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Globalization And Parental Education In The Muslim World Today – Analysis

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The digital revolution that is taking place nowadays all over the world is undoubtedly changing the face of the planet at an outstanding pace in every aspect. The world is truly becoming a global village as the visionary thinker McLuhan once predicted back in the sixties of the last century. By surfing the Net today you can go almost anywhere you wish and you can communicate, at ease, with anyone you want. Basically, almost everything is at the click of a button.

The prospects of this unprecedented revolution are great, but so are the dangers and the pitfalls on family and society.

In fact, nobody questions the fact that globalization, which is one of the concrete results of the digital revolution, is beneficial to humanity, provided it is wisely managed.

Unfortunately, that is not the case today. Globalization is here among us to stay with its positive and negative sides. And unfortunately its negative aspects, if left unchecked, can destroy the unity and the coherence of the family, and by so doing badly affect society.

The globalization today is insidiously affecting children and adolescents in their identity, behavior and morality and it is also affecting adults. The Internet is certainly a great outcome of the digital age, but in many cases it is sapping society at is foundations because of the moral permissiveness it allows with no checks or balances.

Aware of the dangers of globalization on the Muslim family, the Islamic Educational, Scientific and Cultural organization –ISESCO- embarked few years ago on an ambitious programme entitled: “Parental Education”, geared towards educating parents on how to educate their children at home to avoid having them become victims of the dark side of globalization.

Going Global

muslim schoolchildren school islam educationBack in the fifties of the last century a visionary thinker by the name of Marshall McLuhan(1) predicted, rightly so, that the world will become a global village(2) as a result of the technological advance achieved by humanity. Today this prediction has come true, and as a result, the world has shrunk dramatically to the extent that all faraway places and distant people are now next door. This new development in the lives of humans is seen by some as good news and by others as a catastrophe and a calamity, depending obviously on how the half glass of water is seen: half empty or half full.

All in all, this new state of being is here to stay for good and it is gradually becoming a new way of life for all humans whether they like it or not. The fact is that when you live next door to the rest of the world, you dress, eat, think and behave like the rest of the world, and you do not ask questions. And this is what “going global” is all about.(3)
From the concept of the global village, to going global, humanity is unwillingly undergoing tremendous changes without having enough time to digest them and that is globalization.

Globalization, A New Way Of Life

Like every human concept, globalization is not fail-safe, it has its advantages and disadvantages, it helps circulate the benefits of technological advance among men but it also imposes the way of life and the thinking modes of the lucky few on the majority, thereby impeding and destroying cultural diversity.

Many people believe that globalization is the political end result of the fall of the Soviet Empire and the confirmation of the United States of America as the only superpower. Actually, that well may be one of the reasons but certainly not the only one. The New World Order that was put forward by America was a political attempt that failed miserably and died in its infancy after the dramatic events of the 11th of September, which showed that America cannot dictate a political order to the world no matter how powerful it might be.

However, while the New World Order failed to take off the ground, globalization thrived because it was driven by many important factors, chief among them we find: (4)

  1. The digital revolution; and
  2. World trade.

After the agricultural and industrial revolutions, that changed the face of the world, humanity was subjected to a more powerful and far-reaching revolution that rewrote the rules of modern civilization. The digital revolution turned science fiction into reality in various fields, too many to name: Internet, digital television, teleconferencing, mobile phones, etc. and brought people of different cultures and creeds close to each other, and more is on the way.

The digital revolution was and is instrumental in tearing down barriers erected by ignorance, misconceptions, fallacies, stereotyping and lack of contact. Maybe, to date, the most important achievement of the digital revolution is the obliteration of ideologies that were, for centuries, responsible for so much misery for human kind.

Today, thanks to the digital revolution people can chat on the Internet at will, display their identities and true selves without shame or fear of retribution. Professors can lecture students thousands of miles away and doctors can operate on patients without moving from their offices or leaving their countries. It is a new form of freedom never experienced by humans before.

