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COVID-19: Muslim leadership should unlearn conventional wisdom

COVID-19: Muslim leadership should unlearn conventional wisdom
Dr. S. Shafiq Ahmed  

COVID-19 Pandemic has to be tackled simultaneously by adopting vigorous preventive measures and therapeutic drug use. Muslim nations, like others, are actively pursuing many hard and draconian measures to avoid more harm by this deadly disease. Muslim rulers, leaders, imams , muftis  and scholars are appealing for necessary preventive measures at this crucial juncture.

It is a known fact that the preventive measures can help in controlling community transmission of COVID-19. And, that the ultimate cure of this pandemic has to be found by inventing some new therapeutic drug or vaccine. Presently, few antiviral drugs are being used and tested on COVID-19 patients. Many have recovered and some others are showing signs of recovery. But, still the world lost about 19000 lives and about 13000 more patients ( out of 3,00,000 patients) are at a critical stage. The antiviral drugs in use are helpful and supportive, but these could not provide a comprehensive treatment or a cure to these patients. So, inventing a cure drug or a vaccine is need of the hour.

Alas! Muslim researchers in Muslim and non-Muslim States stand nowhere near the path of this urgent research. The more tragic part of the story is that even a single influential Muslim ruler, leader, Imam or Mufti could not make any impressive appeal to researchers to come-up with a cure.  At the same time, many researchers in US, Canada and European nations are busy in this challenging global task.

To understand the reason behind this tragic state of affairs in Muslim nations the observation of Warren Bennis, a Leadership Expert, is reproduced hereunder:

“Every Inventor or Scientist has had to unlearn conventional wisdom in order to proceed with his or her work. For example, conventional wisdom said, ‘If God had meant man to fly, he would have given him (man) wings.’ But the Wright Brothers disagreed  and built an aero plane.”

The big question here is whether the Muslim scientists and researchers can learn to unlearn the conventional wisdom? Also, whether influential Muslim rulers, leaders, Imams and Muftis shall learn to know their global responsibilities at this time of human crisis?

The author can be contacted on e-mail address: shafiq_sarwar@rediffmail.com

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