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Social media – the bad and the ugly

Iqbal Ebrahim

Following the escapades of those misguided kids who posted their sexual activities on social media, the fallout has rippled through our society. It is comforting to note that many people have expressed indignation and condemned their immoral behaviour and antics.

Regrettably all around us there are signs of rot in our society with moral decay and degeneration having taken root. What we once considered a healthy society is now facing a crisis as a result of the rapid deterioration and degradation of those religious, moral and social values that formed the basis of a healthy society being swept away.

‘Nor come near to adultery (fornication); for it is a shameful deed and an evil, opening the road to other evils’ (Quran 17: 32).

Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) said: ‘The Last hour will not be established until they (wicked people) commit adultery (fornicate) in the roads (in the public eye without shame)’ and ‘The Hour will come when adultery becomes widespread’, and ‘There will be a prevalence of open fornication’.

Prophet Muhammad’s (pbuh) two Hadiths above fittingly identify and point to that moral and social deterioration of our society.

This type of behaviour is quite prevalent amongst our youth. If one were to ask those who counsel some of our youth they will confirm this.

The explosion of social media and the easy online access to various web sites has a major role in influencing behavioural patterns of the youth. These are innovations are fantastic, but when misused, have devastating effects on our impressionable youth.

With what they see on line today’s youth are being swept away in a flood of immodesty, shamelessness and carnal desires. The youth of today are exposed to everything that goes around on social media, at school, on the TV, the radio, newspapers and everywhere else.

They are being corrupted by what is being beamed into their lives from other parts of the globe; they come face to face with and are exposed to all the vices and ills of that society and as a result they want to live that type of life with no limits set upon them.

Nowadays many couples, during their private and intimate moments tend to capture those images. With the advent of hand held devices, many people photograph / capture virtually every image. They even use these photos to pass around social media to their friends to brag of their ‘conquests’ as witnessed.

The most frightening aspect is that those with deviant minds black mail and threaten to release these images onto social media when the couple break up or their relationships end in a bitter fashion. This negative use of social media has dire consequences because very soon we will have children who cannot handle this type of bullying and threats of ‘exposure’ of those sensitive photographs, committing suicide.

Our children exposed to all sorts of evils: drugs, alcohol, rape, pornography, prostitution, premarital and extra marital sex, nudity, gays and lesbians, sexual harassment, adultery and a whole list of evils. Being regularly exposed to such things they begin to accept this as normal behaviour. What made these kids do this? Someone suggested that they could have been high on drugs.   

What triggers such moral degeneration? Why is it so and what has gone wrong? There are various reasons for this: the main reason is that we have now drifted away from the moral foundations, practices and upbringing that were the basis of our religious teachings.

Without doubt it is almost impossible to shield our children from all the negative forces that can influence and shape their minds and behaviour but as responsible adults we cannot leave them drifting rudderless in the wide ocean of the evils of today’s life.

‘Mischief has appeared on land and the sea as a result of what the hands of man has earned, that Allah may give them a taste of some of their deeds; in order that they may turn back from evil’ (Quran 30: 41)

Today’s youth are on a precipice and in desperate need of guidance, but unfortunately many parents are shying away from their responsibilities to this generation. Yet we have been directed: ‘O you who believe! Save yourself and your families from the Fire of Hell’. (Quran 66: 6). Further Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) said: ‘No father has given a greater gift to his children than good moral training’.

The Bible also gives guidance: “Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it”. (Proverbs 22:6)

So we have to give it our best shot, because that responsibility falls squarely on our shoulders. This is where responsible parenting comes in. It is about, guiding, training them and also being the living example of the type of righteous person we want them to be when they grow up.  

The world has changed from the ‘old’ one which was built around a community to one that is of the ‘me’ generation – today it is all about me. During our growing years, a child’s behaviour was the responsibility of everyone. In other words should any child misbehave in public, any adult present would take the responsibility to bring that child to order, regardless of whose child it may be.

This generation seems to be built around the concept of, me, myself and I. This has led to many people to live a life of false pretence – pretending to be what they are not. It is all about showing off and to prove to people that ‘I have arrived’. This leads to show off behaviour.

Take the example of first time car owners; with the availability ‘fong kong’ cars, many people can now afford to own a car. But note what happens; we find many of these fellows slowly driving around all the windows open, with music blasting away that can be heard 100 metres away.

The only message they are sending out is ‘look at me, look at me, I have a car’. Gone are the days of modesty, today it is all about how we can be seen and noticed. Many of us are suffering from a very low self-esteem and the only way we can get to be noticed is draw attention to ourselves, and this can include behaving in an immodest manner. ‘…but it is best for them to be modest… (Quran 24: 60). ‘….for Allah loves any vainglorious boaster’ (Quran 57:23)

We need to identify the causes and act swiftly; parents, religious bodies, and the nation should lead the fight against this abyss we are standing on. We must act boldly as this is a crisis of massive proportions and we need to do something before we lose our children to this vortex of evil. ‘Verily never will Allah change the condition of a people until they change it themselves (with their own souls) – (Qur’an 13:11)

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Export Processing Zones: How to Get SEZA to Sizzle

23rd September 2020
Export Processing Zone (EPZ) factory in Kenya

In 2005, the Business & Economic Advisory Council (BEAC) pitched the idea of the establishment of Special Economic Zones (SEZs) to the Mogae Administration.

It took five years before the SEZ policy was formulated, another five years before the relevant law was enacted, and a full three years before the Special Economic Zones Authority (SEZA) became operational.

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Egypt Bagged Again

23rd September 2020

… courtesy of infiltration stratagem by Jehovah-Enlil’s clan

With the passing of Joshua’s generation, General Atiku, the promised peace and prosperity of a land flowing with milk and honey disappeared, giving way to chaos and confusion.

