Last Updated on April 20, 2020
While virtually every church in the United States is shut down due to coronavirus, and those few willing to defy lockdown orders are threatened with arrest or hauled to jail, a New York mosque is operating with impunity during the pandemic.
The mosque, in Syracuse, New York, had its operating procedures detailed by gushing local media, which described how the facility has modified its practices to adhere with social distancing during the China virus pandemic.
The room is lined with plastic, and two machines siphon air out of the room to create negative pressure. Air in the room is recycled every four minutes. Elahi used the materials and expertise from his day job to create what he called a “clean room.”
About 10 worshippers in masks are allowed in at a time, though rarely do that many show up. They stand far apart from each other as they follow a prayer leader standing on a plastic-covered prayer rug.
The building, formerly a Catholic church, is disinfected between services – not by cleaning professionals, but by volunteers – and video reveals those worshipers brave enough to leave their homes during the pandemic are not social distancing.
In video to YouTube uploaded by Syracuse.com, a small group of worshipers is seen praising Allah far less than six feet apart, failing to adhere to social distancing procedures and potentially defeating the purpose of worshiping in a room completely covered in plastic.
While this mosque is allowed to operate during the coronavirus pandemic, albeit under slightly modified procedures, Christians are being forced out of their churches across the country.
In Virginia, Governor Ralph Northam, who was exposed for wearing either blackface or Ku Klux Klan robes by National File senior reporter Patrick Howley, has classified churches as “non-essential,” meaning it is a crime for them to open at all.
In Kansas, two churches have sued the state over Governor Laura Kelly’s executive order placing severe restrictions on religious gatherings. The lawsuit has been successful, despite Kelly attempting to invalidate the district court judge’s decision by issuing a new executive order with virtually identical language.
It remains unclear why Governor Andrew Cuomo, who is reportedly being considered as a possible candidate to assume the role of often-confused Joe Biden in the 2020 presidential election, is allowing the mosque to operate.