What is Whistle Blowing?
Whistle blowing is an
attempt by a member
or former member of
an organization to
disclose wrong doing
in or by the
Types of Whistle Blowing
• Internal Whistle Blowing
• External Whistle Blowing
Conflict between Honesty and
• An Employee who is honest can be
counted on to tell the truth.
• Employers expect their employees to
be loyal to them and act in the best
interest of the company.
• Conflict arises when: Employee
have to decide between loyalty
and truthfulness of the business.
Criteria for Justifiable Whistle
1. The firm, through its products or policy, will
do serious and considerable harm to the
public, whether in the person of the user of
its product, an innocent bystander, or the
2. Once an employee identifies a serious threat
to the user of a product or to the general
public, he should report it to his immediate
superior and make his moral concern known.
3. If ones superior does nothing effective
about the concern, the employee should
exhaust the internal procedures and
possibilities within the firm. This usually will
involve taking the matter up the managerial
ladder, and if necessary, possible to the
4. The whistle blower must have accessible,
documented evidence that would convince
a reasonable, impartial observer that one’s
view of the situation is correct and that the
company’s product or practice poses a
serious and likely danger to the public/user.
5. The employee must have good reason to
believe that by going public the
necessary changes will be brought about.
The chance of being successful must be
worth the risk one takes and the danger
to which one is exposed.
• Former employee of the Central Intelligence
• Former contractor for the National Security
• Disclosed thousands of classified documents to
several media outlets, which he had acquired while
working for the American consulting firm Booz Allen
• Snowden's leaked documents uncovered the
existence of numerous global surveillance programs,
many of them run by the NSA and the Five Eyes with
the cooperation of telecommunication companies
and European governments.
He revealed the existence of:
MUSCULAR Access Point
Threat Research Intelligence Group
Optic Nerve program
• Snowden's "sole motive" for leaking the documents
was, in his words, "to inform the public as to that
which is done in their name and that which is done
• Jeffrey S. Wigand born December 17, 1942 in New York City
• former vice
president of research
development at Brown & Williamson in Louisville, Kentucky
• He currently lectures around the world as an expert witness,
consultant for various tobacco issues and runs his non-profit
organization, SMOKE-FREE KIDS, Inc.
• the one-time tobacco executive who made front-page news
when he revealed that his former employer knew exactly how
addictive and lethal cigarettes were.
• In 1995, he exposed the lies we'd all been told for decades
about cigarettes: about their capacity to addict us, about their
capacity to kill us.
• A case was brought by the states' attorneys general against
the major tobacco companies and Mr. Wigand's disclosures
played a crucial role. The case resulted in a $246 billion
settlement last year for health claims paid by the states
• Being a whistle-blower has not been easy. Indeed, Mr. Wigand said he had
never become comfortable with the term ''whistle-blower.'‘
• 'I don't even like the word,'' he said. ''To me, it has a negative connotation.
And I struggle with what I did with what I knew; I really do.'‘
• "The word whistle-blower suggests that you're a tattletale or that you're
somehow disloyal," he says. "But I wasn't disloyal in the least bit. People
were dying. I was loyal to a higher order of ethical responsibility.“
• He simply told the truth, he says, about what he saw and experienced as
the head of R&D for (B& W)
• how the company misled consumers about the highly addictive nature of
nicotine, how it ignored research indicating that some of the additives used
to improve flavor caused cancer, how it encoded and hid documents that
could be used against the company in lawsuits brought by sick or dying
Whistle Blowing and
• The ethical theory of utilitarianism
provides a powerful justification for
maximizing the human benefit
and minimizing the harm
• It says greatest good for the greatest
number. If whistle blowing will have
a positive impact on greater number
of people, which it does, then whistle
blowing is good.
Whistle Blowing and
• To do whistle blowing is ethical.
• From a deontological ethics point of view,
the policy which allows whistle blowing is
necessary because the more ethical you
are, the more happy you become.
• In this ethics, you don’t surrender your selfrespect in front of any other person’s selfrespect.
• According to Kant, your imperfect duty to
others is to save the life of others.
Islam and Whistle Blowing
• To view the concept of whistleblowing Islamically, there is need to
trace its origin which could be found in the context of ethics,
ethics as part of Islamic teaching guides the conduct of human
life both personally and in the work place.
• Some substances of whistleblowing can be sorted out in Islam
from areas of Al-shahada(witness attestation), It is your God that
you serve by so doing, you are obliged to discharge the duty of
attestation(and not to hide the evidence) when you get in touch
with an information about wrongdoing or unlawful act.
• Qur'an 2:283 gives more account of that: (translation of the
meaning) "….. And conceal not the evidence for he who hides it
surely his heart is sinful, and Allah, is all-knower of what you do".
Position of Whistle Blowing in
• Whistleblowing being lawful in Islam, then has to be
either a duty on a Muslim or a right. In the former, one
can not ignore it, where as in the latter it can be
ignored depending upon the choice of the person
• However, if we look at it from the angle of Amru bil
Maaruf , (enjoining goodness) Wal Nahyi an Al
Munkar (and forbidding wrongdoing) or from the point
of view of Shahada (witness attestation) which is
mandatory upon Muslims, then whistleblowing is
a "duty“ because the purpose of whistleblowing is the
same as that of 'enjoining goodness and forbidding
• The conditions listed by Bowie contain morality, prevention of harm,
truth, and replacing bad with good. Islam also has the same philosophy
with regard to issues of public disclosure:
• Jabir (R.A) Narrated a Hadith from the Holy Prophet
(S.A.W.) "Discussions are confidential (not subject to disclosure) except
in three places: "Shedding unlawful blood, Unlawful cohabitation and
Unlawful accumulation of wealth". Narrated by Abu Dawud.
• Another Hadith Narrated from Zaid Bin Khalid; the prophet (SAW) says:
"May I tell you who is the best witness? He who testify his witness
before asked to do so". Clearly this Hadith is stimulating us to blow the
whistle whether we are asked or not, provided it will have moral benefit
to the society.
• As a good Muslim, one has to discharge all the duties (including whistle
blowing) that are said to be of obligatory nature and part of Iman, with
no expectation of any worldly incentive or extra protection, apart from
the general Islamic protection given to individuals.