BLOG: Parenting of forbidden fruit

27th May 2016

Aasiya I Versi

God intended for Adam to eat the fruit, and therefore he made it forbidden.

I have mentioned my abhorrence for screens in my earlier entries but I am also a fan of a child being able to self regulate. My first born like any other child likes her television, and I have – up to now – not given her any screen time, simply because she hasn’t asked for it. And now she does. With baby No 2 in the scenario, I find myself needing a little bit of child free respite to get on with the cleaning and the cooking. Enter TV time. So for half an hour each afternoon, we put on a DVD of her choice and she gets to watch it. She also knows that TV is a privilege, should she misbehave it is the first one I’m taking away.

This decision has made such a big difference in our lives. It has taken out the fight or the constant whining for ‘teeeeveeee’. She also switches the television off after her half hour is up, and I love the fact that she knows when her time is up.

Extrapolate that on a global level, one of the biggest problems in Afghanistan is the opium black market. Not only does it increase the market value of the opium, it creates for cut throat working conditions for those involved in the biggest income generator for the country. Many a commentators have mentioned that if opium were to be legalised, it would change the whole situation on the ground.

A perfect case in point is Holland, where cannabis and prostitution have been legalized. This has created safer working conditions for those involved in the trade and I feel people are less inclined to use the aforementioned trades as they are not forbidden.

When it comes to immoral or abhorrent activities that occur in our societies and our day to day lives, banning them, or making them forbidden will not make them stop, as the great Abolition act of the 1920’s in the US so usefully illustrated. Creating social atmosphere of the general view that it is a not an acceptable action is far more affective and long lasting albeit takes a longer time to implement, then any other law that might be enacted.

Take smoking as another societal example. Several decades ago it was considered a very chic thing to do… but the constant and increasing education of the masses to the dangers of smoking and the effect it has on the loved ones around us has made it an irresponsible action. The grass root movements against the cigarette companies have slowly made it harder for tobacco companies to advertise. This has then led to a smoking ban in public confined spaces. All these seemingly peripheral occurrences have made smoking unfashionable which I think is far more effective then banning the action altogether.

The key lies in creating social conditions that are unsuitable for any given irresponsible action, as opposed to a top down regulatory action.

Try it and let me know if I am right.

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Over 120 people attended a landmark conference on the media reporting of Islam and Muslims. It was held jointly by The Muslim News and Society of Editors in London on September 15.

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The Muslim News Awards for Excellence 2015 was held on March in London to acknowledge British Muslim and non-Muslim contributions to the society.

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