Maybe Joshua himself was to blame for this shambolic state of affairs. He had failed to mentor a successor in the manner Moses had mentored him. He had left the nation without a central government or a human head of state but as a confederacy of twelve independent tribes without any unifying force except their Anunnaki gods.

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23rd September 2020

If I say the word ‘robot’ to you,  I can guess what would immediately spring to mind –  a cute little Android or animal-like creature with human or pet animal characteristics and a ‘heart’, that is to say to say a battery, of gold, the sort we’ve all seen in various movies and  tv shows.  Think R2D2 or 3CPO in Star Wars, Wall-E in the movie of the same name,  Sonny in I Robot, loveable rogue Bender in Futurama,  Johnny 5 in Short Circuit…

Of course there are the evil ones too, the sort that want to rise up and eliminate us  inferior humans – Roy Batty in Blade Runner, Schwarzenegger’s T-800 in The Terminator,  Box in Logan’s Run,  Police robots in Elysium and  Otomo in Robocop.

And that’s to name but a few.  As a general rule of thumb, the closer the robot is to human form, the more dangerous it is and of course the ultimate threat in any Sci-Fi movie is that the robots will turn the tables and become the masters, not the mechanical slaves.  And whilst we are in reality a long way from robotic domination, there are an increasing number of examples of  robotics in the workplace.

ROBOT BLOODHOUNDS Sometimes by the time that one of us smells something the damage has already begun – the smell of burning rubber or even worse, the smell of deadly gas. Thank goodness for a robot capable of quickly detecting and analyzing a smell from our very own footprint.

A*Library Bot The A*Star (Singapore) developed library bot which when books are equipped with RFID location chips, can scan shelves quickly seeking out-of-place titles.  It manoeuvres with ease around corners, enhances the sorting and searching of books, and can self-navigate the library facility during non-open hours.

DRUG-COMPOUNDING ROBOT Automated medicine distribution system, connected to the hospital prescription system. It’s goal? To manipulate a large variety of objects (i.e.: drug vials, syringes, and IV bags) normally used in the manual process of drugs compounding to facilitate stronger standardisation, create higher levels of patient safety, and lower the risk of hospital staff exposed to toxic substances.

AUTOMOTIVE INDUSTRY ROBOTS Applications include screw-driving, assembling, painting, trimming/cutting, pouring hazardous substances, labelling, welding, handling, quality control applications as well as tasks that require extreme precision,

AGRICULTURAL ROBOTS Ecrobotix, a Swiss technology firm has a solar-controlled ‘bot that not only can identify weeds but thereafter can treat them. Naio Technologies based in southwestern France has developed a robot with the ability to weed, hoe, and assist during harvesting. Energid Technologies has developed a citrus picking system that retrieves one piece of fruit every 2-3 seconds and Spain-based Agrobot has taken the treachery out of strawberry picking. Meanwhile, Blue River Technology has developed the LettuceBot2 that attaches itself to a tractor to thin out lettuce fields as well as prevent herbicide-resistant weeds. And that’s only scratching the finely-tilled soil.

INDUSTRIAL FLOOR SCRUBBERS The Global Automatic Floor Scrubber Machine boasts a 1.6HP motor that offers 113″ water lift, 180 RPM and a coverage rate of 17,000 sq. ft. per hour

These examples all come from the aptly-named site    because while these functions are labour-saving and ripe for automation, the increasing use of artificial intelligence in the workplace will undoubtedly lead to increasing reliance on machines and a resulting swathe of human redundancies in a broad spectrum of industries and services.

This process has been greatly boosted by the global pandemic due to a combination of a workforce on furlough, whether by decree or by choice, and the obvious advantages of using virus-free machines – I don’t think computer viruses count!  For example, it was suggested recently that their use might have a beneficial effect in care homes for the elderly, solving short staffing issues and cheering up the old folks with the novelty of having their tea, coffee and medicines delivered by glorified model cars.  It’s a theory, at any rate.

Already, customers at the South-Korean  fast-food chain No Brand Burger can avoid any interaction with a human server during the pandemic.  The chain is using robots to take orders, prepare food and bring meals out to diners.  Customers order and pay via touchscreen, then their request is sent to the kitchen where a cooking machine heats up the buns and patties. When it’s ready, a robot ‘waiter’ brings out their takeout bag.   

‘This is the first time I’ve actually seen such robots, so they are really amazing and fun,’ Shin Hyun Soo, an office worker at No Brand in Seoul for the first time, told the AP. 

Human workers add toppings to the burgers and wrap them up in takeout bags before passing them over to yellow-and-black serving robots, which have been compared to Minions. 

Also in Korea, the Italian restaurant chain Mad for Garlic is using serving robots even for sit-down customers. Using 3D space mapping and other technology, the electronic ‘waiter,’ known as Aglio Kim, navigates between tables with up to five orders.  Mad for Garlic manager Lee Young-ho said kids especially like the robots, which can carry up to 66lbs in their trays.

These catering robots look nothing like their human counterparts – in fact they are nothing more than glorified food trolleys so using our thumb rule from the movies, mankind is safe from imminent takeover but clearly  Korean hospitality sector workers’ jobs are not.

And right there is the dichotomy – replacement by stealth.  Remote-controlled robotic waiters and waitresses don’t need to be paid, they don’t go on strike and they don’t spread disease so it’s a sure bet their army is already on the march.

But there may be more redundancies on the way as well.  Have you noticed how AI designers have an inability to use words of more than one syllable?  So ‘robot’ has become ‘bot’ and ‘android’ simply ‘droid?  Well, guys, if you continue to build machines ultimately smarter than yourselves you ‘rons  may find yourself surplus to requirements too – that’s ‘moron’ to us polysyllabic humans”!

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