CAPE TOWN - A proposal by a South African cable company to introduce porn channels is inviting the ire of the Muslim community for promoting destructive materials that undermine family values and spread social ills.
"As an Islamic judicial body, the Muslim Judicial Council objects to TopTV's application and intention to introduce three 24-hour pornographic channels in South Africa," the Muslim Judicial Council (MJC) said in a statement cited by News 24 South Africa on Tuesday, April 9.We further condemn TopTV for promoting destructive material in order to save itself from impending financial ruin.
Pay-TV TopTV has proposed the launch of three pornographic TV channels as a separate bouquet on its platform.
The proposal followed the rejection of a similar initiative from the company by the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (Icasa).
The Muslim body called for a national boycott of the cable company, which has about 400,000 subscribers.
"We thus fully support the call for a boycott made against TopTV, its advertising agents and sponsors," the MJC said.
The proposal for launching pornographic channels in South Africa has already invited anger from several groups in the country, including Women and Men Against Child Abuse (WMACA), Doctors for Life and the Family Policy Institute (FPI).
Religious groups have also championed for a boycott of the company as Apostolic Faith Mission of South Africa, Assemblies of God of South Africa, the Baptist Union of South Africa and the Southern African Catholic Bishops Conference.
Supporters also include the Church of England in South Africa, the Dutch Reformed Church, the Full Gospel Church of South Africa, the Methodist Church of Southern Africa, the Evangelical Alliance of South Africa, and the Association of Vineyard Churches in South Africa.
Deen TV, an Islamic TV channel on TopTV's bouquet, joined angry voices against the proposed pornographic channels.
"We have advised them that this is not where we want to be going, officials from the Islamic channel said.
TopTV is an operation of its own that houses these channels and we have related to them that we do not support their decision to do so.
Muslims warned that allowing pornographic channels would lead to undermine family values and threaten the well-being of the community.
"As a community, we have a responsibility to protect our mothers, fathers, daughters and sons from destructive material which could inadvertently lead to them being the victims of society's failure to maintain the dignity, respect and honor of central figures in society, our women," the MJC said.
"Women play a fundamental role in society; therefore the well-being of a woman is directly linked to the progress and cultivation of every member of that society.
"Pornography is counterproductive to values promoted in civilized democratic societies that promote the rights of child equality and preservation of the dignity of all members belonging to that society.
Muslims make up some 1.5 percent of South Africa's 49 million-strong population, according to the CIA fact book.
Logging in and browsing pornographic sites is forbidden in Islam because a Muslim is always commanded to lower his/her gaze.
Wasting lives and times doing things which Allah forbade them to do, these acts cause psychological and social injury, Muslim scholars say.A Muslim is always commanded to spend his time in useful things, cherish what benefits him in the present, plan for his coming days, and always make the reward of the Hereafter his/her top priority.