I’m in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia till the end of the month and there’s a new controversy brewing here. The Chief Justice has declared that it is “lawful to kill the people who are responsible for producing immoral television soap operas” that corrupt their society. He was referring to some free-to-air programmes that are viewable in the Kingdom via a cheap satellite dish that’s within everyone’s reach.
Among the Egyptian, Lebanese, South American and Turkish productions, there’s one in particular that has irritated the religious leaders. Noor, or Gumus as it is known in original Turkish, imitates the European culture and seems to be the most popular among the Arabs.
On the scales of domestic violence, abuse of women or interchanging sex-partners, Noor fades into oblivion compared to Mahagedara, Praveena and the rest of the rubbish on local television.
If there should be anyone “lawfully killed” for corrupting moral values of human society by means of creating inappropriate, immoral tele-dramas, I’m sure our ones would top the list alongside with their Indian counterparts.
The beauty of living in a “socialist, democratic, liberal” society that enjoys the “media-freedom without any sense of responsibility” is that no one gets killed for the filth they produce here. Besides, who are we to talk of “moral values” when we descend from a king who kicked out his beloved wife and his own kids to marry a “mail-order” bride?