The spread of the deadly coronavirus contagion throughout China is a source of joy for a Syrian jihadi cleric, who passed a fatwa permitting Muslims to celebrate the pandemic.
Abd Al-Razzaq Al-Mahdi told his followers they are permitted to ask Allah to annihilate the Chinese people, while another Syrian cleric, Abdallah Al-Muhaysini, accused China of “exporting” the coronavirus pathogen to eastern Turkestan.
The Chinese oppression of Uygur Muslims and propagation of atheism, communism, and Buddhism was cited in the fatwa.
On January 23, 2020, Syrian jihadi cleric Abd Al-Razzaq Al-Mahdi issued a fatwa permitting Muslims to celebrate the spread of the Coronavirus in China, and further permitting Muslims to pray to Allah to annihilate the people of China. Al-Mahdi is a prominent cleric who is well respected by jihadi factions, and who is known for his sermons and fatwas, in which he encourages Muslims to take part in jihad and carry out attacks inside Russia. According to his Twitter account, which has more than 11 thousand followers, Al-Mahdi is from Damascus, and describes himself as “not affiliated with any group or party.” Al-Mahdi is also active on Telegram, on which his channel has over 11 thousand subscribers.
The fatwa, which was posted on the “Fatwas from the Land of Sham” Telegram channel, was a response to a question asked by one Muhammad Abu Nassir who wrote: “Is it permissible that we express our joy for what China is experiencing – the Coronavirus and the death of the Chinese people.” Responding to the question, Al-Mahdi said: “Yes, yes we should express our joy and pray for their annihilation. They [the Chinese] have declared resounding war and they killed, slaughtered, imprisoned, and oppressed the Uyghurs and non-Uyghur Muslims. They are the enemies of Allah and are Buddhists and communists. The non-Muslim Chinese people are either Buddhists or communists.”
Footage of Al-Mahdi calling for violence against Russia in retaliation for Russian airstrikes can be seen below.
The coronavirus has not exhibited the same level of lethality worldwide as it has in Wuhan and other cities under quarantine during the outbreak.
In-Islamic majority Indonesia, authorities in hazmat gear were filmed spraying passengers’ clothes and luggage with liquid as the latter disembarked their flight, presumably to fight the spread of the coronavirus.
Britain, another nation with a prominent Islamic population, was the subject of a controversy where the makers of cleaning product Dettol had to issue a public statement confirming their product would not cure the coronavirus.