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5 Reasons to Praise the West

Do not adjust your screen or your glasses – you read it right. This article is by a Muslim praising the West. Much like the title image of a smiling Shakeel Ahmed Butt (referred to online as “Muslim Rage Boy”), I’m trying to show that we can break the stereotype.

One of the more pernicious symptoms of depression is losing the ability to recognise good in others. The gloom that is cast over the Muslim world at the present time demonstrates this perfectly. We are sore at “the West” and blame them (with some justification) for many of the ills that plague us.

A neutral observer would be forgiven for thinking that practising politically aware Muslims have only one default setting with regards to the West – hatred. This isn’t the case so I thought I would highlight 5 examples where the West has advanced human civilization in ways that Muslims can and do appreciate.

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5.  Air travel

One of the miracles mentioned in the Quran was when the Queen of Sheba was transported to the court of Sulaiman (A) within the blink of an eye. Although we’re not quite there yet, thanks to the wonder of airplanes, you can pray Fajr in London and Zuhr in Makkah on the same day.

The advent of air travel has brought about profound changes not just in the way we travel, but also in our diet, clothing, education and work. It has made the world a smaller, and in many ways, a better place.

4. Antibiotics

Alexander_Fleming

In the not-so-distant past, there were many infections and diseases that were automatic death sentences for whoever got them. Thanks to the development of antibiotics, we’re able to take a few pills and get on with our day without skipping a beat.

The story of how antibiotics were developed and then mass-produced is one of the finest moments of the last 100 years. Even today, the many advances in modern medicine, as impressive as they are, still don’t compare to harnessing the power of a humble spore and the untold Millions who benefited from it.

3. The Internet

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There are very few inventions that have completely altered the course of human history like the wheel or electricity. The internet is one of those inventions. The accumulated wisdom (and nonsense) of the world is literally at our fingertips.

Some might point out the massive amount of harm that the internet can do. Like all advances, the internet can be used for evil as well as good. What it is used for is more a reflection of the user than that of the medium.

2. Space programme

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“That’s one small step for a man, one giant leap for mankind.” With those words, Neil Armstrong became the first man to step on the moon. Although the space race started off as a propaganda-military exercise, it has evolved and managed to give us some of the most breathtaking moments in the history of the human race. Muslim astronomers mapped the stars and were the masters of astronomy for centuries, but it was the West who built on this knowledge and actually went there. To open up the heavens to the reach of humanity and our minds to the wonders of space travel is an achievement that we should all be grateful for.

 

1. The rule of law

We like to say Islam is a religion of peace, when we should be saying that Islam is a religion of justice. It is the justice of Islam that appealed to the conquered nations in our golden years, not the force of arms. Yet, justice is a commodity that would be hard to find in the Muslim world at present. Bribery, corruption and nepotism are the norm. The routine injustice stifles creativity, it destroys self-worth and it leads to a warped attitude that is both shameful and degenerate. Then we come to the “immoral” West and we find that the rule of law exists. That we are all equal before it. We vote with our feet.

Bribery-Bad-SideOf course, there are notable exceptions where the law has been broken or bent beyond all recognition by rich/ powerful people and corporations with access to the best lawyers. However, these are the exception and not the rule.

I know the West has much to be ashamed of and that these few points don’t make up for the holocaust, the Spanish Inquisition, Hiroshima and many more tragedies.

I also know that many of these things have their basis in extending the militaristic and colonial reach of the West.

I even know that much of the advances are built upon the foundations laid by others – not least of which were by the Muslim world.

But despite all the tragedies and shameful episodes, they have managed to do some amazing things to advance the cause of humanity. We should not allow the former obscure the latter. InshaAllah one day the Muslim world will be reunited upon Islam and able to contribute once more to human civilisation. Till then, the sunnah of Allah will remain true – He will not change the situation of a people till they change themselves.

