Do Not Stand Aside!

By: Asmaa Muhammad Yusuf

  • | Wednesday, 8 July, 2020
Do Not Stand Aside!

     2020 has already witnessed a series of tragic events at all levels, beginning from a potential World War III looming in the horizon, unprecedented bush-fire in Australia, the exacerbation of the refugee crisis, the increase of cybercrimes, up to the world-wide spread of COVID-19 and its both local and global consequences. That said, no one of us is unthreatened, we are all in the same boat, suffering from these accelerating events by a way or another. 

If we ponder on any of the current crises or the precedent ones, we will find that any affliction goes with two concurrent paradoxical events. The first is the bias within the newsrooms, whatever their tendencies are, to exploit intentionally or unintentionally, through what they broadcast to the wider world, the crisis-related fears, concerns and suspicions of a certain community, which adversely impacts the recipients of such broadcasts. What further exacerbates the problem is that while millions of people are stuck at home watching TV news channels or following on social media platforms, radical and far-right groups take advantage of the widespread fear to propagate hate speech and fake news.

     On the other hand, the undergoing sweeping change of the global system unveils that each tribulation involves an implied gift. The Muslim Council of Britain, for example, launched volunteer initiatives to help their community, stating that "giving back to our communities is an implementation of the Sunnah." This initiative may be seen as a positive contribution to the acceptance of Muslims and their positive image within the British society. The same applies to the incident of the four Muslim doctors who have died of COVID-19 in Britain. In addition to being another indication of the sacrifices that different communities around the world are making in a bid to wipe out the pandemic, their death can be seen as a tragic rebuke to some of the anti-immigrant rhetoric sweeping in few western societies in the last few years. 

Hence, in the face of crises, no one should stand aside as such moves by leaders, academics, public figures and athletes entail an important effect of bringing people from all backgrounds together to fight any common crisis facing the world, imitating the real meaning of engagement and fraternity. We always like to think that we did what we have to do, but there is always more that can be done. For instance, while much has been done to educate people about personal hygiene to protect themselves from COVID-19, more should be done to counter those who seek to spread hateful agendas and exploit fear over the current pandemic. 

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