Humanity in exile: Time for a new world order

The novel coronavirus is one of the most devastating epidemics in the world right now. It is spreading from one end to the other

Monira Nazmi Jahan Jul 24, 2020

The novel coronavirus is one of the most devastating epidemics in the world right now. It is spreading from one end to the other. Infecting old and young, rich to poor - no one is safe from this virus. The human race never imagined that such fear and terror would grip their daily lives. Humankind has entered a war where the enemy is invisible. Even he does not know where or when the enemy will come and attack him. How helpless the humankind is today!  We have advanced so much in science and technology, but where are they today? A virus has ruined all the achievements of humans. In such a helpless moment, humanity needs to fight against all those invisible enemies; it also requires compassion towards others. However, the question remains how much empathy the society has shown towards others during this crisis?

To determine the answer to this question, we need to know how the world looked before it was ravaged by the coronavirus. Even before coronavirus, the world was full of violent hatred and public detestation. We have seen the outcome of destruction due to war.  Powerful countries have attacked the weak nations to fulfill their interests, regardless of the rules and regulations of international law. They established their imperialism under various pretexts. Democracy has been deprived in the name of defending democracy. In fact, many nations found themselves helpless in front of the big powers. In all this, the UN played the role of a silent viewer.

The plight of children, women

The world has witnessed the horrific plight of migrants in war-torn areas of Syria, Lebanon, Palestine, and Iraq. The tragic death of three-year-old Aylan Kurdi, a Syrian boy of Kurdish origins, who was fleeing with his family from the war that engulfed their country into Greece, has shaken the world. The boy drowned after the dinghy the family was fleeing in capsized. The images of the boy’s floating body lying lifeless, face down on a Turkish beach, riveted the world’s attention on a burgeoning refugee crisis.  Aylan became a symbol of all the children who lost their lives trying to reach safety in Europe and the West. Everyone saw the frozen body of Aylan with shock and despair. Who knows how many children have been lost in the stormy winds of war in the land of no return?

Even in such tragic death of humanity, the hearts of the so-called world leaders did not melt. The world has seen Syrian women sexually exploited in return for aid. The UN Population Fund (UNFPA) assesses gender-based violence in Syria. It said women in refugee camps in Syria have been forced to offer sexual favours in return for aid from the UN. The report, titled 'Voices from Syria 2018', said officials, involved in UN aid work, were also briefly marrying Syrian women, who were doing it in exchange for food.  The report said that many women had to spend the night with those officials to get aid.

In Syria, women were sexually abused and were kept as sex slaves. A UN report says thousands of women and children were raped in Syria as the civil war raged. Rape has been used as a weapon in the country. Apart from sexual abuse, killing children was a common phenomenon. Just before a three-year-old Syrian war-wounded child, breathed his last, he said, "I will tell God, you have wronged me." According to the UN, Syria is now facing the world's biggest humanitarian crisis after six years of war.

The world has seen Malala Yousafzai, a Pakistani activist for female education and the youngest Nobel Prize laureate, who was a victim of militancy. On October 9, 2012, at the age of 13, Taliban militants shot Malala in the head. Malala's only crime was that she was a girl, who wanted to study.  She fought for her life for 49 days in a hospital in Pakistan and then in the UK and survived. But there are many more Malalas, and their stories of brutalities are yet to come out.

Without any doubt, it can be said that earth turned into hell much before the coronavirus pandemic swept the world, killing people and crippling economies. All evil deeds that man could think of were committed. After corona, things have gone from bad to worse.

Research conducted by UNFPA, with contributions from Avenir Health, Johns Hopkins University (USA) and Victoria University (Australia)  found that domestic violence has risen by 20 percent in the last three months in 193 UN member states.

Terrorist group al-Qaeda has taken advantage of the situation. They have issued a six-page directive and statement on COVID-19.  It says, 'Corona put it's dark and painful shadow over the whole world, but the reason the virus has entered the Muslim world is because of the sin, obscenity and moral decay have increased in those Muslim countries.

They said, "The crisis of Corona must be used as an opportunity to spread the true faith on religion, invite the people for jihad in the way of Allah, and revolt against the oppressors. The misery of women and children has not stopped during the Corona period."

Humans have begun to witness the darkness on earth with their own eyes. The corpses continue to pile up.  People have surrendered to coronavirus.  Even during this time, the so-called big powers of the world continued to spread poison and hatred. Communal hatred has reached a new level. 

As corona continues to spread, one religion blames another, while one tribe blames the other.  No compassion was shown even to those infected with the virus. When compassion was needed the most, people showed cruelty.  Even this crisis did not awaken their humanity. When the spirit of humankind goes into exile, there is fear that civilization will decline. 

(The author is Senior Lecturer, Department of Law, East West University, Bangladesh. She can be contacted at

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