Many countries, especially in the developing world, suffered greatly from bureaucracy and red tape, today people can request whatever administrative paper they need without having to move from their homes or offices. They can also vote and undertake as many actions as they desire thanks to e-government. The Internet is making, somewhat, governments redundant, and I presume in the foreseeable future governments would either have to cut the red tape, be transparent and respond to the needs of the citizens or face extinction by oblivion, because their theoretical power will be totally snubbed by people. At this point the question is: would the digital revolution make totalitarian governments embark on incremental democracy? The answer is most probably yes because undemocratic governments live off usurped power and if their power is eroded or diminished they dwindle and die.

Aware of this hard reality, China, back in the eighties, cleverly opened up its regime and relinquished some of its power to the people. And no matter how powerful China might be, militarily speaking, yet its political system is in jeopardy, real jeopardy today.

The second element that made globalization a possible venture is world trade in the last few decades. As a matter of fact, world trade achieved incredible output and results and looks forward to achieving more positive results in the near future. The demand for world trade is reaching incredible levels and the more this increasing demand is satisfied, the more the economy would go global and imposes new codes of conduct on governments.

World trade, in its present format, is concretely helping start up consumer habits even in most impoverished societies, wherever they may be, and this is made possible by the media that is subliminally creating consumer habits and consumer needs and craving that never existed before within society.

All in all, most countries of the world are willing to go global in spite of the dangers this undertaking might represent, with the hope to benefit economically from its windfall.

The Dark Side Of Globalization

Internet - ConfusedIn spite of the numerous benefits that globalization might, theoretically, offer to individual countries at the economic level, yet it has several side effects.

Globalization actively promotes the way of life of rich and strong countries at the expense of poor and small countries. This may not be a planned action, but it has destabilizing effect on the countries of the South. Thanks to digital satellite television, these people are bombarded daily by television programmes that celebrate and enthuse over wealth and beauty but also sex, fast cars and luxurious homes, in addition to such negative values as deceit and infidelity; and young children and ordinary non-educated young adults fall prey to this false publicity and crave to act likewise, believing that is the model. Unable to fulfil these wild dreams of theirs, they feel frustrated and as such either become candidate for illegal migration to the “Eldorado” of their dreams: the West, or drown their sorrow in drugs and alcohol, believing that this is the best way out.

The Western countries, swamped by thousands of illegal immigrants, hit back at the poor countries asking them to check the flow of these undesirable and bothersome individuals, not realizing or wanting to recognize that they are the ones who triggered this population movement in the first place.

This television phenomenon actually existed before the advent of globalization but it did not have a subliminal effect on people because it was promoted by one or two media not thousands that use special effects (5). In fact, today music channels promote wildly:

  • Bad language;
  • Questionable behavior (gestures, kissing, sexual references; etc…);
  • Particular dress code: scanty clothing;
  • Particular hair styles;
  • Piercings; etc…

 

And these channels target a vulnerable population: the adolescents and youngsters who, are trying to assert themselves within their societies and can be easily influenced to take up any cultural identity that is proposed to them in their own language.

The digital television onslaught of the countries of the North on those of the South does not stop at this level but it manifests itself, also, by offering erotic pink television channels free of charge and accessible by all. These television channels encourage debauchery and unacceptable sexual practices that the young try to imitate and, as a result, end up in trouble and facing responsibilities they are not prepared to shoulder.
As if digital television was not enough, then came the Internet, a more dangerous and destructive media for the youngsters because of its interactivity and immediate and instant possibilities of exchange of written material and images.

The Internet, when it is not under the control of the parents, has undesirable effects on children because unlike television it offers a wide array of sites and possibilities that can damage, beyond belief, the education of the adolescents. The material available in the Internet, in many cases, is “wild” and “raw” and because it has not been controlled by any responsible authority, encourages perversity and shameful practices. The subliminal effect of the Internet on children is ten times more harmful than that of television.

Also, the material offered on the Internet, for lucrative reasons and motives, is often packaged in a very sleek professional manner to sell well, and it sells like hot cake. It is supposedly directed to an adult readership or clientele, but it is obviously used, also, by young people on a large scale to satisfy some of their urgent juvenile needs.

This powerful media (6) is credited to have lasting psychological harm on the young because of its strong suggestive material and harmful information.

