Many of us remember the popular hit song by Erykah Badu, “Tyrone.” We remember Badu singing the words, “Call Tyrone.” So when, Jacksonville Imam, Yahya Abdullah said “Call Taiwan” during a Friday Sermon, the point he was trying to make definitely stuck. It came up when comparing Taiwan’s COVID-19 response to Florida’s. The total populations of the two locations are comparable, but their COVID datasheets couldn’t be more different.
“Someone needs to call Tyrone,” he said in his July 17th sermon and repeating a similar plea in his July 24th sermon. “If they haven’t called Taiwan … why not??” is the rhetorical question he raised to the congregation.
Some of you may remember, Taiwan President, Tsai Ing-wen’s powerful article published in April’s Time magazine. “The success is no coincidence,” she writes in reference to her country’s ability to contain the virus. To put into context how great of a success this was, one has to take into consideration things like how close Taiwan is to China and the fact this country is excluded from the UN and WHO. I don’t have to say, all things considered, it is remarkable you can count the number of this country’s citizens who lost their life to COVID-19 on your two hands.
Taiwan Can Help
President Ing-wen ended her article with the words, “Taiwan can help.”
Again, this was in April, so the next logical question is, “Why didn’t we ask them for help? Why didn’t we call Taiwan?”
The more I contemplated the Taiwan President’s words, the more I realized her core message was not much different from Imam Yahya’s.
While Imam Yahya makes the comment:
“G-d said he made us into different nations and tribes so we can learn from each other.”
President Ing-wen wrote the comment:
“We must set aside our differences and work together for the benefit of humankind.”
There are more similarities to count, but I think you get the idea.
- President of Taiwan: How My Country Prevented a Major Outbreak of COVID-19. https://time.com/collection/finding-hope-coronavirus-pandemic/5820596/taiwan-coronavirus-lessons/. Last accessed: 7/25/2020.
- “KEEP YOUR FAITH IN ALLAH AND PATIENTLY PERSEVERE.”
Al-Islam Worldwide Ministry. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9LvVLe4e1D8. Published: 7/18/2020. Last accessed: 7/25/2020.
- “THE OVERWHELMING EVENT.” Al-Islam Worldwide Ministry. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=noGGLoW_TO8. Published: 7/25/2020. Last accessed: 7/25/2020.