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SHAH ALAM, April 26 — An Islamist group here blamed women’s Internet habits today for problems plaguing the family institution, claiming their social media appetites have resulted in many overlooking their household duties.
Ikatan Muslim Malaysia (Isma) president Abdullah Zaik Abd Rahman said this may even lead to an increase in divorce rates, apart from having irreparable damage on children, who need the full attention of their mothers.
“This social network has broken down all barriers, barriers that even if they’re sitting at home and the doors are shut, they’re still accessible on the Internet that is wide open.
“And the time, even if it’s 10pm or 11pm at night they should be limited to sitting at home but the Internet doesn’t limit them,” he said during a press conference after officiating Isma women’s forum.
“Not just that but it has also resulted in divorce and household issues and even though we don’t see it, there are long-term effects on the children,” he added.
Abdullah Zaik also claimed that some women have grown so absorbed with socialising online that they even forget to communicate with their husband or children.
He said those who stay at home are not necessarily busying themselves with their household chores or spending time with the family.
“So many divorce cases have been reported because women are immersed in their social relationships online until they forget their duties at home like forgetting to communicate with their children and husband,” he said during his speech at the forum earlier.
Mothers at home should also serve as educators for their children but if these women spend their time online, their offspring would be left without adequate guidance, he said.
“(The children) feel neglected, they feel they are not loved when (mothers) don’t ask about their school work, they don’t teach them, they don’t answer questions about their adolescents’ lives and all sorts of question they have that go unanswered.
“Mothers should be the closest person to them,” he said.
He also said that feminism has “altered” the way women live today, resulting in their choosing to work and socialise while neglecting their families and households.
He noted that while feminism as a concept may be appropriate in the West, it has no place in Malaysia.
He urged women not to be overwhelmed by feminism or the Internet and instead focus on their families.
“Because of that, to defend women’s role as the catalyst that forms this generation, we need affirmation from Muslim women that they won’t swallow whole the concept of feminism and prevent themselves from drowning in the online world, as well as to reaffirm their main commitment to their households,” he said.