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Hijrah, Immigration: the Islamic Practice in the Infidels’ Lands

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What are the mechanisms the strategy of Hijrah is operated as to achieve world Islamic rule? Two important means are Tamkīn and I‘dād.

Tamkīn means to enable control in all relevant matters, to consolidate Islamic rule (Sûratal-A‘rāf, 7:10; Sûrat Yusûf, 12:56; Sûrat al-Kahf, 18:84; Sûrat al-Hājj, 22:41; Sûrat al-Qasas 28:6). I’dād means preparation in military terms against the infidel enemies (Sûrat al-Anfāl, 8:60. From this verse comes the logo of the Muslim Brotherhood). In contemporary usage, it internally means consolidating the Muslim community by socialization and indoctrination processes; and externally, it grants the Muslims the legitimacy to infiltrate all Dār al-Kufr’s infrastructure and institutions in order to conquer them from within. The reference is to the example of Abraham who emigrated for the sake of Allah (Sûrat al-‘Anqabût, 29:26).

This example raises the ability to use power and to seize the host lands. That is why the establishment and empowerment of the Islamic Ummah through Hijrah to the infidels’ lands is a command of Allah for Islam’s victory.it is also accompanied by the command to perform “good” and to abstain from “evil” (Sûrat al-‘Imrān, 3:110, 114, 132; Sûrat al-Taubah, 9:71, 112). However, doing “good” has never meant practicing the universal or moral of Western Golden Rule for the sake of mankind or recognizing and legitimizing the other, but only domestically, doing good within the Islamic community.

The pinnacle of that “good” in political terms is to promote Islam as the only religion and to work for the advancement of Islamic interests (Masālih al-Islām). Therefore, it is important for Western public opinion to understand that when Muslims declare in praise of peace, tranquility, and cooperation it is not for mutual peaceful relationships with the infidels, in a pluralistic world, according to Western conceptions, but only for the Islamic interests, advancement, and achievements. There is no recognition and no acceptance of the other’s legitimate existence.

The Islamic ethnocentric and one-dimensional approach system is exemplified by the following: “The religion before Allah is Islam alone” (Sûrat al-‘Imrān, 3:19). “Whoever seeks a religion other than Islam, it will never be accepted by him, and in the Hereafter he will be one of the losers” (Sûrat al-‘Imrān, 3:85). The Arabs are the most dignified and noble nation among all human race. As for the infidels, “we will fight them forever for the sake of Allah. Killing the infidels is a small matter for us,” according to the historian and biographer of Muhammad, al-Tabari. Muslim believers are the only purified among human race, as Allah loves those who are purified (Sûrat al-Taubah, 9:108). Evil is always related to the infidels. Abstaining from “evil” and performing “good” also means that Muslims are forbidden to live among the infidels under their laws and way of life, and to become their friends. A loyal (Mukhlis) Muslim means total submission and devotion to Allah.

At the same time, to be an infidel means miserable and corrupt life in this world and the agony of hellfire in the hereafter. From here stems the absolute readiness of Muslims to kill and be killed for the sake of Allah, as a win-win situation:

“Those who fight in the way of Allah, who sell this world’s life for the hereafter; and whoever fights in the way of Allah, be he slain or be he victorious, we shall grant him a mighty reward” (Sûrat al-Nisā’, 4:74).

“…they fight for the sake of Allah; they slay and are slain; a promise which is binding on Him…” (Sûrat al-Taubah, 9:111).

This is the right natural world order that should be preserved and becomes constant. Moreover, it is not only a win-win for those who die for the sake of Allah, and not only the glorious life in Paradise with virgins there, but it is the eternity of life for the Shuhadā’ with Allah (Sûrat al-Baqarah, 2:154; Sûrat al-‘Imrān, 3:169).

The purpose is to tear down the societal infrastructure of the enemy by Hijrah and Jihad. This is to be operated by infiltration of the Muslims in Dār al-Kufr and deceiving the infidels in calculated schemed stages. It is a step by step methodology of migration processes designed to subdue and subjugate the host society, culminating in the implementation of the Sharī‘ah. The Islamization of the infidels’ territories becomes inevitable. That is why the future is with Islam, and the destiny of Islam is to win over the infidels as a must.

As a part of the Hijrah socialization and indoctrination, the message is to sanctify Mecca in the hearts of the believers, so that even the Muslims are immigrants in faraway territories, they must keep their Islamic identity and must not integrate and assimilate in their host societies. Hence, even though Muslims reside in faraway territories, still their loyalty and activity is solely to the Islamic Khilāfah.