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Dr. Muhammad Wajid Akhter - Doctor, Medical Tutor (Social Media, History & Medicine) - Islamic Historian - Founder of, and current board member to Charity Week for Orphans and needy children. www.charityweek.com - Council member, British Islamic Medical Association

14 Comments

14 Comments

  1. Avatar

    Slim60

    September 9, 2014 at 4:50 AM

    If the west recognises the contribution of the great muslim civilisation that led the foundation for their advance and the muslim world start recognising and be grateful to what the west has achieved by building on our laid foundation, the east and west will start to agree to agree and stop agreeing to disagree.
    Every time I drive my car I am grateful to the western brain who invented it. Same goes for using my mobile phone and my satnav. I think the mobile phone and satnav should be added to your list.
    I do blame the west however for some hypocrisy and double standards. The rule of law is promoted by western countries only for internal use. In African countries for example, the west is responsible for putting in place those dictators that are the opposite of the rule of law. They help them to oppress their people in order to take their natural resources and create poverty and the ills that go with it like illegal emigration, child exploitation, ..etc.
    The western civilisation is so selfish. It is responsible for the near eradication of the native Americans and now for trying to substitute one nation with another one in Palestine. Look what happened in Egypt when a democratically elected government won the elections. The fact that it was a muslim party, they helped the cout against it. They preach democracy, but they don’t want it in the muslim world. I could write a book about the double standards of the west.

    • Avatar

      jemimallah

      September 10, 2014 at 8:54 AM

      “the west” does recognize the muslim contribution to the knowledge base of humanity. it’s recognized in pretty much every history of science and every history of philosophy “the west” has ever published

    • Avatar

      jemimallah

      September 10, 2014 at 9:01 AM

      pretty strange how god’s universal code for all humanity for all time was left for about 1300 years to languish in monolingual obscurity, of interest only to orientalist academics, its outer boundaries ironically fixed in the second half of that period by the technological backwardness of its own societies, before suddenly a bunch of ignorant infidels invented airplanes and the internet, allowing that message to finally be carried without restrictions worldwide. just a wee bit strange

  2. Avatar

    Abu Abdillah

    September 9, 2014 at 4:33 PM

    The picture used as the background for this article speaks volumes about my experience as a convert: a Middle Easterner (yes, some extend the term to include the Indian subcontinent) is representative of all things Islamic and a white person all things western.

    • Avatar

      muslim604 / Yousuf

      September 9, 2014 at 9:03 PM

      Interesting. I think that’s “Muslim Rage Boy” on the right though – perhaps the author was trying to give an example of the stereotype.

      Jazakallah Khairan for sharing your experience.

    • WAJiD

      WAJiD

      September 10, 2014 at 7:39 PM

      Walaikum asalaam,

      I can assure you that I did not intend any kind of racial point by choosing that picture. In fact, it was chosen (as i explained in the article) because it showed the person known as “Muslim Rage Boy” on the internet in a way he is not normally seen… in a friendly light.

      I feel sad that your experience as a convert has been one where caucasians are cast in negative light. However, I would urge you not to overplay, generalise or project this view on to others. I can assure you that the vast majority of Muslims (despite your experience) do not stereotype according to skin colour.

      • Avatar

        Abu Abdillah

        September 10, 2014 at 9:23 PM

        I apologize if my comment seemed accusatory, I was more making an observation of the picture and what it represented to me than assuming it was chosen to make an deliberate point.

  3. Avatar

    snoozer

    September 12, 2014 at 1:34 PM

    Muslims living in the West will go to any lengths to justify their stay here despite the current day Western world being against everything Islam stands for. The situation for those born here and converts is totally different, this is basically their home. The immigrant Muslims are a different bunch though, they have voluntarily come to these lands. Don’t give me that lame spiel about Muslim countries not being Islamic either. It degrades Islam, that the people who follow Islam for generation upon generation are producing socities worse then the kafirs. There is nothing Islamic about the US, UK, Canada, France, Italy, etc.

  4. Avatar

    Muna

    September 12, 2014 at 7:35 PM

    Sorry to disagree with you Snoozer but my experience is that I am more able to practice my Islam in the UK than in many Muslim countries. That’s pretty good justification. Muslim countries that don’t follow Islam are more hypocritical to me than the west. for example, at least over here treating people differentlybecause of the colour of their skin is actually frowned upon rather than the standard. Absolutely no one is saying the West is ideal and perfect, but it’s also not 100% bad

    • Avatar

      Hyde

      September 13, 2014 at 10:57 PM

      America is the best place to be a Muslim.

