The world needs to stand as one. Everyone needs to distance themselves. What we know so far is that social distancing is the only deterrent in preventing the spread of COVID-19 novel Coronavirus like a wildfire. One needs to break the chain, and it requires the participation of all. Complacency of even one individual taking the pandemic lightly can derail our fight against the virus which has claimed over 8000 lives so far.
We are, unfortunately, faced with a community in which many are almost ignorant about the threats posed by Coronavirus. Not only are many in this community taking this pandemic lightly, but they are putting the lives of others at stake by denying any effects of Coronavirus on themselves. This, despite the fact that Pakistan – an Islamic Republic is currently facing exponential COVID-19 growth, and whose cases have gone well above 500.
Many in the Muslim community, not just in India, but globally, are showing signs of absolute complacency and disregard to public health by going about their daily business like it’s the finest time of the century. In India, Tik Tok videos are being made which show Muslims placing sunnat and ‘Islam’ above public health. And they are doing so with a sense of heroism, for sadistic reasons best known to them. In one of the Tik Tok videos doing the rounds on social media, a group of friends is seen suggesting a person to refrain from shaking hands, while the ignorant man replies saying, “Coronavirus ke liye sunnat chhorr doge?” (You are willing to compromise on sunnat for Coronavirus?). Another video shows a group of men agreeing that Coronavirus is a petty virus and that Muslims don’t fear death.
— Keya Ghosh (@keyakahe) March 21, 2020
It’s time to boycott all the peacefuls now, their mentality is harmful for the existence of human race.
Boycott & distance yourself from these peacefuls. Social Boycott of these people has become very important now.
They will not change, but we must.
— Voice of Assam (@VoiceOfAxom) March 21, 2020
Such videos can have devastating effects for India, as they raise the level of complacency among the community, which in turn might consider themselves to be ‘larger than thou’ and set out on a mission to challenge Coronavirus, endangering the lives of innocent Indians in the process.
Another video of a cleric shows him preaching inside a police station in West Bengal’s Murshidabad district, claiming that being affected by Coronavirus is similar to being ‘possessed’, and that he can cure the same with exorcism. Further, in the spirit of secularism, the man mentions the Quran and Bible and says reading from them can cure anybody of the virus. While the whole nation is busy mocking Hindus for having a certain belief towards medicinal properties of Gau-mutra, the media and liberals are conveniently ignoring the trash talk of a particular community and its clerics.
Preaching inside a Police Station in Murshidabad Distt,W Bengal: Corona is something like being possessed,and he cures it by exorcism. Further,if we read the Quran,or the Bible or Inzil,this disease will vanish. Kolkata media is terribly exercised over Gomutra but silent on this. https://t.co/wIPI0XbEzw
— Tathagata Roy (@tathagata2) March 21, 2020
“Yaha corona nahi hai. Hum logon ko pata hai. Unhe corona se darr hoga. Corona hamare Quran se nikla hai. Corona kya hai? Isse bhayanak bhayanak bimari aaegi. Aur uparwale ne chaha hume kuch nahin hoga vo dare. Hum log darne wale nahin hai,” this is what was said by a woman protestor at Shaheen Bagh. Shaheen Bagh has been a pain for many, and now, apart from a communal tinderbox, it is also a disease ridden ghetto. The woman makes a distinction between Muslims and the ‘others’, saying it is the latter which will suffer, while nothing will happen to her community. She further says that Coronavirus has emerged from the Quran.
A Muslim activist in India claims #CoronavirusOutbreakIndia will not harm Muslims as the word #Corona comes from the #Quran. ”The virus will not affect Muslims; it's for other people.”
— Tarek Fatah (@TarekFatah) March 20, 2020
In a debate of sorts for a media portal called ‘The Newspaper’, a Muslim and two Hindus debate on the need of shutting down places of worship in the larger good of society. While the Hindus keep public health above their beliefs, the Muslim man sounds rather disinterested in fulfilling his duties as a citizen of India. He says that Jama Masjid shall remain open, and argues that if death is inevitable, he would anyway continue going to the Masjid. Watch for yourselves as this man presents a classic example of how not to behave in times of crisis.
देश के सभी मन्दिर बन्द…फिर जामा मस्जिद क्यूं खुली | जनता में भारी आक्रोश | Jama Mashjid
The Newspaper ಅವರಿಂದ ಈ ದಿನದಂದು ಪೋಸ್ಟ್ ಮಾಡಲಾಗಿದೆ ಬುಧವಾರ, ಮಾರ್ಚ್ 18, 2020
Muslim clerics and leaders have been shoving down all sorts of bunkum when it comes to Coronavirus. Sometimes, though, the community is itself falling for hoaxes, or rather causing them. Alcohol consumption is banned in Islam, by which I mean it is haram. As a result, Muslims, particularly in Malaysia, have been demanding halal hand sanitizers, without an alcoholic base. Without alcohol, a sanitizer is ineffective. Simple. A minimum of 60% alcohol is required to neutralize the protein envelope of the virus, hence rendering it defunct. However, when Muslims demand a non-alcoholic sanitizer, they do so at the cost of putting their own, and the lives of others at grave risk. One cannot make special demands in times of a pandemic staring us in the face. How difficult is it to understand this simple fact?
Such behaviour is not exclusive to Indian Muslims alone. Logic would suggest that massive religious congregations and functions are cancelled in the wake of an impending explosion of cases in Southeast Asia. However, a group of Indonesian Islamic preachers, who travelled from Indonesia to Telangana have all tested positive for Coronavirus. The Indonesian preachers belong to the Tablighi Jamaat, which had organized the fateful four-day Muslim gathering at the Sri Petaling Mosque in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Nearly two-third of the cases in Malaysia ever since have emanated from this gathering. The event was held from February 27 to March 1 and has emerged as the epicenter and hotbed of Wuhan Virus infections that has spread to the whole of Southeast Asia.
In Iran, people from the Muslim community are licking and kissing Shi’ite shrines, claiming that since these are places of healing, they cannot contact the virus. By doing so while taking a video of himself, a man encouraged all Muslims to do the same. The man was later arrested by authorities. Interestingly, the cleric who had called for such behaviour has died of the Chinese virus.
Meanwhile, a preacher on the Palestinian Authority TV said that Coronavirus is one of ‘Almight Allah’s soldiers’. “The true meaning of the epidemics is a trial from Almighty Allah and a punishment. A trial for the believers and a punishment for the sinners… If they have stood firm and place their trust in Allah, then they will receive an enormous reward, and whoever dies in the epidemic merits the reward of Martyrdom,” he added.
All sorts of ludicrous statements are being made by clerics, which are being followed in letter and spirit by the community. Muslims must understand that it is not only their lives which are at stake. As much as they are not ‘fearful’ of death, they must understand that the lives of millions are at stake here, and no amount of trash talk and illogical statements made by clerics can jeopardize the lives of so many people, irrespective of their religion.
The Friday prayers are not being stopped, although many temples have closed down and are conducting prayers and rituals privately. Why can mosques not extend the same courtesy, for the sake of public health? While clerics should be doing all they can to fight misinformation and fake news, and should strive to spread awareness about Coronavirus, what they are instead doing is acting like catalysts towards the proliferation of COVID-19.
Contrary to popular belief, here’s a reality check. No, Coronavirus is not going to affect only kaafirs. No, Coronavirus is not Allah’s rage against non-Muslim nations. Malaysia, Pakistan, Iran and Indonesia stand as a testimony. No, Coronavirus does not come from the Quran. No, there is no such thing as a ‘halal’ sanitizer. And no, we will not be allowing our lives to be put at stake due the callousness of a few.