As the example of Muhammad is absolutely binding to all Muslims, they follow his life-time and experience that have passed over four main stages: (a) A world transformer (challenging the existing system in Mecca and supplying alternative rules and operational codes for the believers); (b) A world abstinent in solitary (immigrating to secure place from the threatening existing situation and creating an enclave of refugee believers); (c) A world new creator (transforming the situation from passivity to activity by accumulating powerful political resources and establishing a unified religious community of believers); (d) A world conqueror (making the enclave a basis of expansionist territorial policy by military occupation and Islamization of the occupied territories).

This phased strategy has become, as everything in Muhammad’s life, a contemporary modus operandi for the believers, to be operated by the Hijrah:

Stage One. Muslim organizations must act to change the situation in Arab-Muslim countries that have become apostate, governed by infidel-like rule and laws. The inability to succeed in taking the reins of government; the harsh oppressing political situation; and the economic depression, have compelled the true believers to flee and immigrate to Western countries. Though the Islamic rules of the Hijrah pose them a dilemma of how to correctly behave in Dār al-Kufr, they act to retain their original Islamic identity and to resist the infidel’s challenge.

Stage Two. The domestic integration process in Dār al-Kufr begins with encouraging the Muslims group of Muhājirûn (immigrants) to establish a community of believers, centered on a local mosque. Mosques are at the heart of the spiritual change, the most crucial infrastructure for the establishment of the Muslim community. Clerics serve as the main political component in the processes of the phased strategy for occupying Dār al-Kufr. Without the Imām’s role there is no meaning to the community coherence and adherence. That is to say, religious leadership is what makes the basic important difference in the march of Islam to occupy the world.

The building of the physical presence consists first and foremost the encouraging of Islamic educational system of Madāris (religious schools). It is the Imām’s main arm that constitutes the utmost important means of consolidating and segregating of the Muslim community. The next in importance is the imposition of teaching the Arabic language. Praying and speaking Arabic in public have become a weapon the Muslim leaders use for socialization and indoctrination of the youth, and for “enslaving” the non-Arab Muslims to abide by the Arab culture.

Next in importance are the Muslim behavior and dress. There are rules of behavior Muslims must keep and follow to differentiate them from the outer society. Even the women dress codes of Hijāb and Niqāb are used as a political performance. Muslim street prayers are important components in the process of integration and consolidation of the internal Islamic community, and serve as a political declaration of supremacy against the infidels externally. These street prayers have nothing to do with practicing the religion but serves as a political agitation against the outer society. They have enough places of prayers, and mosque are abound. But closing the main streets with masses is totally political, to introduce the Islamic call.

These Muslim activities, among many others, appear to be reasonable and logical among the host society’s mind, as if they are part of the culture and religion to be cherished in a pluralistic liberal society. From the mirror image perspective, the infidels do not understand the meaning and aims of the Islamic standings, and they stumble and fail to the hazards Islam poses. The infidels’ ignorance and the gaps of cultures increase the Muslims’ demands and actually empower them to proceed to the next stage in the Islamization process.

This process is exacerbated by Western politics of denial and ignorance. Within the last years in the US, the word “Jihad” has been expunged from the governmental branches lexicon. What is more painful and disastrous is that “Jihad” is wrongly translated as the inner struggle of the Muslim believer. This is the fruit of the fraud Islamic propagation. Jihād and Mujahādah come from the third Arabic conjugation, and they mean war, fight and struggle in the battleground. Indeed, ignorance, stupidity, and naïve perceptions are the cause to the ongoing failures of Western leaders and public opinion molders to comprehend Islam and to deal with Muslim propagators. Moreover, self-censorship has reached the pick as the words, “Islamic” and “terrorism,” are forbidden to be used together. The American Administration impose the belief that Islam is a religion of peace while terrorism is related to un-Islamic groups like al-Qaeda and the Islamic Caliphate State.

Stage Three. When the critical mass is achieved and consolidation of the Islamic identity occurs, Muslims act to seek political, cultural, and religious changes in the land of the Kuffār. The tactics Muslims use in the host countries is very successful, just because it seems reasonable and understandable in the minds of the infidels. The Muslims begin with asking permission to accept or adopt small acceptable changes in humble and flattering ways; when fulfilled and in time, it goes on to requests with more determined and direct approach; then it continues with sheer demands that do not accept “no” as an answer; and it is culminated with threats and violence to consolidate the changes and make them authorizing laws. These stages are exhibited according to the responsiveness of the host society and the level of its tolerance.

In-between, Muslims buy everything they can with huge money flows from the oil-producing countries, mainly Saudi-Arabia and Qatar, with the aim of buying political influence and power. The main focus is on the academia: most of the universities have been “conquered,” by money that goes to faculties and research centers, by Muslim faculty members, and mainly by huge active mass students in the campuses with high political participation, serving as propaganda agents.    

