Modern Slavery

Written by: Ameneh Mottaghi

Published on: July 22nd, 2019

During previous reigns in industrialized countries, the use of force, and wealth were the three principle axes of power. Upon new developments and fundamental changes in the economic system, wealth that was once dependent on physical power became dependent on “brain” and technology. Consequently, rapidly increasing transformations in scientific and technological domains, such as audiovisual and graphic systems and information and communication technologies took place. Thus, power acquired through physical exploitation and slavery was replaced by power gained by exploitation and domination of products and functions of the human mind and thought (i.e. mental workers).

Today, the ever-increasing and dominant world powers consider the control of products and creations of the human mind and communication and information technologies- as an essential tool to their rapidly growing power. As a result most of the arguments between world powers are in relation to acquiring knowledge on novel inventions and the control thereof using various tactics in order to alter and desensitize human understanding of events and facts.

Alvin Tofller, an American author (1) writes about this topic in one of his books, “Speaking of an open government”, “informed citizens”, or “people’s rights to be informed” are only a slogan. Those in power meddle and interfere with various sectors of information processing and media, pictures and photo-graphs, expressions and viewpoints, values and other “symbolic” products of society.” He says that all forms of information and knowledge exchanged and conveyed to the general population have been meddled and interfered with in one or more of the following tactics:

  1. The source or the sender;
  2. A collection of channels;
  3. the message.

Dominating powers interfere in all of the above points using various deceptive and misleading techniques. Sometimes the messages are sent while the main source remains hidden. The leaders of many current political parties depend on hidden political sources. Sometimes two sources are used to convey two contradicting messages in order to examine a society’s reaction or to instill confusion and duplicity in a society. Here, several tactics used to divert the news are indicated:

  • Omission tactic: exclusion of facts and withholding exposure of facts.
  • Generalization tactic: details that could cause opposition and disagreement in general population are embellished with false details and lead to brain numbing and desensitization.
  • Timing tactics: in this tactic, the most common course of action is delaying the message until a time when the receivers cannot take any action.
  • The dribble tactic: in this tactic, facts are transferred gradually and in small segments instead of being collected in a single document. This way, the pattern of events are broken down and concealed from the receivers.
  • The tidal waving tactic: flooding of information at the receivers such that the basic facts can no longer be understood and analyzed.
  • Evaporation tactic: spreading baseless rumours along with real facts so that distinction of truth by the receivers is made difficult.
  • The blow back tactic: spreading false news in other countries and then reciting them in the national media.
  • Great lie tactic: creation of great lies, which are more easily believed in society than smaller lies.
  • Reversal tactic: this tactic simply reverses the news. Events, actual facts and truths are transformed after passing through convoluted channels of censor tactics, alterations, forging of documents and sources, etc., before being broadcasted through the media. Accordingly, many conferences, discussions, and radio and television interviews become sources. An example of this is that many European broadcasters watch CNN programs and use them as their source thus TV itself becomes a source rather than a medium.

As a result, many conferences and radio and television seminars and interviews become news sources. Based on these media sources, world powers shape the ideas and analysis of the general public and some important governmental decisions to suit their profit agenda. Subsequently, the elements of knowledge and thought are paralyzed when the facts contradict the desires and scheming goals of the rulers of the post-modernism era and human thought is lead towards their own desired direction. Therefore, the majority of modern humans have seemingly a made-up outside, a free body, and are floating in entertainment and leisure, unaware that through the injection of manipulated information and ideologies by powerful rulers they have been entangled in “mental slavery”. Despite possessing “sight”, they cannot see the facts, and despite possessing hearing power, they cannot hear the whispers of those victimized by violence, war, discrimination, poverty and racial and religious battles.

