It’s been more than two months since a novel strain of coronavirus popped up in Wuhan, China, and proceeded to spread to countries across the world. And as that’s happened, panic has continued to disseminate throughout the world. As the deadly Coronavirus is spreading through communities in many countries now, the best way to fight this spread is for everyone to practice social distancing. For this reason, many countries including India has gone in for a complete lockdown.
Now that we’re all cooped up in our respective houses, what are we supposed to do with this abundance of undifferentiated free time? Well, during this time, when social distancing has been put into effect, these videos might come to your rescue.
Twitter user Rahul Kr. Sr. going by the handle @BiharKaLal has shared a thread of ten videos with a caption: “A thread on the MOST DUMB PEOPLE OF THIS PLANET”, where Muslims are seen making bizarre excuses in the name of Islam to blatantly disregard the basic precautions advised amidst coronavirus outbreak. They are seen encouraging risky social behaviours in the name of Islam.
The first video begins with two people seen walking through a thoroughfare wearing masks. They bump into a friend and advise him to wear a mask amidst the Coronavirus outbreak. But that person arrogantly shrugs away the mask and instead takes out a Muslim skullcap from his pocket, puts it on and walks away.
A thread on the MOST DUMB PEOPLE OF THIS PLANET— Rahul Kr. Sr. (@BiharKaLal) March 21, 2020
While the government has time and again emphasised that social distancing is the only way to break the chain of infection caused by Coronavirus, a Muslim man in the second video argues with a media anchor how he would continue to go to Jama Masjid to offer Namaz. He asserts that religion is above human safety. He says: “Marne ke baad bhi upar hi jaana hain, toh koi accha kaam karte hue agar hamari pran nikal jaati hain toh isse acchi humare liye koi baat nahi hain”, roughly translated as “everyone has to die one day and go to heaven, so even if we die while we carry out this noble task we have no regrets”.
In the third video when two Muslim youths shake hands to greet each other, the third one standing there warns them against shaking hands to reduce the risk of contracting the coronavirus, which is said to be a highly contagious and spreads from person to person in close proximity. The two youths, disregarding the advice, say that Islam has taught them that shaking hands can only spread love not coronavirus.
Similarly in the fourth one, a youth warns two others not to drink water out of the same bottle. Here too, the youth is seen slapping the one who advises and says that Islam teaches them to share. “Muslim bhaiyon ka jhoota peene se ya khane se Shifa (healing) milti hain virus nahi” (sharing food and water eaten or drunk by another Muslim bothers leads to ‘Shifa’ not corona).
Similarly, in the sixth video, Muslims are seen performing Wudu (a ritual of washing performed by Muslims before prayer) in groups and insisting that this will not cause infection.
In the remaining videos too, while some Muslim youths are seen worrying about giving up ‘Sunnat’ there is a Muslim woman who seems to be quite confident that “Corona has originated from the Quran”. The enlightened woman insists that “Corona means Quran”.
This is not the first time that Muslims have cited Islam in the context of coronavirus. Earlier, a Shaheen Bagh protester by the name of Rizvana said, “Washing hands regularly is part of our lifestyle. We offer namaz five times a day and we wash our hands every time”, suggesting how she was safe from COVID-19 despite being a part of a mass gathering.
In a viral video, one of the protesters could be heard dismissing the looming threat of coronavirus by claiming that Corona emerged from the Quran. Several protestors do not think that the pandemic is a threat because the Anti-CAA protests are supposedly a ‘call from Allah‘.
At a time when social distancing is crucial to preventing the spread of the pandemic, Muslims have taken to social media to encourage people to indulge in risky social behaviour.