Written and collected by Zia H Shah MD, Chief Editor of the Muslim Times
According to the Pew Research Center in 2015 there were 50 Muslim-majority countries. Are we able to make our own Covid 19 vaccine?
I was born in Pakistan and am a little bit aware of the news there. I have been avidly pursuing all news pertaining to Covid 19. I haven’t seen any discussion from Pakistan to try to develop and implement a vaccine against the Coronavirus, as if we have a complete psychological dependence on the Western world and are waiting for them to make the vaccine for us.
In social media there were jokes being shared about the Muslims praying for the survival of the non-Muslims until they can make a vaccine for the coronavirus.
Joking aside, if the picture of empty Kaaba hurts your feelings and pinches your Muslim identity, then here is your chance to make a difference in whatever capacity you can. At a minimum you could be reading this post and sharing this with friends and family to mobilize public opinion for this effort.
Asian and African countries, with the exception of China, Iran, South Korea and Japan, have been lucky this time and haven’t been hit as hard with this pandemic, which has devastated the Western world in many ways. This may have to do with BCG vaccination but authoritative proof of this is not available at the present time. Nevertheless, due to abundance of caution and general safety of BCG and its benefit against some other viral infections we have put out a recommendation: The Muslim Times Recommending Universal BCG Vaccination to Fight the Pandemic.
This is the time to rise to the occasion and use this God given opportunity to better ends. This is high time for a vaccine.
Western vaccines when ready, may not be affordable and may not be available to the third world countries in a timely fashion.
A successful vaccine cannot be made by one person or one hospital. The governments will have to mobilize the nation, like President John F Kennedy was able to inspire a nation to land on the moon. It will require the best immunologists from all over the world, the best pharmacists, experts in all aspects of hematology and last but not the least statisticians. It will require an academic environment and a culture of honesty where true results come out and not some fake news. It will require the dedication of the Manhattan Project to make the nuclear bomb in USA or at least the dedication of the nuclear program in Pakistan that made her a nuclear country, despite the world’s resistance to that effort.
It would perhaps be even more important for the Muslim psyche than the satisfaction Americans had to see the Apollo mission succeed.
We have 528 years of belittling to recover from, in one field or the other, in one country or the other. The year was 1492 when each and every Muslim was either killed, banished or converted by force in the last stronghold of Granada in Spain.
We did have a bright past before that. In the Muslim Times we have the best collection for the Muslim heritage that is also the best source to refute Islamophobia in the West.
But, I can no longer be satisfied with the past achievements. We crave for the present and the future.
So, which Muslim leader will lead the way and organize this effort. Would it be our own Imran Khan or would this plaque go to some other leader or would we just sit still and consume the next conspiracy theory that comes our way?
Time will tell! But, we cannot say God did not give us a chance to lead the world.