These disorders can range from:

  • Identity crisis;
  • Lack of self – confidence and self – esteem;
  • Rejection of parental authority;
  • Recurrent state of moodiness and unsociability;
  • Suicidal inclinations;
  • Lack of respect for seniority; and
  • School dislike.

These disorders are the result of the total rejection of one’s society, seen as a diminished and an insignificant cultural institution, the rejection of one’s self and one’s surroundings because they do not conform to the Western model dignified by the Internet, a model boasting unlimited wealth and beauty, and the rejection of one’s culture and religion and, ultimately, the adoption of a life of outrageous consumerism.

Globalization And The Family

Many families in the Muslim World today are undergoing a real turmoil because of the bad influence modern media has on the behavior of their children. In Islam, the family is a sacred institution based on values of respect, dignity and consideration; and the role of the parents is dignified within Islamic culture: the father is seen as the protector, the provider and the counselor and the mother is the symbol of peace, tranquillity and tenderness. She occupies a pivotal position within the family. For Muslims, paradise lies beneath the feet of mothers and as such mothers are sanctified within religious literature and popular culture.

Parental Education

Respect of the parents in Islam is a religious duty emphasized in no doubtful terms in the Holy Qur’ãn:

“ووصينا الإنسان بوالديه حملته أُمُهُ وهناً على وَهنٍ وفصله في عامين أن أشكر لي ولوالديك إلى المصير”
(سورة لقمان 14،31)

“And We have enjoined on man (to be dutiful and good) to his parents. His mother bore him in weakness and hardship upon weakness and hardship, and his weaning is in two years-give thanks to Me and to your parents. Unto Me is the final destination.” (7)
(Surah 31, Luqman, 14)

And the Qur’an has further highlighted the importance of the parents in the social fabric and enjoined Muslims to obey them and show them much respect and love:

” وقضى ربك ألا تعبدوا إلا إياه وبالوالدين إحسانا إما يَبلُغَنَّ عندك الكبر أحدُهُمَا أو كِلاهُما فلا تَقُل لهما أَفٍّ ولا تنهَرهُما وقل لهما قَولاً كريماً. واخفض لهما جَناحَ الذلِ من الرحمة وقل ربِّ ارحمهما كما ربّياني صغيراً”.
(سورة الإسراء 17، 23-24)

“And your Lord has decreed that you worship none but Him. And that you be dutiful to your parents. If one of them or both of them attain old age in your life, say not to them a word of disrespect, nor shout at them but address them in terms of honour. And lower unto them the wing of submission, and humility through mercy, and say: “My Lord! Bestow on them Your Mercy as they did bring me up when I was young.” (8)
(Surah 17, Al – Isra’, 23-24)

Any breach of any of these concepts is an outright rejection of religion because the family is the basic unit of the social system. Likewise, any threat to the existence of the family is a threat to the Umma at large, and, as such, to the Islamic faith.

As a result of the strong influence of the media on children and the brainwashing effect it has on them, their social behavior is badly affected because they feel alienated from their family and culture, alienated from their environment, and maybe even alienated from their own person. They view the family as a restriction of their freedom, social etiquette as outdated traditions, and the local culture as a set of values, ethics and customs that are not in tune with the global culture on offer.

An Afghan school girl sings a prayer in celebration and for blessing. Photo Credit: US Army, Wikipedia Commons.
An Afghan school girl sings a prayer in celebration and for blessing. Photo Credit: US Army, Wikipedia Commons.

One of the criticisms leveled by some countries and governments against globalization is that no matter how interesting and invigorating this way of life maybe, yet it has many negative side effects. This movement was initiated by the French Government a decade ago. Threatened by the Anglo-Saxon driven globalization, the French reacted by promoting the concept of spécificité culturelle (cultural specificity) and setting up international organizations for the defence of French language and culture in the world.

One of the French ministers of Culture named Toubon; went as far as to call for “cleansing” the French dictionary from foreign loan-words, meaning English lexical items like: cool, weekend, clean, black, walkman, etc… and replacing them by words that are truly French, and in the case they do not exist invent them or coin them altogether. Irritated by this campaign, the British press criticized the whole approach put forward by the Minister of Culture Toubon by calling him Mr. Allgood (a translation of his name in English).