Muslim communities are encouraged to riot in violence against the host countries to demand special privileges; as if it is a retaliation to challenge Islamophobic behavior and to ruthlessly act if they were “insulted.” In this process, Muslims create a Sharī‘ah-zone areas in their neighborhoods; and apply for segregation at public places and educational institutions. This leads to further alienation from the host society, and act as a consolidation the segregation mode among the Muslims. Indeed, “no-go zones” and even demanding the indigenous inhabitants to pay the Jizyah already exist throughout Europe. Using Jihad and Da`wah strategies; requests for Halāl foods; Sharī’ah-compliant financial banking transactions; and adding of Muslim holidays (‘Id al-Fitr; ‘Id al-Adha) to public-formal calendar of the host societies, further elevate the Muslim community to become distinct and segregated.

The case of Halāl food is indicative. The Qur’anic injunction clearly states that meat slaughtered and other foods made by Jews and Christians are lawful for the Muslims (Sûrat al-Mā’idah, 5:3). So there is no need for Muslim slaughtering areas and other food demands, which proves that even the Halāl meat has become a political tool of segregation. To prove this issue, there is the Pledge of Allegiance composed for the Muslims in the United States that empowers their segregation and distinctiveness:

“As an American Muslim, I pledge allegiance to Allah and his Prophet; I respect my family and my community; and I dedicate my life to serving the cause of the truth and justice.”

This is highly important: Muslims in the United States “pledge allegiance” not to the “flag of the US of America, and to the Republic for which it stands, one nation, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all,” but “to Allah and to his Prophet,” Muhammad. They do not respect the US community and American way of life, but the community of Islam, the Ummah. And they give honor and allegiance to the truth and Justice not of the American Constitution, but of Islam and in the cause of Islam, embodied in the Sharī`ah as the highly abiding law.

In the words of Mustafa Carroll, executive director of the Dallas-Fort-Worth CAIR branch: “If we are practicing Muslims, we are above the law of the land… Islam is not the problem; Islam is the solution.” In the words of Omar Ahmad, CAIR chairman: “Islam is not in the US to be equal to any other faiths, but to become dominant. The Qur’an should be the highest authority and Islam the only religion on earth.” Sheikh Zaid Shaqir, Muslim Chaplain of Yale University, has put it: “Muslims cannot accept the legitimacy of the secular system of the United States. It is against the orders and ordinances of Allah… and must be abolished.” Sheikh Yusuf al-Qaradawi has reiterated this idea: “Islam will return to Europe and the US by Da‘wah and not by Jihad, and the Europeans will convert to Islam, and disseminate Islam, and the entire world becomes Muslim.”

Out of 1.5 billion Muslims, approximately 400 million live as religious minorities in infidel states. In the absence of Islamic central authority, power should be put in the hands of the Muslim scholars to govern instead. The President of the Sharī`ah Council of Britain has declared: “In the absence of Islamic Court in any country where Muslims are in a minority and the state does not recognize Islamic Law, Muslims are required to form a board of Islamic jurists to judge in the personal matters relating to Sharia. Its decisions will be binding on all Muslims living as a minority community.”

In Britain it is more apparent as there are also Islamic courts that rule according to the Sharī‘ah in eighty-five judicial provinces. A research done by Colin Dye in September 2007, gives practical examples of how Muslims have implemented the principles of Islam’s judiciary system in the conquest of the United Kingdom, with the gradual progression toward the establishment of an Islamic supremacy.

This is a strategy to get the host society accustomed to Islamic way of life, mosques, holidays, dress, and food. Any action to suppress these demands is decried as religious discrimination, condemned as racism, and entails violent reactions of mob disturbances and riots in the streets and death threats. This is a winning strategy, as it targets at the heart of Western political traumas of colonialism (Europe) and of racism (US), and causes the free world to apologize and to subdue. Add to all these multiculturalism and political correctness, the two Western disastrous distorted inventions that enable Arab-Islamic strategy of Hijrah to succeed in Dār al-Kufr.

Stage Four. Expansionist politics starts when many Islamic local enclaves begin to merge as to create larger and powerful territorial frameworks. These enclaves spread like a virus in the body, occupying more and more organs with the aim to control the entire body by replacing it and adopting a new system.

Formally, it starts by using the Islamic pillar of Zakāt to donate for the cause of Islam. Donations are targeted to the needy of the Islamic communities (never to Infidels. Contrary to Islamic propagation, it is only for the Muslim community and not allowed to be given to infidels! That is why when natural disasters occur around the world, one does not find the rich Muslim states on the list of assistance. The call from the Imāms is culminated by the direct act of the Muslim youths, exactly the third generation, to volunteer and fight in Arab-Muslim states, like Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iraq, Chechnya; fighting against imperialism (Isti‘mār) and reaction (Raj‘īyah), and fighting against Taghût, Muslim regimes that are not ruled according to the Sharī‘ah. It is however allowed to endow Zakāt money with the purpose to bringing nations to Islam, like Mali, Niger, and Nigeria; and to assist the fighters against Christian states like Kenya and Ethiopia. In the words of Samuel Huntington, the Islamic civilization is in confrontation with all other world civilizations, and “the borders of Arabia are borders of blood.”

