Watch Before It is Too Late

By: Asmaa Muhammad Yusuf

  • | Thursday, 7 May, 2020
Watch Before It is Too Late


     Many politicians think that we are heading, by a way or another, for a third World War. But the current reality emphasizes that we have already been at a cold war for several years, and the situation is getting worse day after day. While you can count the number of victims of World Wars I and II, you cannot calculate the number of victims of the conflicts ongoing everywhere, whether out in the open or in the shadows between the two worlds: the Arab and Muslim world on the one hand, and the West on the other, or within the same community, which can alarmingly result in countless numbers of victims, which might exceed those of the previous global Wars if left untackled. Let’s pause and take stock to find out about one of the chief reasons behind these dramatically accelerating events that have shaken the world. It is the crisis of identity. Identity may encompass opinions, moral attitudes, beliefs, experiences, and all of which create one's sense of self; it is more like the fingerprint that distinguishes a human being from his/her counterparts.

Unfortunately, if you contemplate the practices of the extremist groups, you will find that they have, to a large extent, exploited the religious identity to propagate their brand, claiming that they are only the representatives of Sharia Law. Therefore, many ISIS returnees said that they were going through an identity crisis. For instance, Imran Rabbani, a son of Pakistani immigrants, said, "ISIS ideology had meant a lot until I found the truth away. I was clearly going through an identity crisis, and if it wasn’t for the people I met, I don’t know what path I would have gone down” [1](1). In the West, many politicians who proclaim to be the custodians of cultural identity have been actively engaged in hate speech against certain communities, spreading racism and causing a sharp spike in the rate of hate crimes. For instance, Muslim women are now suffering under Bill 21, a new law enacted in the Canadian province of Quebec that bans some public sector employees from wearing religious symbols during work hours, arguing it triggered the “politics of fear”[2](2).

Furthermore, if we look at what happens globally because of the coronavirus pandemic (COVID19), we may feel shocked when you realize the way some people take advantage the crisis to achieve their own benefits.  Many western media outlets could not resist linking COVID19 to Islam and Muslims. These connections are infamous precursors to acts of genocide, and indeed, featured in the years that preceded the Holocaust, and the genocide of Bosniak Muslims. Painting the other in terms of vermin is a feature of the dehumanization phase of this tragic process. In the shorter and more immediate term, it can play a role in the already burgeoning rates of incidence of Islamophobia, anti-Muslim bigotry and xenophobia. Not only that but white supremacist terrorists had considered weaponizing coronavirus through saliva-filled spray bottles, contaminating non-white neighborhoods with the virus and spending "as much time as possible in public places with their 'enemies'" to transmit the virus, according to intelligence briefing [3](3).

All aforementioned trends and more give us undeniable evidence that we are in an urgent need to put an end to this crisis. To those who adopted the racist ideologies based on religion, all religions entirely call for integrity, cooperation and fraternity. For instance, Allah says in The Holy Quran, "O mankind, indeed We have created you from male and female and made you peoples and tribes that you may know one another.(5)", The Book of John 2:9-11 reads, "whoever hates his brother is in the darkness and walks in the darkness, and does not know where he is going, because the darkness has blinded his eyes"(6).. Hence, the Higher committee of Human Fraternity suggests announcing Thursday May 14th, 2020, a day for fasting, praying, and supplicating for the good of all humanity. As such, the Committee invites all religious leaders and peoples around the world to respond to this call and to beseech together God Almighty to safeguard the entire world, to help us overcome this pandemic and to restore security, stability, healthiness, and prosperity so that, after this pandemic is over, our world would become a better place for humanity and fraternity than ever before(4).

For those who have adopted the racist ideologies based on culture, gender, nationality or race, considering themselves the holders of salvation for the human race while turning a blind eye to the fact that all of us regardless of ethnicity, color, nationality, religion, or gender are humans entitled to live in prosperity, COVID19 gives the world a clear indication that we have to eliminate  the law of the jungle, under which you or I, not you and me, must survive. For example, many countries sent aids for the ones in need. Several medical staffs with different backgrounds sacrifice their lives during their contributions to confronting COVID19 at the time of pandemics all over the world. Such moves by leaders, academics, athletes, civil society actors, religious leaders, etc. represent the much needed path to follow to fight a common crisis facing the whole world, a thing which embodies the real meaning of engagement and fraternity.



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