If governments can and do have to defend their interests in the face of the onslaught of globalization by enacting laws, setting up defensive means and inciting the population to promote their national language in everyday life, on the other hand, families are at real loss. The only authority that the family can make use of in this is parental authority, and, in case of difficulty, appeal to religious teachings and Islamic morality. But if neither of these work, then the situation can be of a very serious nature and calls for urgent attention.

Globalization threatens the family in its important aspects and features, chief among them: authority, solidarity, cohesion and integrity.

Traditionally, families, in their extended and nuclear forms, kept their cohesion intact in the face of dangers and changes thanks to the strong sentiment of solidarity that is proverbial in Arabic popular culture:

” انصر أخاك ظالماً أم مظلوماً”

This proverb can be semantically interpreted in a multitude of manners, and maybe the most important and the most central of them all is active solidarity in the face of danger, threats, needs, and all dire situations.

Islam has made out of the family, a social institution of paramount importance for society and the Umma, the individual is brought up and reared within this institution that is supposed to make out of him a good Muslim: God-fearing and responsible; an individual who can later care and provide for his family and his society and defend his faith against denigration and attack.

The role of the family in Islam is to rear the child, provide for all his needs, and educate him in the best practices possible: sincerity, righteousness, faithfulness, integrity and independence, and to make out of him a good person إنسان صالح (insane sãlih). And educate him, also, and this is of outmost importance, into Islamic teachings التعاليم الإسلامية, so that the religion of Islam can be his guidance in everyday life and a protection for him against temptation, vice and wrongdoing.

Parental Education: What Is It All About?

The problematic of education, along with its function as a factor of development, is considered as one of the major challenges that confront different human societies in general and the Muslim ones in particular. This is an undeniable truth, for the consensus, which was reached many centuries ago on the necessity of education as an instrument of any expected progress, has been reinforced since the 1980s by another consensus on the idea that in the twenty first century-the age of globalization and technology-the future of societies will somehow depend on the way they will educate younger generations.

Parental Educational Responsibility In The Era Of Globalization

Education, which constitutes in its cultural sense the mirror of the life of people and the state of their society and in its deeper sense the fundamental instrument of development and progress, has become one of the major social problems in the recent years. If the majority of developed countries have given enough attention to this problem, the majority of Muslim societies are still unaware of it and its various bad affects. (9)

But what kind of education are we talking about here?

Education is usually thought of as a combination of interactions, practices and influences meant for teaching a child values and behaviours and accustom him to the manners and traditions of his society. Education consists of the various social traditions and values, the life patterns and ways of thinking that are not transmitted to the child in a hereditary manner, but through cultural influence. This means that, from his birth, a child is in need of the instruction which helps him acquire the cultural instruments necessary for his social integration. Since it is a space where warmth care and living conditions are provided, the family naturally constitutes the environment which strongly influences a child’s growth and the development of his personality. It is in this sense that we can talk about family education. But where does parental education stand within this framework? And how does it relate to family education?

Parental education is often reduced to family education in such a manner that the two terms are used interchangeably. This is wrong, however, because parental education is no more than a fundamental component or variable that is part of the numerous variables which go into the making of family education, whose role in bringing up a child is of paramount importance. The family, whose components may increase and vary to include its different members, its residential spaces, the mediums of its thinking and distraction, along with its arrays of values and cultural elements, may also cover not only the educational practices it resorts to in bringing up its children but also the intervention of the parents in the education of their offspring, hence its inclusion of parental education.(10)

Parental education is usually summed up as the parents direct dealing with the child, precisely the practices which determine their educational activity vis-à-vis the latter. It consists in the daily practices of the parents, behavioral attitude toward the child so as to train him, guide him supply him with all kinds of information, skills, models, conducts, values and tendencies necessary for the confrontation of life problems in all its aspects and in different domains.

Therefore, it is not a synonym of family education or social upbringing or parental tendencies, as it is corroborated by the inaccuracy of some Arab studies. (11) Though it partakes of social upbringing as a fundamental variable and covers parental tendencies as a wider framework, it cannot, however, be reduced to either terms. It essentially amounts to the existence of an educational relationship between a child and his parents reflected in well-defined practices that take the form of a series of methods and treatments the latter resort to in the various situations that the child faces whether inside or outside home.