This process has largely become evident when local young Muslims even indigenous converted to Islam, like in Germany, Britain and Sweden travel to fight the Islamic cause in the Middle East. For example, hundreds of Europeans and thousands of other Sunni Muslims have made Syria the land of Jihad. European security chiefs see the flow of extremists to and from Syria as their top terrorist threat. More American, European, and African Muslims are joining the Jihad in Syria and fight against the Syrian regime. Syria has become a magnet for Jihadists. “Demolishing “the New Jāhiliyah” and “the New Crusaderism” has become the item slogans.

This expansionist process sets out and expands like a virus, when the local Ummah-communities enclaves are integrated together to create a larger and stronger territories, challenging the basic well-being of the host-nations. It reveals the Islamic strategy of world occupation in phased processes. On May 22nd 1991, the Muslim Brotherhood organization in the United States has issued a memorandum on “the strategic goal for the group In North America.” The first article set the motion: The general strategic goal of the Group in America which was approved by Majlis al-Shûra and the Organizational Conference for the year [1987] is enablement of Islam in North America, meaning: establishing an effective and a stable Islamic Movement led by the Muslim Brotherhood which adopts Muslims’ causes domestically and globally, and which works to expand the observant Muslim base, aims at unifying and directing Muslims’ efforts, presents Islam as a civilization alternative, and supports the global Islamic State wherever it is.

It is important to understand: these stages are not organized according to place, time and space, rather the opportunity and the vacuum doctrine, it depends very much on the reaction or lack of it of the Infidels. Moreover, when operated, the amount or intensity depend again on the infidels. There is not one brain behind this all-around- the-world onslaught. There are many groups, organization and movements working independently, even against one another. They use different tactics and means, but they all work for the same objectives: the victory of Islam as a political religion.

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Social Innovators of the Year – meet the first responders to the COVID-19 crisis

MD Staff

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Lindiwe Matlali, Founder and CEO, Africa Teen Geeks

The Schwab Foundation for Social Entrepreneurship today announced 23 awardees for social innovation in 2020.

From building hospitals in rural India, empowering Black-communities in Brazil, providing financial resources to last-mile communities in Ghana, harnessing 4IR technology to promote equity in education in South Africa, raising over 100 million USD for lower income families in the USA, to breaking the glass ceiling in the public sector in Spain, the 2020 Social Innovators of the Year includes a list of outstanding founders and chief executive officers, multinational and regional business leaders, government leaders and recognized experts.

This ecosystem of change-makers is being recognised for driving significant social and environmental impact in service of vulnerable and excluded communities and have been well placed to respond to the needs of those disproportionately affected by the COVID pandemic.

The awardees were selected by Schwab Foundation board members in recognition of their innovative approach and potential for global impact. Some of these Board members include Helle Thorning-Schmidt, Prime Minister of Denmark (2011-2015), and social innovation expert Johanna Mair, Professor of Organization, Strategy and Leadership at the Hertie School of Governance in Germany, and H.M. Queen Mathilde of Belgium (Honorary Board Member).

“The Schwab Foundation Social Innovators stand for trust, truth and service. They truly devote their lives through innovative actions to improve livelihoods,” said Hilde Schwab, Co-Founder and Chairperson of the Schwab Foundation for Social Entrepreneurship. “The Social Innovators of the Year 2020 represent a new ecosystem of leaders who are driving change and shifting organizations and systems towards a more just, inclusive, sustainable future”.

“The Schwab Foundation’s Social Innovators of the Year 2020 are pioneering agents of change, re-setting the way our institutions operate. Their work is incredibly pertinent as we respond, recover and reset from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, that has disproportionately affected excluded and vulnerable populations”, said François Bonnici, Head of the Schwab Foundation for Social Entrepreneurship.

The 2020 Schwab Foundation Awards are hosted in partnership with the Motsepe Foundation, founded on the philosophy of ‘ubuntu’, the African concept of giving and caring for your neighbour and other members of your community. “The 2020 Social Innovators of the Year prove that the complex work of reducing inequality and transforming society is possible by instilling human-centred innovation with principles of equity and justice into the levers of policy, finance, and research”, said Precious Moloi-Motsepe, Co-Chair, Motsepe Foundation

Social innovators are needed more than ever, but face immense challenges to operate, serve and support communities during this crisis. Therefore, the Schwab Foundation and the World Economic Forum, launched the COVID Response Alliance for Social Entrepreneurs with the goal to aid social entrepreneurs during the crisis and its aftermath. The Alliance, which consists of over 60 global members, representing over 50,000 social entrepreneurs globally, launched an Action Agenda outlining ways to support social entrepreneurs as first responders to the COVID-19 crisis.

