“Blaming the epidemic on Muslim minorities is extremely dangerous” says Israeli historian Yuval Noah Harari

New Delhi: Yuval Noah Harari – an Israeli historian and best-selling author while talking at the India Today Group’s E-Conclave Corona Series appealed Indians to develop the solidarity and benevolence and not the hatred to fight the Novel coronavirus epidemic. He also raised concerns over people blaming the epidemic as a “deliberate act of terrorism” by Muslims and disregards it as “complete non sense”.

Harari joined the conclave to examine what the world could look like once the novel coronavirus pandemic blows over. Harari is known for authoring Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind (2014), Homo Deus: A Brief History of Tomorrow (2016), and 21 Lessons for the 21st Century (2018), all bestsellers that have investigated how we go to where we are right now and what the future holds for us.

When asked about the India in context to COVID-19, he said India faces an enormous challenge and was among the hardest hit countries during Spanish flue. He urged people to react not with hatred but with solidarity both with other countries and especially with different communities within India.

“I was very worried about some stories I heard that people are blaming the epidemic on Muslim minorities saying that it is deliberate act of terrorism of people spreading this epidemic, which is complete non sense and extremely dangerous”, cautioned Harari.

Stressing on social harmony, he said, “In this time we don’t need hatred, we need solidarity and love between people. I hope that Indians can connect to their best religious tradition, and develop the solidarity and benevolence in this crisis and overcome the inner demons of hatred and greed”. “If they do that, India will emerge from this crisis even better than before”, added Harari.

“We are in a better situation compared to the pandemics in history. More importantly, we have all the scientific knowledge to stop this pandemic. We understand perfectly what is happening today. We are no longer blind and powerless. The big question is whether we know how to use our power responsibly”, Harari said.

Harari spoke at length about the way United States is handling the pandemic, surveillance, dictatorship, globalization and so on.

While talking about the religion, he said, “Religious leaders are not good at stopping epidemics but they are good at making excuses. They promise something, it doesn’t happen and they have best excuses on why it didn’t happen”.

“I hope that at least some people will realize that if you have choose between a scientist who can actually cure you and a religious leader who is best at making excuses, it’s better to go with the scientist” added Harari.