Parental Education In The Era Of Globalization

The Islamic religion has always instructed the faithful to take upon themselves the education of their children and to think of this undertaking as a religions duty: a preparation for school education and a preparation for the duties of life.

Parental education is the act of instilling in one’s child the values القيم of Islamic morality الأخلاق الإسلامية to avoid having him go astray and to make out of him a responsible and hard-working member of the society.

Aware of the importance of parental education in this era of globalization, fraught with various dangers such as violence, terrorism, drugs, and crime, the Islamic organization –ISESCO– prepared a study entitled “Parental Education in the Islamic world” (12) and published it in Arabic, English and French in the year 2000 and distributed it to Member States.

The Islamic Organization has, also, organized in 2004 a meeting of experts (13) on the same subject with the intention of identifying the best possible ways for encouraging parental education within Islamic families and identifying ways for disseminating its message within the Muslim society at large.

Parental education allows families to have long-life influence on their offspring, an influence that can be beneficial to them in their life and dealings and in the lives of the generations to come.

Unlike school education, parental education is more interactive and more specific and deals with situations as they occur, because it is not governed by a structured curriculum that requires that topics be treated in a given feeding order.

Parental education can take place when needed, as a given situation arises, it does not require a syllabus, nor schools, nor exams, nor diplomas, nor teachers and nor principals. It is, somehow, one aspect of moral education. There is no specific time or age for parental education, but it must be said that it is more effective between the age of 5 to the age of 17, because it is the period of time when children are the most vulnerable, most open to outside influence due to lack of experience, lack of insight and maybe lack of wisdom. During this period of time, parental education can play a decisive role in directing children, advising and helping them surmount difficulties and obstacles that the modern world, in its global format, puts in their way.

In this era of globalization, when the freedom on offer is too unreasonable and too irresponsible, and children are inexperienced, the dangers of perversity are too numerous and parental education has a major role to play in regulating the development of society, in general, and the life of the offspring, in particular.

Regulating Globalization

Globalization in its actual format and shape is the outcome of human progress and sophistication. No one and no society in the world can stop progress or alter its chartered course, simply because it is the natural maturation of human knowledge and the culmination of the aspiration of humanity for a better future and a better life.

However, globalization, no matter how beneficial it is, is too wide a phenomenon that has positive impact on too many sectors of life, as well as negative implications.

What is needed today are ways and methods to humanize globalization, i.e. make out of it a phenomenon in the full service of humanity, and this is where parental education can play a vital and pivotal role.

Parental education can humanize globalization by guiding children through their difficult years of growth in age and knowledge and experience. This much-needed guidance can be made possible by providing counsel to children at home on what is good and what can, ultimately, have a negative impact.

Parental education in the world, in general, and in the Islamic world, in particular, can regulate globalization and humanize its effects by implementing a number of actions through education and counselling. These actions are as follows:

1- Preserve cultural integrity

Globalization in its actual format, no matter how universal it might be, promotes the dominating culture of the Western world at the expense of the cultures of the rest of the world, through the globalization of McDonalds, Coca Cola, Walt Disney, MTV, CNN and American music and film industry. These labels are not only brand names but they are the unique cultural reference names.

As such, the gastronomy of the rest of the world is “ethnic food”, its wear is “traditional costume”, and its film is “foreign film” and music “world music”. So globalization in this, indirectly calls the rest of the world to adopt the American way of life as the universal way of life. The mission of parental education in this particular case is to highlight Islamic culture and its importance in the life of the Muslim individual and show the dangers that unchecked globalization can effect on Muslim society by causing cultural alienation especially among young people. Parental education ought to show that national culture is identity and without identity the individual has no value, because he is only known through his culture and nothing else.

2- Enhance morality

Globalization, whether by design or not, encourages through some of its many means, immorality and perversity. Parental education must identify these means and these instances and come up with acceptable and justifiable defence against them. Also, morality can be enhanced by setting the example and by opening the issues at hand to discussion and scrutiny. Actually, today, even in the Western world many voices are calling for the moralization of globalization and the regulation of its output to avoid leading the youth astray and alienating them from their social values.