The 2020 awardees are:

Social Entrepreneurs:

Founders or chief executive officers who solve a social or environmental problem, with a focus on low-income, marginalized or vulnerable populations

Lindiwe Matlali, Founder and CEO, Africa Teen Geeks (South Africa). This organisation’s AI-based learning platform for STEM subjects equalises equalizing access and quality of education for all students regardless of their socio-economic backgrounds, reaching over 100,000 students.

Daniel Asare-Kyei, Co-Founder and CEO, Esoko (Ghana). This company’s pioneering agriculture technology is powering Africa’s digital revolution, by providing critical services to millions of farmers and last mile communities.

Sooinn Lee, Enuma Inc, Co-Founder and CEO (USA).Enuma’s Kitkit School and other products use technology and design to empower all children to learn early reading, writing, and math independently, regardless of initial abilities and access.

Dharsono Hartono, Co-Founder and CEO, PT Rimba Makmur (Indonesia). This company is saving one of the largest areas of peat swamp forests in Indonesia while offering local populations sustainable income sources.

Anushka Ratnayake, Founder and CEO, myAgro (Senegal). This award-winning organisation is creating village entrepreneurs in 60,000 farmers in West Africa. myAgro creating a unique mobile layaway platform that allows farmers to use their mobile phones to purchase seeds and fertilizer in small increments

Javier Goyeneche, Founder and President, Ecoalf (Spain). This company is revolutionising the fashion industry one plastic bottle at a time. EcoAlf has collected over 500 tonnes of waste from the bottom of the ocean and recycled over 200 million plastic bottles to make high-quality and 100% sustainable fashion products.

Shanti Raghavan, Co-founder and Managing Trustee, EnAble India and Dipesh Sutariya, Co-founder and CEO, EnAble India (India). EnAble India is building the Indian ecosystem of skilling, employment and entrepreneurship for persons with disabilities through technology innovations, breakthroughs in skill trainings, new workplace solutions and behaviour change tools, partnering with 725 companires, 200 BGOs and multiple universities.

Guilherme Brammer Jr, Founder and CEO, Boomera (Brazil). This revolutionary circular economy business brings together industry, academia and environmental agents to turn waste that is difficult to recycle into raw materials or new products.

Jesús Gerena, Chief Executive Officer, Family Independence Initiative (USA). This national centre for anti-poverty innovation offers results-based, community-driven solutions to reducing poverty raising over 100 million USD to help thousands of families in the United States during the COVID-19 crisis.

Azim Sabahat, Chief Executive Officer, Glocal Healthcare Systems (India). In a short time, this company established 12 hospitals, over 250 digital dispensaries and a Telemedicine network spanning 8 countries, delivering low cost healthcare using technology to over 1.5 Mn patients.

Adriana Barbosa, Chief Executive Officer, PretaHub (Brazil). This company empowers the social mobility of Brazil’s Black population by promoting Black entrepreneurship, and addressing structural racism and gender disparities to promote entrepreneurship based on opportunities.

Ashif Shaikh, Founder & Director, Jan Sahas, (India). This revolutionary organisation has empowered millions of migrant workers in India by establishing and providing access to social security delivery system using a mobile app.

Corporate Social Intrapreneurs:

Leaders within multinational or regional companies who drive the development of new products, initiatives, services or business models that address societal and environmental challenges

Prashant Mehra Vice-President, Social Inclusion, Mindtree (India). Prashant spearheaded technology platforms as a public good and capital asset that work at the grassroots level and address market inefficiencies reaching over 2 million people.

Corinne Bazina, General Manager, Danone Communities, Danone (France). Under Corinne Bazina’s, Danone Communities supports 12 social businesses who develop sustainable models that address challenges such as malnutrition, access to water, and overall poverty reduction, across 15 countries and is directly reaching 6 million people every day.

Nicola Galombik, Executive Director, Inclusive and Sustainable Growth Catalyst Division, Yellowwoods Holding Sarl (South Africa). Under Galombik’s leadership, this company reaches over 1 million direct beneficiaries, including economically marginalized children, public school students, young work-seekers, and inclusive suppliers in the Yellowwoods business value chains.

Hadi Wibowo,President Director, Bank BTPN Syariah. This is the only bank in Indonesia that focuses on serving productive underprivileged families, also known as the “unbankable” for having neither financial records nor legal documentation. His prior experience in the parent company, Bank BTPN, includes leading Branchless Banking, a financial inclusion initiative. He has reached over 7 million people throughout his work with the unbanked communities.

Social Innovation Thought Leaders:

Recognized experts and champions shaping the evolution of social innovation

Jaff Shen Dongshu, Chief Executive Officer, Leping Social Entrepreneur Foundation (People’s Republic of China). Jaff transformed and strengthened the social innovation space in China, partnering with global, domestic, business, academic and social sector partners.

