to monitor the sources of extremism and terrorism if they are ever found in education curricula or in any social or intellectual text book, and we are surprised to see that the crimes of adultery, rape, sex harassment, the chasing of women in markets, and even the growing harassment of married women are not linked to this disgraceful Arab satellite television degeneracy.

Let us seek arbitration in the street. I wish that the Arab satellite TV channels that permit the broadcasting of immoral material could send officials to visit Al-Gisah district in Cairo, or Al-Uliah district in Riyadh, or Suq Al-Hamidiah in Damascus, or a populated area in Casablanca or in any other Arab town, and to distribute opinion poll forms to a large number of persons. I would affirm — and I am not making conjectures — that most people who are polled would say that they are not pleased with TV programs that disregard the values of decency and morals.

It is precisely the existence of this silent, helpless majority of the Arab people and societies who have started to be negatively affected by every cheap broadcast that the members of the “Association for the Call for Virtue in the Information Media” want to convey to the Arab TV satellite channels that permit these types of programs. Hence this resounding cries: Enough!

Dr. Hamad Al-Majid

Dr. Hamad Al-Majid

Dr. Hamad Al-Majid is a journalist and former member of the official Saudi National Organization for Human Rights. Dr. Al-Majid is a graduate of Imam Muhammad bin Saud Islamic University in Riyadh and holds an MA from the University of California and a doctorate from the University of Hull in the United Kingdom.

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