    • Avatar

      fiqhonomics

      September 15, 2014 at 3:38 AM

      I agree with Muna 100%. I especially enjoy it when niqab activists proudly proclaim how it’s their choice: yes, because you’re living in a Western country! for the ladies in Afghanistan, Saudi, Yemen: not so much. Similarly, compare the rates of female literacy. Don’t Muslims get it?: illiterate mothers yield illiterate sons, too (even when the daughters are destined for a life in the kitchen). Two other things the West does better: animal rights and environmental awareness. There is a lot to Christo-Judaeo (Western) CULTURE that is more Islamic than what is the case in Muslim countries. After all, the monotheistic roots are there. When this is combined with the correct aqeedah: True Islamic Civilization

  5. Pingback: 5 REASONS TO PRAISE THE WEST | PASS THE KNOWLEDGE (LIGHT & LIFE)

    • Avatar

      Husam

      September 16, 2014 at 2:52 PM

      Interesting list but I would say the West ought to praised most for its enlightened values (equality, freedom of speach, etc.) Sure, it’s not perfect and there’s work still to be done, but in no other place can a person be themselves and develop their potential, I think it’s for this reason so many flock from the Islamic world to western countries whereas few seek life in a country more in line with Shariah. To me this speeks volumes.

  6. Avatar

    snoozer

    September 18, 2014 at 4:09 PM

    The US and UK (and other nations) kill Muslims on a daily basis, that they give a few perceived rights blots out the big picture. The Muslims, especially those who immigrated to said countries are helping in the oppression and killing of these Muslims, because last time I checked Muslims had the right to vote. I’ve herd the lie excuse about Muslim countries not being very Islamic a million times, all this excuse does is disparage Islam. To think the religion hasn’t influenced the people after 1000+ years in some cases.

    About the Jude o – Christian argument, I guess gay mariage, alcohol, drugs, porn, cursing prophets and God is Judeo-Christian.

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Aqeedah and Fiqh

Prosperity Islam And The Coronavirus Problem

Hadith: “Hasten to perform good deeds before seven events: Are you waiting for poverty that makes you forgetful? Or wealth that burdens you? Or a debilitating disease or senility? Or an unexpected death or the False Messiah? Or is it evil in the unseen you are waiting for? Or the Hour itself? The Hour will be bitter and terrible.

Islam encompasses all of human experience. We believe in the good and bad from divine decree. The ‘problem of evil’ is not a Muslim dilemma because the abode of this world is a test, and the next life is the abode of recompense. Those who do evil in this world may enjoy comfortable and pleasurable lives. Pious Muslims on the other hand may live in immense suffering and oppression.

One’s state with Allah is not known through worldly position.

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The Quran has lots of mention of suffering in this world and the reward for the pious is constantly in the hereafter. Distance from the Quran distances us from what our Creator told us about living in His world.

Habituation to feel-good religious programs and motivational talks has left us unable to know how to be serious. The Coronavirus pandemic should be all the motivation we need for serious learning and hasten to good deeds.

New-age religion and the prosperity gospel

Modern Islamic discourse intertwines notions of sulook (spiritual wayfaring) with new-age spiritual ideas which make spiritual progression a self-centering endeavor of ‘personal development.’ Missing from this discourse is submission to Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He), which entails doing what one is obliged to do- even if there is no apparent personal win. A self-centering religious perspective is antithetical to true religion, and ironically a spiritual pursuit becomes a selfish pursuit.

Within this approach, we see our practice of Islam not in terms of fulfilling obligations or understanding we must develop virtues we lack; rather we approach Islam as consumers and form identities around how we choose to be Muslim. This is visible on marriage apps where Muslims will brand themselves around how often they pray, whether or not they eat halal, and how practicing they are. Once this identity is formed, such Muslims are less likely to experience contrition and ultimately improve. The self is then a commodity on the marriage market.

When it comes to worship, for example, giving charity becomes an ‘act of kindness’ to fill the quota of selfless acts to becoming a better person. In other instances, acts of worship are articulated in worldly language, such as fasting in Ramadan being a weight-loss opportunity. One can make multiple intentions, but health benefits of fasting should not be used to articulate the primary benefit of fasting. In other instances, some opt to not pray, simply because they don’t feel spiritual enough to pray. This prioritizes feelings over servitude, but follows from a ‘self’ focused religious mentality.

Much like the prosperity Gospel, Muslims have fallen into the trap of teaching religion as a means of worldly success. While it is true that the discipline, commitment, and work ethic of religious progression can be used for material success, it is utterly false that religious status is on any parallel with material status.

