The Corona pandemic - with the threat it poses to the social and economic fabric - has brought many governments around the world into an existential crisis, and populist politicians in particular - after failing to respond to the public health crisis quickly and efficiently - have resorted to searching for scapegoats among minorities, especially Muslim, to justify what They have palaces.

With this introduction, the writer Omar Suleiman opened an article on the English Al-Jazeera website, in which he said that Muslims in particular in many countries around the world are now facing a pandemic that threatens their lives and livelihoods, and they also face a rise in institutional Islamophobia against them.

The writer, a Canadian-based scientist, called on the world to act immediately and decisively to hold these leaders and governments to account, and to ensure that "Covid-19" is not used for the rise of fascism.

In India, the writer says, when the Hindu nationalist BJP, when Covid-19 appeared, members of the country's 200 million Muslim community were accused of being "super spreaders" of the virus.

In late March, a politician from the Bharatiya Janata Party called a Muslim religious grouping in New Delhi the nickname "Corona Terrorism", claiming that the group had spread the virus, and called for punishment of Muslims who attended it with the same "terrorist punishment".

In the same context, a member of the party called for a boycott of Muslim vendors and accused them of "contaminating vegetables with saliva", and as a result, "Corona's jihad" became a common topic on social media, and because of it, many Muslims faced physical and verbal attacks.

As politicians continued their efforts to blame Muslims for the rapid spread of the virus in the country, pro-government media outlets have offered programs and published reports to support this baseless accusation, the author says.

Two Muslim women wear two masks near the headquarters of the Air Force in the capital, Colombo, on April 1 (Reuters)

An opportunity against Islam

The Indian government treated the Corona pandemic as an opportunity to redouble its anti-Islam policies. Since the start of the public health emergency, this government has not only used Muslims as a scapegoat to divert attention from deficiencies in its response to the virus, but has also managed to deepen the bias in the Hindu majority against this community, according to the author.

In Sri Lanka, which borders India, the government has chosen - according to the author - to use the epidemic as a pretext to stigmatize Muslims and spread fear of Islam, even though the island has a vibrant heritage of multiple religions and ethnicities.

The writer pointed out that the media and politicians in Sri Lanka are used to spreading anti-Islam propaganda in the face of attacks by extremist Islamic groups, which has increased Islamophobia and marginalized Muslims in the country, making them vulnerable to violence at the hands of nationalists, without the government doing enough to protect them. And bring those who attack them to justice.

And in this atmosphere - as Omar Suleiman describes - it is not surprising that some prominent media organizations and nationalists close to the current government, taking advantage of the Corona pandemic, rushed the blame on Muslims, who make up about 1% of the population, that they are responsible for the spread of the virus in the country. .

Cremation imposed

As is the case in India, Islamic religious practices were considered a "superior means of spreading the virus", and Sri Lankans were warned of the Buddhist majority not to buy food from Muslim sellers.

In April - as the author says - the government made the burning of corona victims' bodies compulsory, which contradicts Islamic beliefs related to the burial of the dead, and thus it not only deprives this minority of a basic religious duty, but rather amplifies the widespread perception that Islamic religious practices It helps spread the virus.

Since Islam, at its core, sanctifies life and honors the dead, Muslims have four duties as the right of the dead: washing his body and shrouding him in clean clothes, then praying and burial him, and most Muslim communities in Sri Lanka and elsewhere have agreed to amend burial practices in accordance with the necessary measures to stop the spread of the virus, especially with regard to Concerning the first two duties.


Although there is no scientific basis for the claim that burying the bodies of the victims contributes to the spread of the virus, the decision of the Sri Lankan government to make cremation mandatory for everyone is seen by some as a blatant act at the heart of institutional Islamophobia.

Countries around the world - from Europe to Africa and North America - are burying "Coffed-19" victims, according to detailed instructions from their governments, without causing any public health risk.

The writer pointed out that India and Sri Lanka are not the only countries in which Muslims face increased risks, abuse and discrimination due to the Corona crisis, as the Uighurs and other Turkish Muslim minorities in China are exposed to unimaginable forms of abuse.

The suffering of the Rohingya Muslims has also increased due to the Coruna epidemic - as the author says - after confirming its spread, so that hundreds of thousands of them live in densely populated areas in camps in Bangladesh, after fleeing Myanmar, where they suffered in 2017 genocide, according to the United Nations.