Critical Muslim 37: Virus
Paperback, 224 pages
The coronavirus has upended the post-World War II narrative in global affairs, as the United States and the European Union struggle to contain what may well become the deadliest pandemic in a century. Countries with some of the world’s most advanced biomedical research systems were slow to lock down, slow to set up testing and contact-tracing, slow to equip their health workers with personal protective equipment, and slow to mandate mask-wearing in their populations. This has been in contrast with other countries—especially in Asia—which are further on the road to eliminating the virus completely. In much of Africa, too, where HIV and Ebola have helped to prepare public health systems for epidemics, the policy response has been of a higher quality than that in much richer nations. In this issue of Critical Muslim, we explore the impact of the virus on the world, examining how different countries have responded to the pandemic; why the science and health policies of richer nations were found wanting; and the implications for a post-pandemic future.
Ehsan Masood unravels the connections between COVID science and geopolitics, Anwar Ibrahim wants to see true justice in a post-pandemic world, Colin Tudge dissects the biology and metaphysics of viruses, Syed Nomanul Haq examines epidemics in Islamic History, Vinay Lal takes a hammer to viral corona capitalism, Usama Hasan wrestles with fate, Iftikhar Malik shifts through the Ottoman letters of Mary Montagu, Nidhal Guessoum is concerned about pseudoscience spread all over social media by mad mullahs, Chandrika Parmar mourns the lockdown-induced plight of India’s migrant workers, Lila Randall tackles the dilemmas facing the regime in Iran, Leyla Jagiella has viral dreams, James Brooks faces his existential terrors, Samia Rahman reads a collection of COVID essays, and Ebrahim Moosa urges Muslims to develop some cognitive immunity.