Too many Sunday schools and conferences have taught generations that being a good Muslim means being the best student, having the best jobs, and then displaying the power of Islam to non-Muslims via worldly success and a character that is most compliant to rules. Not only does this type of religion cater to the prosperous and ignore those suffering, it leaves everyone ill prepared for the realities of life. It comes as a shock to many Muslims then that bad things can happen even when you work hard to live a good life. The prosperity gospel has tainted our religious teachings, and the pandemic of COVID19 is coming as a shock difficult for many to process in religious terms. There will be a crisis when bad things happen to good people if we are not in touch with our scripture and favor a teaching focused on worldly gains.

Why it leads to misunderstanding religion

Tribulations, persecution, and events that are outside of our control do not fit the popular self-help form of religion that is pervasive today. Islam means submission, and while we must avoid fatalism, we cannot delude ourselves into idolatry of the self. An Islam that focuses on our individual life journey and finding ourselves has no room for the ‘bad stuff.’ This type of religion favors well-to-do Muslims who are used to the illusion of control and the luxuries of self-improvement. Those who believe that if you are good then God will give you good things in this world will have a false belief shattered and understand the world is not the abode of recompense for the believer.

Islam means submission, and while we must avoid fatalism, we cannot delude ourselves into idolatry of the self.Click To Tweet

Tribulations may then effect faith because it questions the often subconscious teachings of prosperity gospel versions of Islam that we are in control of our own destiny, if we are good enough we will succeed. If this is the basis of a person’s faith, it can be proven “wrong” by any level of tribulation. Having one’s ‘faith’ disproven is terrifying but it should make us ask the question: “Does this mean that Islam is not true, or does this mean that my understanding and my way of living Islam are not true?”

My advice is do not avoid struggle or pain by ignoring it or practicing “patience” just thinking that you are a strong Muslim because you can conquer this pain without complaint. Running from pain and not feeling pain will catch up to us later. Learn from it. Sometimes when we are challenged, we falter. We ask why, we question, we complain, and we struggle. We don’t understand because it doesn’t fit our understanding of Islam. We need a new understanding and that understanding will only come by living through the pain and not being afraid of the questions or the emptiness.

Our faith needs to be able to encompass reality in its good and bad, not shelter us from reality because, ultimately, only God is Real.

Unlearn false teachings

Prosperity religion makes it much easier to blame the person who is suffering and for the one suffering to blame himself. As believers we take the means for a good life in this world and the next, but recognize that acceptance of good actions is only something Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) knows, and that life is unpredictable.

Favor from God is not reflected through prosperity. It is a form of idolatry to believe that you can control God or get what you want from God, and this belief cannot even stand up to a distanced tragedy.

Responding appropriately requires good habits.

Tribulations are supposed to push us towards God and remind us to take life very seriously. Even with widespread calamity and suffering, many of us still have a very self-centered way of understanding events and do not hasten to good actions.

For example, reaching old age is supposed to be an opportunity to repent, spend more time in prayer, and to expatiate for shortcomings. Old age itself is a reminder that one will soon return to his Lord.

However, we see many of today’s elders not knowing how to grow old and prepare for death. Most continue in habits such as watching television or even pick up new habits and stay glued to smart phones. This is unfortunate but natural progression to a life void of an Islamic education and edification.

Similarly we are seeing that Muslims do not know what to do in the midst of a global crisis. Even the elderly are spending hours reading and forwarding articles related to Covid-19 on different WhatsApp groups. This raises the question of what more is needed to wake us up. This problem is natural progression of a shallow Islamic culture that caters to affluence, prosperity, and feel-good messaging. Previous generations had practices such as doing readings of the Quran, As-Shifa of Qadi Iyad, Sahih al-Bukhari, or the Burda when afflicted with tribulations.

If we are playing video games, watching movies, or engaging in idle activities there is something very wrong with our state. We need to build good habits and be persistent regardless of how spiritual those habits feel, because as we are seeing, sudden tribulations will not just bestow upon us the ability to repent and worship. The point of being regimented in prayer and invocations is that these practices themselves draw one closer to God, and persisting when one does not feel spiritual as well as when one does is itself a milestone in religious progression.

While its scale is something we haven’t seen in our lifetime, it’s important to recognize the coronavirus pandemic as a tribulation.  The response to tribulation should be worship and repentance, and a reminder that ‘self-improvement’ should not be a path to becoming more likable or confident only, but to adorn our hearts with praiseworthy qualities and rid them of blameworthy qualities. Death can take any of us at any moment without notice, and we will be resurrected on a day where only a sound heart benefits.