Tse Ka Kui (KK), Co-Founder and Chair, Education for Good CIC Ltd. (Hong Kong SAR). KK is at the helm of many initiatives, projects and partnerships that have helped influence the field of social innovation in Hong Kong, and even taught the first course on social entrepreneurship at Hong Kong University.

Ndidi O. Nwuneli, Co-Founder Sahel Consulting Agriculture & Nutrition Ltd. & AACE Foods, and Founder of LEAP Africa and Nourishing Africa (Nigeria). Ndidi’s impact on agriculture, nutrition, youth development, and philanthropy sectors across West Africa has been significant given her role in shaping policy, launching ecosystem solutions, and training the next generation of social innovators. Her research and books on scaling social innovation, agriculture and food entrepreneurship, ethics, governance, and succession are widely utilized by entrepreneurs in the region.

Cathy Clark, Faculty Director, CASE (The Center for the Advancement of Social Entrepreneurship), Duke University (USA). Cathy has helped to define and build impact investing and social entrepreneurship for over 30 years. She is a serial “intrapreneur”, collaborative partner and pioneering influencer.

Public Social Intrapreneurs:

Government leaders who harness the power of social innovation social entrepreneurship to create public good through policy, regulation or public initiatives

Ada Colau i Ballano, Mayor of Barcelona (Spain). Ballano is the first woman to hold the office of the Mayor of Barcelona, as part of the citizen municipalist platform, Barcelona En Comú. Colau was one of the founding members and spokespeople of the Plataforma de Afectados por la Hipoteca (Platform for People Affected by Mortgages).

Cynthia McCaffrey, UNICEF Representative to China (People’s Republic of China). Under her leadership, UNICEF Global Innovation has reached millions of at-risk children and youth around the world.

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Will COVID 19 further exacerbate xenophobia and populism?

Gary Rynhart

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Refugees and migrants gather at the Pazarkule border crossing near Edirne, Turkey, hoping to travel into Greece. © UNICEF

The onset of COVID 19 saw a significant rise in racism and xenophobia.  From racist incidents against Africans in Guangzhou to anti-Asian racism to just about everywhere. 

This comes after a decade of rising xenophobia driven by the fallout from the global financial crisis of 2008. Duarte, Trump, Erdogan, Bolsonoro, Johnson, Xi Jinping and Putin all traded successfully in these waters.  Last year the United Nation’s Secretary-General António Gutiérrez formed a special UN team to combat hate speech. As an example of the growing hate discourse he cited ‘how the debate on human mobility, for example, has been poisoned with false narratives linking refugees and migrants to terrorism and scapegoating them for many of society’s ills.’ The fear now is that as the global economy enters a prolonged period of economic recession this will create a fertile environment to extenuate further xenophobia along with its populist political cheerleaders.

2020 also saw the Black Lives Matters movement emerge into the political and social discourse in what seems like an epoch defining way. Add it all together and it seems that we have reached a tipping point of global racial discord and distrust of the ‘other’.

History can be instructive here. The onset of the Spanish Flu of 1918-1920 was bookended eleven years later by a global financial crash in 1929. The exact opposite sequence has now happened. The global financial crisis of 2008 has been bookended by COVID 19, also eleven years later in 2019.

This disrupted sequence may actually prove significant. The first (financial) crisis in 2008 ushered in many populist politicians; the second crisis (health) exposed them. Many of the most badly affected countries, as a consequence of poor crisis management, come from this pool of populist administrations.

The economic consequences of the shutdowns are already playing out and more pain will follow through into 2021, but electorates and populations do have the near history hindsight of populist promises post the 2008 financial crisis to consider. This may well in time steer populations away from the same fiery promises of nationalist exceptionalism and sunlit uplands.

Some commentators think the advent of vaccine nationalism will provide political deliverance for these same populist leaders. Yet if countries with a large number of cases lag in obtaining the vaccine and other medicines, the disease will continue to disrupt global supply chains and, as a result, economies around the world. That is in nobody’s interest.

Additionally, the assertion that xenophobia and discrimination are all on an upward trajectory can be contested. For example, according to a 2019 Pew Research Centre survey of 18 countries, in 1994 63 per cent of US citizens felt immigrants were a burden on the country. Fast forward 25 years and the figures are reversed. By a ratio of two to one, US citizens are pro-migration.  According to the same Pew survey, majorities in top migrant destination countries, which host half of the world’s migrants, say immigrants strengthen their countries. Majorities in the UK, France, Spain, Australia, Canada, Sweden and Germany all agree with the statement ‘migrants make my country stronger’.

