The present age has been called the ‘Information Age.’ Both electronic and print media, state and private media, not only have a major role in shaping the opinions of the general public, but also provide the people with the previous information upon which they establish opinions. At the same time, there are certain matters where private media itself relies on the state, such as guidelines on security matters and exposing the plans of the colonialists. The state must assist the media and indeed the Khilafah (Caliphate) State will vigorously support the media in playing its part in helping to look after the affairs of its citizens and propagating the call of Islam to the rest of humankind. Information is of the important matters for the Call to Islam and the State. Thus, it is directly connected with the Khaleefah as an independent institution, the same as any one of the other Khilafah state’s institutions, such as the judiciary or the Council of the Ummah.
The Current State of Media
In the current situation, rather than exposing the plans of the colonialists and account the rulers, traitors within Pakistan leadership place great pressure on the private media to implement and support the Western plans and hide their treachery in fulfilling it. The traitors deploy armies of agency personnel to threaten and intimidate the owners as well as individual journalists. The threat is so great that the most honest and outspoken have begun concealing their views, diluting their presentation or even resort to self-imposed exile. In addition, the traitors also use financial pressure, denying loans or grants or state advertising for the smaller private media assets. As for the state media the traitors use it is used as a mouthpiece for securing the American interests in the country. Consequently, over time, the state media lost credibility in the eyes of the people, and now private media is being undermined too. This undermining has reached the point that social media and direct social interaction are being regarded as the only available credible sources of news and opinion.
Regarding the propagation of values, the traitors see fit to flood the society through the media with the corrupt, lowly Western values. These include materialism, encouraging the violation of the command of Allah (swt) establishing illicit relations between the genders and degradation of the honour of women, all in the name of freedom. Since the time of Musharraf there has been a steep decline in the role of the media to moral standards set for the society, to the point that even the long respected conservative state media has become a subject of rejection, criticism and boycott by the people.
Establishing the Media on a Strong Footing
The Khilafah will supervise and support the private and state media to play a vital role in establishing the leadership of Islam in the entire world. The media is to present Islam strongly and effectively, and provoke the people to turn towards Islam and to study and think of it. It also facilitates the annexation of Muslim lands to the Khilafah state. The media will present the Islamic culture related to the various aspects of life so people are aware of these opinions and can apply them to their individual and collective lives. And it will expose the plans of the belligerent colonialist nations that have ravaged the globe, igniting and supporting wasteful civil wars and struggles to secure the control over countries as well as exploiting wealthy countries such that their people are drowned in poverty and despair.
Internationally, the media will support the state’s promotion of Islam as an intellectual leadership for all of humankind, a light of guidance for the people oppressed by man-made systems. Allah (swt) said,
(ادْعُ إِلِى سَبِيلِ رَبِّكَ بِالْحِكْمَةِ وَالْمَوْعِظَةِ الْحَسَنَةِ وَجَـدِلْهُم بِالَّتِى هِىَ أَحْسَنُ)
“Invite to the way of your Lord with Evidence and Fair Exhortation and argue with them by that which is better.” [TQM Surah An-Nahl 16:125].
Supervision of the Media
Asides from its extensive preparation and experience for ruling by Islam in all fields, including supervision of the media, Hizb ut Tahrir has the necessary experience in media affairs. It already has an extensive global media office network, with branches throughout the Muslim World and even in non-Muslim countries. This media office efficiently provides media outlets information about the Hizb, its views and policies on matters and will continue to function in this capacity after the establishment of the Khilafah. It has developed a vast array of styles including video production, magazines, journals and websites amongst many others.
As for the Hizb’s Ameer, the distinguished jurist Sheikh Ata Bin Khalil Abu Al-Rashtah, amongst his many responsibilities within the Hizb over the decades, has been as the spokesman for Hizb ut Tahrir in Jordan. Sheik Ata has intimate knowledge of the working and issues of the media. Thus as a Khaleefah InshaaAllah, his ability to supervise the media is formidable and impressive.
In its Introduction to the Constitution, Hizb ut Tahrir has adopted, Article 103: “The institution of the Media Office is responsible for drawing up and executing the political media strategy for the State in order to support the interests of Islam and the Muslims. Internally, it works to build an Islamic society that is strong and cohesive, and it refutes that which is malicious while confirming that which is good. In external affairs it is to promote Islam during peace and war, in a manner that explains the greatness of Islam, its justice and the strength of its army, and expose the corruption and oppression of manmade system and the weakness of its army.”
The Hizb has adopted in its book, The Institutions of State in the Khilafah, that upon establishment of the state, “A law will be published that demonstrates the general guidelines of the information policy of the State, in accordance with the divine rules. The State would follow such policy for serving the interest of Islam and Muslims, and for building a cohesive and strong Islamic society, which adheres to the robe of Allah, and from which and in which goodness shines. There will be no place in it for vicious and depraving thoughts, and nor for false and misguiding cultures. It would be an Islamic society that dismisses its wickedness and shines its goodness, and celebrates the praises of Allah, the Lord of the worlds.”
The Khilafah will Support and Guide Extensive Private Media
In media, the Islamic laws must be obeyed, in all forms from news and current affairs to documentaries and features, as well as print and electronic media. It will also be ensured that Islamic laws are obeyed and its social system enforced within the media organization during the publication of information. As private media is a business, its enterprises will be eligible for the same banking and credit facilities as other enterprises from the state treasury, the Bayt ul-Maal. Indeed, some of the matters in the media, such as setting up television studios and printing press, require great initial expense and some individuals would require assistance in the form of interest free loans or grants. Any advertising given by state enterprises, or public property enterprises shall be granted without special privileges, concessions, nepotism or favouritism. It shall be declared by the Khaleefah in advance how much space or time the state shall require for public service messages, except in emergencies, to ensure smooth media provision. In addition, the state will arrange the allocation of bandwidth frequencies to electronic media, and will ensure that print publications do not duplicate names. These functions require that the information organization be centralized.
In its Introduction to the Constitution, Hizb ut Tahrir has adopted, Article 104: “The media owned by any citizen of the State does not require a permit; rather they are simply required to inform the media office, such that the office knows about the media means that are being established. The owner and the editors of any media means are responsible for every article they publish and are accounted for anything which contradicts the Shari’ah in the same manner as any other citizen.”
Regarding the security matters, the media must also be told by the Khalifah which information can be published, on matters closely related to the state, such as military matters and related issues, like news of military movements, of how battles are proceeding, or of military industries.