Our religious education and practice should be a preparation for our afterlife first and foremost. Modeling our religious teachings in a worldly lens has left many of us unable to deal with tribulations to the point where we just feel anxiety from the possibility of suffering. This anxiety is causing people to seek therapy. It is praiseworthy for those who need to seek therapy, and noble of therapists to give the service, but my point is the need itself serves as a poignant gauge for how much our discourse has failed generations.

Benefit from Solitude

We should use solitude to our benefit, reflect more, and ponder the meanings of the Quran.  Completing courses on Seerah, Shamail, Arabic, or Fiqh would also be good uses of time. What should be left out however are motivational talks or short lectures that were given in communal events. In such gatherings, meeting in a wholesome environment is often the goal, and talks are compliments to the overall atmosphere. When that atmosphere is removed, it would be wise to use that normally allotted time for more beneficial actions. Instead of listening to webinars, which are not generally building an actual knowledge base that the previously mentioned courses would, nor is it a major act of worship like reading and reflecting upon the Quran. In other words, our inspirational talks should lead us to action, and studying is one of the highest devotional acts.

The pandemic should serve as sufficient inspiration and we need to learn how to be serious. I urge Muslims to ignore motivational and feel-good lectures that are now feel-good webinars, and focus on studying and worshipping. We should really ask if we just lack the capacity to move beyond motivational lectures if we still need motivation in the midst of a global pandemic.  The fact that after years of programming the destination is not the Quran for ‘processing events’ or studying texts for learning is symptomatic of a consciously personality oriented structure.

Muslims struggling to process a pandemic (opposed to coping with associated tragedies, such as loved ones dying or suffering) show the lack of edification feel good talks can produce.

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Coronavirus

A Doctor And A COVID19 Patient: “I will tell Allah about you.”

Guests

By Dr Farah Farzana

I get bleeped at around 2.30am to review a patient. A Pakistani gentleman admitted with Covid19.

The lovely nurse on duty says, “He is on maximum amount of oxygen on the ward, but keeps on removing his oxygen mask and nasal cannula, very confused and is not listening to anyone.”

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I arrive as soon as I can to the ward. I stare at him through the glass doors of the closed bay, while putting on my inadequate PPE.

He looks like he is drowning, he is gasping for air, flushed and eyes bulging like someone is strangling him.

I immediately introduce myself, hold his hands and he squeezes my hand pulls it close to his chest. Starts to speak in Urdu and says he doesn’t know what is going on, he cannot understand anyone and he is so scared.

I give him my Salam and start speaking to him in Urdu. His eyes fill up with tears and hope.

I explain to him he really needs to have his oxygen mask on as we are trying to make him feel better. He tells me he is suffocating with the mask and he doesn’t like the noise. I grab his arm help him sit up in his bed.

We exercise synchronising his breathing and I put the mask and nasal cannula back on.

He asks me Doctor, am I going to die? I cannot hear the voices anymore, they don’t come to visit, everything is quiet and silent, like Allah is waiting to take me to Him. I am lost for words and tell him we are doing all we can to make him feel and get better. He tells me he has been speaking to Allah, he doesn’t care for himself just his family. I know he is scared and feels so alone. I tell him I’m here with him and am not leaving yet. I monitor his saturations and surely they come straight back up. I tell him I am going to give him medications for his temperatures and fluid in his lungs.

He agrees to take them.

He asks me why I didn’t come to see him until now, because I am his own. He says when he speaks to Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) he will tell Him about me and that I am a good person and I cared for him.

I get a little choked up.

I can’t gather my thoughts before my bleep goes off again. I have to leave now though I tell him I have lots of patients who need my help. He begs me not to leave, but understands after a while and lets me go.I take off my inadequate surgical mask (PPE) before I leave the bay I look back at him to smile and he smiles back. We both wave goodbye. I can see tears rolling down his cheeks.

I don’t know how he will do, how he is now but I cannot stop thinking about him. I always assume positive outcome if I don’t get called back during the night to see the patient again. Plus it was such a busy night I had no time to stop to reflect, and I continued with a smile.

I speak fluent Bangla and my Urdu isn’t very good. But that night Urdu flawed so effortlessly out of my mouth without any hesitation and I was able to say exactly what I needed to him *SubhanAllah*.

My heart breaks for the minority patients, with language barriers. They are fighting this battle more alone and scared than ever.
Normally, they would rely on family members to translate for them, but given the current situation they must feel helpless.

