The coronavirus is a chance for solidarity, not “punishment”

The Great Mosque of Paris is closed. All French mosques are invited to close. The Muslim Brotherhood is against it. Seen as a “punishment” against unbelievers, the epidemic is now a “test” to purify Muslims. Solidarity grows without distinction of race, religion and nationality. This is the opportunity to pray for all of humanity. The president of the French Council of Imams speaks.

Parigi (AsiaNews) – French Muslims are living the coronavirus crisis in fear, fearing the loss of family members. Mosques and other places of worship have closed.

In France, the Great Great Mosque of Paris and its new rector, Chems Eddine Hafiz, did not wait to set an example for the 4,000 other mosques and places of worship in France. He took the initiative and had the courage to call on all Muslims in France to pray at home to prevent the spread of the virus, citing Quranic verses and prophetic hadiths in his statement. In the latter, he calls on Muslims to be careful and in solidarity with their fellow citizens to fight against this virus which threatens the lives of all citizens.

Like verse 195, sura 2 says, “do not throw away [yourselves] with your [own] hands in destruction ”.

Criticism of the Muslim Brotherhood

Some imams close to the Muslim Brotherhood have criticized the rector’s decision to cancel prayers and close mosques because the virus has not yet spread widely. Events have proven the correctness of the rector’s decision to listen to President Emmanuel Macron from the start of the crisis.

Most imams see this virus as a divine test for all of humanity, including Muslims, to return to the path of righteousness.

In Islam where ablution is compulsory for the five daily prayers, cleanliness must already be present in individuals and mosques.

Imams and mosque officials recommend washing and changing prayer rugs, leaving mosque doors open so as not to touch the button, asking worshipers to bring their own rugs to minimize the risk of this contagious virus .

“Punishment” against the disbelievers

Despite this, several mosques need more cleaning and compliance with the rules, especially since some believers believe the virus was just a lie invented by the capitalists to sell their stocks.

Some Muslim extremists have also entered into the act. When the virus hit China, they kept telling Muslims that the coronavirus is just a punishment against disbelieving Chinese who break the law. When Saudi Crown Prince Mohamed bin Salman decided to close Mecca and Medina to Muslim pilgrims, these extremists saw the virus as a way to purify Muslims and remind them of their religion.


Once again, several imams known for their human attitudes have taken this opportunity to advocate humanity and solidarity between states and peoples in order to defeat this dangerous virus.

Some Muslim businessmen, such as Franco-Syrian Mohamed Izzet Khettab, have donated millions of euros to help the victims of this unprecedented epidemic. Several restaurants in Marseille, Paris and Lyon feed the needy free of charge.

Saudi Ambassador Saad al-Nefaie has stepped up his actions to answer questions from French Muslims enrolled in Ê¿Oumra and Hajj. When the crisis erupted, the Saudi government asked its embassy in Paris to set up a crisis cell so as not to endanger the lives of the pilgrims. The crown prince personally follows the file on a daily basis from the Saudi capital, especially since the Muslim community in France sends the largest contingent of pilgrims to Mecca each year.

We have dedicated a special daily coronavirus prayer for the entire human family without any consideration for racial or religious differences. We pray and think of every victim and every family affected by this serious pandemic. In doing so, we totally reject the arguments of some mentally ill who believe that the Muslim dead are martyrs who will go to heaven and the other victims will go to hell.

Muslims, citizens of Europe

If such actions did not please the extremists, the dangerousness of the virus as well as the closures of mosques have nonetheless offered them a platform to criticize and threaten those who advocate a humane and tolerant Islam, especially in this very difficult period for humanity.

Like their fellow citizens, Muslims in France respect government directives in the hope of seeing the total eradication of this invisible enemy which hurts us so much but which also brings us together in the face of death and disease.

In several Arab countries, some people have refused the return of European Muslims to their countries of origin, believing that they represent a serious danger to health while European countries treat them as full citizens.

Once again, the coronavirus crisis shows European Muslims that their countries of origin are no longer their natural home since they are perceived there as a mobile danger more than anything else.

A famous imam in France has issued a fatwa (religious opinion) which prohibits European Muslims from fleeing Europe because of the coronavirus. Rather, he tells them to show solidarity with their fellow Europeans, to live together or to die together. He is absolutely right !

In France, the coronavirus has been able to erase all racial, nationalist and religious differences. Extremists can join the coronavirus if they wish. They have no place in the midst of this crisis because we live in a time of exceptional solidarity, one that kills all viruses, including the virus of religious and racial hatred that we must all fight without mercy.

* President of the Council of Imams of France (Council of Imams of France)

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