Capitalism emphasises the material value over morality producing individuals who are willing to cheat, lie and break the law for personal or economic gain
It is becoming increasingly and worryingly clear that nothing is sacred in the modern world. Society is being tarred by one scandal followed by another, be it politicians like Chris Huhne who openly lied about a speeding offence or police officers who lied during the “plebgate” affair. Trust is simply not there anymore. This is the sad reality of western society, where those who are meant to rule and implement justice are found wanting. It is hardly surprising that an ideology such as Capitalism, which emphasises material value over morality, will produce individuals who are willing to not only ‘bend’ the truth but break the law for personal or economic gain.
Capitalism not only produces the instruments to create a chaotic society but it also gives the masses plenty of distractions to not question the real problems of everyday life. The London Olympics was testament to this. Rather than question the billions of pounds spent on the games during a time of austerity people simply revelled in the pomp and ceremony. Similarly, commentators during the Mali and South Africa Africans Nations game continually referred to how much Mali, as a suffering society, needed the victory. As if winning a game of football could reverse the recent colonial adventure by the French into Mali.
For decades, sport has been full of scandals about cheating, drug taking and match fixing. However, it has always been easy to sweep this under the carpet as a foreign problem perpetrated by those outside the West. These foreigners are thought not to understand the gentlemanly rules of sport and in their pursuit of wealth disregard the spirit of the game. However, the problem of football match fixing – on a massive scale – has come to the very doorstep of those who lecture the world on fairness and honesty.
After seeing sporting heroes such as Lance Armstrong exposed as frauds, millions of sports fans are now coming to terms with the fact that their highly paid football players are not immune to the kind of backhanders more commonly practised by today’s politicians.
Corruption and bribery are nothing new and have been a part of societal life for thousands of years. Islam addressed this issue over 1400 years ago with the Prophet Mohammad (saw) condemning bribery in a hadith narrated by Abdullah bin Amur who said:
Messenger of Allah (SAW) said: “Allah cursed the briber (rashi) and bribe-taker (murtashi).”
Ahmad narrated from Tawban who said: “The Messenger of Allah (SAW) cursed the briber, bribe-taker and the mediator meaning the one who walks between the two.” [Ahmad, Abu Dawud, Tirmidhi and ibn Majah]
These instructions from Prophet Mohammad (saw) condemned bribery at all levels ensuring that it is eradicated from all aspects of society. The impact of bribery on sport is largely trivial in relation to its corrosive effect on politics. This absolute prohibition of bribery is another example of legislation in the Shariah that will have a transformative effect on corruption ridden public life in the Muslim world re-establishing trust in officials and protecting the integrity of government institutions.