It’s not just the suffering it’s the suffering alone that pulls on my heartstrings.

‘Indeed, to Allah we belong and to Him we shall return’
Quran 2:156

When all this is over, please remember to appreciate the little things.

  • Appreciate your freedom.
  • Appreciate all the hugs and love.
  • Appreciate your health and your health service.
  • Appreciate your families and loved ones.
  • And just be grateful to be ALIVE.
  • Stay at home. Save lives.
    #stayhome #nhs #gratitude

Courtesy: Facebook post

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#Current Affairs

COVID19: Calling The Conscientious

Violating borders, scaling every wall and traveling faster than a rumor, COVID19 is now around nearly everywhere. It has reduced nations and societies, low and mighty, to their knees, demoted all preoccupations to insignificance and is threatening to torch everyone in its path.

The imperial hubris of nations, with and without nuclear weapons has crumbled. Mighty militaries have been reduced to mere spectators. Borders are closed. Markets have tumbled. Even the gods amongst humans – rulers, monarchs, dictators, religious heads, generals, billionaires, movie stars, icons of sports and music –have been forced to recede from the limelight. Neither they are in control nor can they perform. All of them are forced to surrender by an unseen microscopic speck with an insatiable appetite to devour humankind, bit-by-bit, part by part.

A pre-COVID19 world is now a blurred memory. It was not long ago that we were a different planet and a different people. Neither hand-sanitizers nor masks were precious enough to purchase let alone hoard, or even think about. YouTube was popular but not so much for videos on how to wash hands or what to do when self-quarantined. And, shaking hands were a norm and we used to respond with a “bless you” to our neighbor’s cough or sneeze.

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That was pre-COVID19.

Places of worship are already shut down and airports, train stations and shipping ports are shutting down. Boulevards and avenues are eerily silent. Shopping malls and theaters stand abandoned.

This is post-COVID19.

Yet, there are flashes of hope and inspiration. Medical professionals and health care workers are fighting to save mankind, a patient a time. Our ill equipped and fatigued hospitals are abodes of our new heroes and true patriots. And no less are trash collectors, grocery workers, truck drivers, postal workers, fruit pickers among others whom we took for granted all along.

Covid-19 is not just the biggest story of our time, it is the only story.

Amidst a piercing cacophony of politicians’ press conferences and public interest advisories, we cannot afford to miss out the soft whispers of COVID19.

It is telling us to pay more attention to the under-estimated meaningful over the hyper-marketed mundane. Its whispers remind us to remember that we are but a mere mortal. We are reminded in the Quran that God made us from a mere speck (40:67).

Not, too long ago, we seldom had to remind ourselves that we are human. Not too long ago we could afford to be enemies of ourselves. Humans were enemies of humans, fighting and taking life of those considered ‘others’. We fostered division … “them” and “us,” “citizens” and “illegals.” COVID19 has spoken: no more. We stoked exclusion … “black, brown and white,” “conservative and liberal,” and “urban and rural.” COVID19 has spoken: no more.

In its sweeping trail of destruction, COVID19, is imploring us — harness my power to cause dread in each one of you, across borders, across genders, across races — and unite. COVID19 is challenging us: find a common cause against me. When any of you find an antidote against me, may that be a reason for your coming together, even if right now I have forced you to stay away from each other – six feet part.

COVID19 is an equal opportunity and a non-discriminating enemy, which will kill no matter how we worship, what we eat, where we live. One touch strikes all with equal precision.

Today, as we face an existential threat from a mortal molecular foe, we must remind ourselves about what matters most, our humanity and not our race and nationality.

The truth is that long before COVID19 struck us, we were sick. We spread viruses; hate and bigotry, we held thoughts of xenophobia for those who did not deserve it. We wallowed in bias and built echo chambers. COVID19 exposed all of our pre-COVID19 shortcomings.

Coronavirus will kill us for a while, but then in the end, we will overpower it. But before that happens, all the human deaths would be in vain if we don’t realize that in a world of such threats, we never needed to have been at each other’s throats.

In fear and panic, people resort to extreme behavior, it amazes us with their capacity for wisdom and kindness, or stupidity and cruelty. COVID19 is beseeching us to reclaim and regain our humanity of compassion and kindness. It is telling us to come together to fight our common battles. It is forcing us to wash our hands of all sins of our past and then lock our hearts and hands and build a world where meaning must matter more than the mundane.

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