During these critical circumstances, where most of the conflicts between the current powers are about the monopoly of knowledge and control of the latest products of the human mind, the most fundamental issue is freedom from this crisis. There is no doubt that one of the elements of freedom from modern slavery is knowledge of the deceptive tactics used by dominating powers and awareness of transformations in economical systems and globalization. Further, familiarity with standards of measuring errors and the obstacles in understanding facts is important. The heavenly Book, the Quran, which promotes humanity and justice, has pointed to factors that bring about mental “rust” and prevent human understanding, and has prohibited human beings from practicing such measures. Some of those factors are:

  1. Abstinence from assumptions and doubts: From Islam’s point of view, substituting facts with doubts and assumptions is one of the factors that underlies error and prevents awareness of facts and truths.2 Several individual and social turmoil as well as decisions by current major politicians favoring war and bloodshed have been based on doubts or replacing certainty with assumptions. Examples of this are the Iran-Iraq war and the nuclear issue. God Almighty says in the Holy Quran: “Most of the earth’s people are such that they are led by assumptions. If you want to follow them, you too, will be misled, because most people follow doubts and not certainty and therefore falter.”3
  2. Abstinence from blindly imitating: In the Holy Quran’s view, correctness or incorrectness of thoughts cannot be determined based on their modernity, longevity or popular belief. Following the thoughts of our ancestors or popular beliefs blindly results in false ideologies and traditions, which have no basis other than prejudice. The exalted God says in the Quran, “They are told to follow the divine practices. They say, ‘should we forfeit the practices of our fathers?’ If your fathers and mothers lacked understanding, should you also follow them and be devoid of knowledge?”4 Islam sees wisdom and thought as the basis of accuracy of thoughts and has prohibited everything that obstructs correct understanding and wisdom. In another verse, the Quran says that those who can tolerate listening to words and then evaluate the words by referring to their wisdom,5 and by research and study choose the most complete ones, are bestowed the infinite divine forgiveness and grace.
  3. Abstinence from passions: Following the lead of passions is the cause for selfishness and self-centredness. There is no doubt that most current wars and killings of women and children, violence and insecurity are the consequences of a profitability agenda of the dominating political powers, because the “vision” of the majority of politicians, rather than being based on “truth” and the promotion of humanity and justice, is based on profit and self-fulfillment.

Art is concealed when intention enters, a hundred veils of heart cover the eyes.

From Islam’s perspective, following the passions of the soul as guidelines in life is the source of error and deviation in humans and in society. “Do not follow the passions of the soul.” In the Quran, favouring passions and following them is an obstacle in growth of all human aspects and social justice. “Have you not seen those who worship their passions as God7? Certainly those who cleanse their soul of desires are the saved ones.”

In conclusion, in the context of fundamental novel transformations in economic and technological systems, the tools of power have shifted from physical strength to products of the mind and control of knowledge. In such critical times, the solution to freedom from slavery is awareness of the changes in globalization and knowledge of various technologies, such as communication and information technology tools and learning the knowledge that is controlled by the dominating powers. In addition, familiarity with standards of measuring errors will protect humans against the deceptive tactics used by the media.

Now on the verge of the month of God’s celebration, the month of the Creator’s invitation and the month of obedient return of those fasting and praying to God’s divine grace. Let us cleanse our hearts, thoughts and souls by the teachings of the Holy Quran, the Prophet, and virtuous and pure Imams by controlling our egoistic desires which is the main goal of this month. It is by consistent obedience of these teachings and cleansing of our soul that we can attain glory, freedom and happiness of being “God’s servant” and become liberated from the slavery of rebellious desires, “profitability”7, and “greed” that lead to the violation of human rights, injustice, cruelty and inequality in society.


1- Alvin Toffler, Power shift, knowledge, wealth and violence at the edge of the 21st century. p 418

2 – And follow not that of which you have not the knowledge. (Al-Asra:36)

3- They follow naught but conjecture and the low desires which (their) souls incline to (Annajem:23); And if you obey most of those in the earth, they will lead you astray from Allah’s way; they follow but conjecture and they only lie. (Al-Anaam:116)

4- “And when it is said to them, Follow what Allah has revealed, they say: Nay! we follow what we found our fathers upon. What! and though their fathers had no sense at all, nor did they follow the right way.”

5 – Therefore give good news to My servants, Those who listen to the word, then follow the best of it… (Azzomar: 17-18)

6- Have you seen him who takes his low desires for his god? Will you then be a protector over him? (Forqaan:43)

7- O you who believe! If you are careful of (your duty to) Allah, He will grant you a distinction. (Al- Anfaal:29)



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