Al-Qaeda Throws Weight Behind COVID-19 Self-Isolation

It says the coronavirus pandemic is God’s punishment for oppression against Muslims even though Muslim-majority countries aren’t spared

The Al-Qaeda, a transnational terrorist group whose mantra is the elimination of global Western institutions and governments, has endorsed the recent health recommendations of one of the major Western institutions, the World Health Organization’s (WHO) self-isolation as a remedy against the continued spread of coronavirus across the world.

In a press statement issued by the group and obtained by HumAngle on Tuesday, Al-Qaeda draws from what it calls the Islamic tradition, to point out that people who find themselves in an area infected by a viral disease must not leave or travel to any other locality.

According to the statement, “the Prophet (Muhammad) taught us that the one who patiently remains in his locality when a viral disease spreads, his reward equals that of a martyr because of his choice to preserve and protect human life and prosperity in other localities,” the group said.

It described the pandemic as a form of divine punishment “for the injustice and oppression committed against Muslims, specifically and mankind generally by governments.”

Al-Qaeda also blamed the economic losses occasioned by the pandemic on the practice of usury (high-interest rates), which it referred to as “a declaration of war on God himself.”

ISIS (Islamic State of Iraq and Syria), a different terror group, has similarly referred to the virus as divine retribution, describing it as “God’s army that destroys the kafir (infidels)” and has urged its members not to sheathe their swords regardless of the pandemic.

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'Kunle Adebajo

Head of Investigations at HumAngle. ‘Kunle covers conflict alongside its many intricacies and fallouts. He also writes about disinformation, the environment, and human rights. He's won a couple of journalism awards, including the 2021 Wole Soyinka Award for Investigative Journalism, the 2022 African Fact-checking Award, and the 2023 Michael Elliott Award for Excellence in African Storytelling.

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