“Killing in electronic wording”

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“Killing in electronic wording”

By Fr. Dr. Rif'at Bader

It was in November 1996 when my first article was published in Al Rai daily titled, "I was born to kill" in reaction to this statement which was emblazoned on the military uniform for an Israeli soldier. Ten years later, I wrote an article titled, “Is a human being born to kill? Ten years later, I wrote another article titled, “Between Mercy and Misery”. Twenty years have passed of writing articles posted in Al Rai daily.

Today, as November draws to an end, I find myself facing the maze of electronic media with regards to its misuse and the following ramifications. This made His Majesty King Abdullah write an article titled, “Social or antisocial media?” in which he called for resorting to logic and promoting love while using modern media outlets.

The virtual world has become a battlefield rather than being an arena of cooperation, as if the media outlets existed "to kill", rather than to erect buildings and respect human dignity. Children have owned tools by which they can commit crimes, assassinations, and major social disasters. We also learn about students incensed by provocative statement posted on Facebook by colleagues of theirs whereby interrogations follow with promises not repeat offensive electronic postings. Thus, media outlets have become battlefields that disseminate false ideas as well as fake realities and rumors. This prompted the Jordanian government to launch a site called “It is your right to know”! This implies calling on people not to rely on rumors and misleading reports, but to look for the accurate and verified pieces of information.

Consequently, the killing practised by humans has become electronic, and that “drawing” by words as reported by poet Nizar Qabbani turned into “killing” by words which became killing by resorting to electronic wording. This should not frustrate or distance us, as educators, from using this "means" to serve in construction--rather than in demolition--and to promote friendships that exudes the fragrance of the spirit and the honest relations, away from narrow personal interests and desires.

The Catholic Center for Studies and Media in Jordan has issued a new book which I prepared with Baha’ Alamat, an abouna.org Facebook site director, on the role of the Church and the media in the service of the culture of encounter. The book deals with the ethics of using social networking sites and the positive values that have to be followed. Ethics is the basis, for without which the media becomes a body without a soul which requires of course a distinguished educational-media effort.

The Holy Bible quotes a parable by Lord Jesus Christ about a man who sowed good seeds in his field, but while everyone was asleep, his enemy came and sowed weeds among the wheat, and slipped away. This applies to media for it could be the outcome of good seeds that would serve as a source of encouragement or be weeds that would strangle the good seeds.

Let us be in media outlets those who sow good seeds rather than weeds.

www.en.abouna.org

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