There is also a generational shift in play. According to the results from the 2017 ‘Global Shapers Survey’ by the World Economic Forum, for a large majority of young people, identity is not about region, geography, religion or ethnicity; they simply see themselves as ‘human’. This is also the most popular answer choice across all regions. Majorities in the US among Generation Z (born after 2000) and Generation Y (born after 1981) say increasing racial and ethnic diversity in the US is a good thing for society. In 1958, only four per cent of Americans approved of inter-racial marriage, according to Gallup polling. Support only crossed the 50-per-cent threshold in 1997. It has now reached 87 per cent.

All this is has been feeding into the calculus of global companies who are becoming unlikely champions in the fight against xenophobia.

According to a 2018 Deloitte Millennial Survey, 69 per cent of employees who believe their senior-management teams are diverse see their working environments as motivating and stimulating. And 78 per cent of Millennials who say their top teams are diverse report that their organizations perform strongly in generating profits. Firms seen as diverse and perceived to have a diverse workforce are rated highly by Gen Y and Z. They want to work for them and buy their stuff.

In many ways, COVID 19 will probably push the private sector further in the diversity and inclusion direction, although the need to do this is in a more structured way (a recent global survey found only 35% of companies gathered data on company diversity).

Diversity particularly in decision-making brings multiple perspectives to bear on problems. This is not just corporate guff – this stuff really matters.   There is plenty of empirical evidence to back all this up. In the 2008–09 global financial crisis, banks with a higher share of women on their boards were more stable than their peers and the evidence suggest that banks run by women might be less vulnerable in a crisis.

This is not to downplay the pervasive threat that xenophobia presents. It continues to impact on millions of people’s daily lives, often in most distressing ways. Migrants are still being washed up on Greek beaches while the well-heeled look the other way.

Yet, there is plenty of counter evidence for optimism.  Populist leaders have been found out. Greater global connectivity is helping create greater awareness of different perspectives, views, cultures and ways of doing things. Many Front line workers in hospitals treating the victims of COVID 19 (along with supermarket workers and cleaners) are migrants leading to a greater appreciation of their role in societies.

The philosopher Bertrand Russell remarked that collective fear stimulates herd instinct, and tends to produce ferocity toward those who are not regarded as members of the herd.

With so much talk of ‘herd immunity’ COVID 19 has clearly demonstrated  that we are all in fact part of the same herd.

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Euthanasia, Living Will and The Analysis In India

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Euthanasia, i.e. mercy killing, refers to the act of painlessly putting to death a person who is either very old or very ill to prevent further pain and suffering. It is basically a practice that is done on people suffering from incurable diseases or incapacitating physical disorder wherein they are allowed to die by the withdrawal of artificial life support system or withholding of medical treatment. On 9th March 2018, the Supreme Court of India, in a historical decision, legalised passive euthanasia and the right of terminally ill persons to give advance directives for refusal of medical treatment. Therefore, the concept of ‘living will’ was recognised which essentially refers to the document that the person writes in a normal state of mind seeking passive euthanasia when he reaches an irreversible vegetative state or when he gets terminally ill. For a comprehensive understanding of this whole topic, we have demarcated between different types of ‘mercy killing’ in the next section. Also, we will discuss the concerned judgement in detail not forgetting to mention the backdrop that led to the much-anticipated move. Additionally, we will try to summarise the arguments of both the supporters as well as the dissenters of the move before finally moving to the conclusion.

Active Euthanasia, Passive Euthanasia, Indirect Euthanasia and Assisted Suicide

Active Euthanasia refers to the deliberate act of ending the life of a terminally ill or incurable patient through the administration of a legal drug or injection by the physician. Passive Euthanasia is the withdrawal or withholding of artificial life support system when the patient requests to do so or when prolonging of his life is termed futile. Indirect Euthanasia means the provision of treatment with an aim to reduce pain and suffering, but which eventually speeds up the process of death. And, assisted suicide (also called physician-assisted suicide) refers to the situation when the doctor intentionally and knowingly provides the patient with the knowledge and/or means to commit suicide. The laws regarding euthanasia differ throughout the world. In countries like Belgium and the Netherlands, euthanasia has been legal since 2002. The practice of ‘Assisted Suicide’ is legal in European countries of Switzerland and Germany. In England, both euthanasia, as well as assisted suicide, are illegal. In most of the U.S., euthanasia is illegal but physician-assisted suicide has been legalised in ten of its states. In India, passive euthanasia was legalised two years back. The next section discusses the same in detail.