3- Redesign religious education

Globalization, in many of its manifestations, promotes material cultural at the expense of many salient human principals. Life is not only about money, profit and creature comforts; it is, also, about faith and moral values. A globalization without faith might be a successful material undertaking, but in the end it is a phenomenon that is doomed to failure, because man does not live by bread alone he needs faith to direct his life and give him confidence in himself and his future. Thus, parents have a major role to play in inculcating faith to their children by considering the way they can teach them religion so that they internalize its precepts in the best way possible. The parents ought, also, to present religion to their children in a modern package by advocating discussion, transparency, openness and reasoning.

Globalization Yes, But…

There is no doubt whatsoever that globalization is the ineluctable outcome of human aspiration for progress and development. But if globalization is here to stay, it ought, then, to serve humanity in its cultural and spiritual dimensions. Unchecked freedom, irresponsible permissiveness and wild materialism, the current flaws of globalization do not serve its human objectives, therefore it is urgent to rethink globalization in order to give it a human face acceptable to man.

Globalization has to take into consideration the needs and the aspirations of its focal subjects and targets. It has, also, to allow urgently readjustments in its mission and contents to serve best the human being in his person and his society. It is true that progress cannot be stopped, but it can be redirected in its course, and redesigned in its content.

Family has to be allowed to play an important role within globalization, because a globalization without a soul is doomed to lead humanity to discredit and failure.

You can follow Professor Mohamed Chtatou on Twitter: @Ayurinu

Notes:
1. Herbert Marshall McLuhan was born on July 25, 1911 in Edmonton, Alberta, and then his family moved to Winnipeg, Manitoba a few years after his birth and remained there until he attained an M.A in English literature from the University of Manitoba in 1934. After leaving Manitoba, he later went to Cambridge University and afterwards taught at the University of Wisconsin. In 1964 he published his first book Understanding Media: the Extensions of Man that brought him to fame, and made out of him a reputed visionary of the 21st century. He says in Understanding Media: The Extensions of Man convincingly:

“After three thousand years of explosion, by means of fragmentary and mechanical technologies, the Western world is imploding. During the mechanical ages we had extended our bodies in space. Today, after more than a century of electric technology, we have extended our central nervous system itself in a global embrace, abolishing both space and time as far as our planet is concerned. Rapidly, we approach the final phase of the extensions of man –the technological simulation of consciousness, when the creative process of knowing will be collectively and corporately extended to the whole of human society, such as we have already extended our senses and our nerves by the various media”.

2. McLuhan philosophy, though voluminous and far-reaching, is often reduced to snappy quotations and pop-culture catch phases. Concerning the new status of man in technological and media-dominated society, he said:

“If the work of the city is the remaking or translating of man into a more suitable form than his nomadic ancestors achieved, then might not our current translation of our entire lives into the spiritual form of information seem to make the entire globe, and of the human family, a single consciousness? ”

In statements like this, McLuhan both announces the existence of the global village, another word he is credited for coining, and predicts the intensification of the world community to its present expression. All of this was in the early 1960s at a time when television was still in its infancy, and the personal computer was almost twenty years in the future.

3. a) Globalize (transitive verb): to make global or worldwide in scope or application;
b) Globalization (noun): growth to a global or worldwide scale;
c) Globalization (as an economic process): any process affecting the production and development and management of material width. (cf. www.thefreedictionary.com)

4. The Global Elite march in three essential columns: Corporate, Political and Academic….

In general, the goals for globalism are created by Corporate. Academic then provides studies and white papers that justify Corporate’s goals. Political sells Academic’s arguments to the public and if necessary, changes laws to accommodate and facilitate Corporate in getting what it wants.

