If you haven’t heard please note that according to an Egyptian official, the world famous cartoon, Tom & Jerry is responsible for the rise in ISIS/terrorist attacks. Really?
The head of Egypt’s State Information Service, Salah Abdel Sadek has come up with a theory that the most beloved 1940’s cartoon, Tom & Jerry is the reason global terrorism has become rampant in our time. He says the cartoon amongst others has encouraged violence in our society.
In his argument, the official says that through some of these cartoons supposedly created for children entertainment, there is the ‘fun’ presentation of violence. Salah did not also fail to mention the trending violence featured in movies and even video games for children.
“Video games are spreading… It has become very normal for a young man to spend long hours playing video games, killing and spilling blood and he’s happy and content.”
The old time classic cartoon particularly has episodes where either the cat – Tom or the mischievous mouse – Jerry use dynamites and explosives to attack each other. Unconsciously, this makes it okay in the minds of children that violent acts like that are perhaps okay and as he says “natural”.
“It portrays the violence in a funny manner and sends the message that, yes, I can hit him…and I can blow him up with explosives,”
As much as his conclusion might come across as ridiculous, the head of Egypt’s information service might have a point after all. It is almost unnoticed how we enjoy violence in our blockbuster movies, yet in reality, a greater number abhor and in fact cannot handle it.
Unlike movies, there is really no quick fix for the global state of terrorism at the moment. Salah Abdel Sadek’s argument is that violence is featured in cartoons so often that it’s almost composing the mindset of some children.
Salah is definitely not out of his mind by making this assertion. More than any other means, the media – movies/videographics and music are the most viable means of promoting certain lifestyles. Salah has linked this fact to the rate of violence in our movies and in turn our immediate and global environment. It is often said that what the eye sees often registers in the heart.
However it will be out of place to blame global terrorism on Tom & Jerry. What the world is going through at the moment most probably stemmed from age old misunderstandings and conflicts; and in some cases has no reasonable justification.
Can we say that Shekau, leader of Boko Haram’s villainy emerged from watching too much Tom and Jerry cartoon? I bet he never had time for such. ISIS definitely has a deeper drive than Tom & Jerry.
In any case, while it is a compulsory cause of concern that the media puts into consideration the nature of their contents especially for children, it is rather too extreme to blame one of the most loved cartoons of all times – Tom and Jerry for global terrorism.