Euthanasia in India: The Aruna Shanbaug Case and the Common Cause Judgement

The case of Aruna Shanbaug has been quite instrumental in changing the euthanasia laws in India. Ms. Aruna Ramchandra Shanbaug was an Indian nurse who in 1973, was sexually assaulted by a ward boy in the hospital as a result of which she went into a vegetative state. In 2010, a plea was filed by activist Ms. Pinki Virani before the Supreme Court seeking euthanasia for Ms. Aruna Shanbaug. The Court took up the plea and finally, on March 7, 2011, delivered the historical judgement. Ms. Virani’s plea got rejected but at the same time, broad guidelines were issued legalising passive euthanasia in India. It was held that the decision to withdraw life support must be taken by parents, spouse or other close relatives in the absence of all of whom, the ‘next’ friend would be entrusted with the responsibility. In this particular case, the hospital staff that had been taking care of Ms. Aruna for years was called the ‘next friend’ and not Ms. Virani. In 2015, Ms. Aruna Shanbaug, after 42 years of constant suffering died of pneumonia at the age of 66 but not before playing a vital role in influencing upcoming euthanasia-related laws in India.

In a separate move, ‘Common Cause’, an NGO working for people’s rights, approached the Supreme Court under Art. 32[1] of the Constitution in the year 2005, wherein they prayed for the declaration that ‘Right to Die with Dignity’ be made a fundamental right under Art. 21 [2] i.e. Right to Life. Additionally, they requested the court to give directions to the government with regards to the execution of living wills in case a person gets terminally ill. The argument was that subjecting terminally ill people or the people suffering from chronic diseases to cruel treatments denied them the right to live with dignity. On February 25, 2014, a 3-judge bench of the Supreme Court led by the then CJI P. Sathasivam started final hearing in the case wherein it came out that the previous judgements given in the case of Aruna Shanbaug v. Union of India (2011)[3], as well as the case of Gian Kaur v. State of Punjab (1996)[4], were inconsistent. The matter was then referred to a 5 Judge Constitutional Bench. And finally, on March 9, 2018, in a historical decision, CJI Deepak Mishra led bench recognised the concept of ‘living will’ that was to be drawn by terminally ill patients for passive euthanasia and also laid down comprehensive guidelines for the same. Hence, the ‘Right to Die with Dignity’ was held to be a fundamental right.[5]

Euthanasia- a good or a bad thing?

The proponents of Euthanasia argue that allowing an incurable patient to die will alleviate the constant pain and suffering that one has to go through when in the vegetative state. The other point which they talk about is that ‘right to die with dignity’ is a matter of personal choice and no-one else should be allowed to interfere in the patient’s decision. It has also been said time and again that timely executed euthanasia could also relieve the financial burden on the family of the patient which in case of absence of the law, could exert a lot of financial burden on poor households.

Moreover, coming to the major points that the opponents say, the fact that the law on euthanasia could be misused is always talked about. It is argued that children of old and ill parents would certainly want to neglect their parents when they are needed the most. This does not fit with the kind of social and cultural environment that we have in India, where parents are supposed to be provided with care when they get too old. Also, the opponents lay emphasis on the sanctity of life and reckon that accepting euthanasia would lead to a reduction in society’s respect for life.

Benefits of recognising Living Will

Recognition of Living will indeed have some good impact. The concept essentially requiresa person to write the will as an advance directive when he is capable of making a sensible decision. And, thus, this rules out the possibility of the situation when the patient, being too ill, is not able to make an informed and competitive decision especially so in the case of Mentally Challenged patients and the patients who are incoma. Also, the living will, to much extent, would relieve the moral burden from the family member who actually takes steps for euthanasia, for ultimately, he would be fulfilling the informed wish of the patient only. Passive Euthanasia could sometimes, in exceptional circumstances, lead to the allegations of murder so the existence of a living will have a role to play in preventing such situations. In and all, the legalisation of ‘living will’goes a long way in effective implementation of the laws of euthanasia in India.

Concluding Remarks

In the course of this article, we tried to explain with clarity the concepts of euthanasia as well as ‘living will’. We listed out the arguments of both the proponents as well as the opponents of euthanasia and also mentioned how the ‘living will’ is going to have a positive impact. Giving due importance to the judgement of the Supreme Court in the Common Cause Case, the long-anticipated Fundamental Right to Die with Dignity has finally been accepted. The legalisation of Passive Euthanasia, along with the recognition of ‘living will’ would make a lot of difference in how the severely ill patients meet their death. Having a dignified death is equally important as having a dignified life, so in that respect, the laws on euthanasia would come out to be of vital importance. As far as the living will is concerned, it is definitely going to simplify the entire process of euthanasia. In the end, we could just hope that the laws are able to achieve the desired objectives.


[1]The Constitution of India, 1950, Art. 32.

[2]The Constitution of India, 1950, Art. 21.

[3] Aruna Ramachandra Shanbaug v. Union of India, (2011) 4 SCC 454.

[4]Gian Kaur v. State of Punjab, (1996) 2 SCC 648.

[5] Common Cause (A Regd. Society) v Union of India and Anr, 2018 5 SCC 1.

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