An important ancillary player in globalism is the media, which we will call press… Press is necessary to filter Corporate, Academic and Political’s communications to the public. Press is not a fourth column, however, because its purpose is merely reflective. However, we will see that Press is dominated by members of Corporate, Political and Academic who sit on the various boards of directors of major press organizations.
cf. “the Global Elite: Who are they?” in the August Review, Volume 5, Issue 12.
(Cf.www.augustreview/index.php?m)

5. A form of subliminal messaging commonly believed to exit involves the insertion of “hidden” messages into movies and TV programmes. The concept of “moving pictures” relies on persistence of vision to create the illusion of movement in a series of images; the popular theory of subliminal messages usually suggests that subliminal commands can be inserted into this sequence at the rate of perhaps 1 frame in 25 (or roughly one frame per second, with a duration of about 1/25 of 1 second). The hidden command in a single frame will flash across the screen so quickly that it is not consciously perceived, but the command will supposedly appeal to the subconscious mind of the viewer, and this have some measurable effect in terms of behaviour. This effect is occasionally referred to as the 25th frame effect.

6. ChildCareAware (Cf.www.childcareaware.org/en), an American child care resource organization specialized in providing help to parents in what concerns the education and the up-bringing of their children. In its newsletter for working parents: the Daily Parent (Winter 1999) states the following troubling information about the impact of the media on children:

“Children today are immersed in the media culture through television, video, computer games and the Internet. Screen time is a daily part of family life for most Americans.
The degree to which the children are exposed and affected by exposure to the media varies, but few children are untouched by it. Children average 35 hours per week in front of a screen either watching TV and videos or playing video games. This exposure can create special needs which teachers, caregivers and parents need to understand in order to help.”

This specialized organization investigates further the impact of powerful media on children as well as classroom concerns that result from it:

“Across the country teachers and caregivers express concern about how the media, related toys and other products affect children in their classrooms. Teachers report increased level of aggression and more injuries. The quality of play is less imaginative and often imitative rather creative. Many children confuse fantasy with reality. Some children appear obsessed with specific action figures such as Star Wars or Power Rangers and are unable to focus on other activities.

Young children struggle to understand what they see and incorporate it into their ideas and behaviour. Many of the messages in the media can undermine their sense of safety and trust or create the impression that fighting or using weapons is normal and necessary.”

7. Cf. Taqi-ud-Din Al-Hilali, M and M. Muhsin Khan. 1996. Translation of the meanings of the Noble Qur’an in the English language. King Fahd Complex for the Printing of the Holy Qur’an: Medina. P. 551.

8. Ibid, p. 371

9. Cf. Ahrchaou, A. 1998. “Some Aspects of the Modern Arab Treatise on Education”, Majalat ’Ulūm At-Tarbiya 2: 11-12 (Title translated from Arabic).

10. Cf. During, P. 1995. Education familiale: acteur, processus, et enjeux. De Boeck  Ed. : Bruxelles; cf., also, Portois, J.P. 1989. “ L’éducation familiale: Note de synthèse”, in Revue française de Pédagogie 86 :69-105.

11. Cf. Muhammad Ali; Hassan. 1970. The Parents’ Relationship with the Child and its Effect on Delinquency. Cairo: Maktabat AL-Anglo Miisriya. (Title translated from Arabic).

Kafani, ‘Alaa Addine. 1989. “Self-esteem in its Relationship with Parental Education and Psychological Security”, in Majalat Al’Ulūm Al-Insaniya 35, vol.7: 101-128. (Title translated form Arabic)

Al-Korchi, Abdelfattah. 1986. The Relationship of the Tendencies of Kuwaiti Fathers and Mothers in the Upbringing of their Children with some Variables, in the Yearbook of the Faculty of Letters 7, University of Kuwait. (Title translated from Arabic).

12.  Cf. ISESCO. 2000. Parental Education in the Islamic World. ISESCO Publications: Rabat. (Published in Arabic, English and French, the working languages of ISESCO).

13. This meeting entitled “Meeting of Experts on the Development of the Curricula of Parental Education from an Islamic Point of View” was held in Rabat, Morocco on 4-7 May 2004.


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Dr. Mohamed Chtatou

Dr. Mohamed Chtatou

Dr. Mohamed Chtatou is a Professor of education science at the university in Rabat. He is currently a political analyst with Moroccan, Gulf, French, Italian and British media on politics and culture in the Middle East, Islam and Islamism as well as terrorism. He is, also, a specialist on political Islam in the MENA region with interest in the roots of terrorism and religious extremism.

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