What values breed a ‘happy slapping’ culture?
A 15 year old school girl has been convicted of aiding and abetting manslaughter for videoing the fatal assault of a man by two of her friends. The mobile phone video, done as part of a western phenomenon called ‘happy slapping’, was then sent from friend to friend as ‘entertainment’.
‘Happy slapping’ has been known about for years. It varies from randomly slapping a passer by in the face, to full blown assaults like in this case. This sadistic form of entertainment is one of a number of crazes. Another is a website that posts videos of teachers being humiliated, even assaulted for the entertainment of others.
Whilst many will welcome a sentence for anyone who participated in this crime, a question should be asked: what is it in society that makes a 15year old girl participate in this? Why is violence or humiliation of others entertaining? Why do people enjoy watching and forwarding sadistic actions? These are societal problems and are at the extreme end of a culture of disrespect in society. Things that were once considered matters to respect – parents, teachers, religion, other people – are now fair game for abuse, insults and ultimately it seems, violence.
As usual, law enforcement will be the only solution. No one stops to question how to prevent this culture from emerging and these sick tastes from breeding in society. It is easy to blame the young, their parents or school, but rarely does anyone stop and question the values that pervade society that generate this type of ‘freedom-gone-mad’ behaviour.
Islam teaches us that people generally start life as good but their environment affects how they develop.
In Sura at Tin
Belief in Islam and doing good deeds is the only protection from the values that dominate western societies – and indeed the world we are all surrounded by. Rising above them, and showing the superiority of Islamic values by example – especially by our youth – is essential for our community and any of our neighbours.
February 15, 2008