In light of the fact that the Qur’an says: “Muhammad is the apostle of Allah. Those who follow him are ruthless to unbelievers, merciful to one another” (48:29), it is no surprise that at least one Muslim has issued a call to weaponize the coronavirus against non-Muslims – and he is right here in the United States.
Bahgat Saber, a Muslim Brotherhood activist based in New York, recently said in a video that “whoever has flu-like symptoms – cold, fever, sneezing – should pay a visit to his ‘friends’ who work for Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi’s government.”
Al-Sisi toppled the Muslim Brotherhood regime in Egypt in 2013, and Saber sees the coronavirus as an opportunity for Muslim Brotherhood members in Egypt to get revenge: “The moment you get flu-like symptoms like a cold or a fever, go to the public prosecution office that is closest to your house. Go to any building where they might illegally incarcerate people. If you can, go to a building of the Security Investigations Service, and if you can’t, just wait for them and sneeze on their cars when they pass by.”
Saber let his imagination run wild, thinking of ways Muslim Brotherhood members could weaponize the coronavirus: “If you want the state to care about coronavirus and start dealing with this disease, whoever among you suffers from influenza, fever, or cold, should just casually walk into a police station, or go to an office of the public prosecution, or to a courthouse. If you are a soldier, you can go into the defense ministry, and shake hands with all the generals of the military and the police. The same is true with the justice system. [People should target] the businessmen and actors who support Sisi. He should go to Media Production City. If there are people who oppose the military coup and work in Media Production City, and who have contracted anything – cold, fever, anything… They should go there and shake hands with everybody.…If you have contracted coronavirus, you should exact revenge! Avenge yourself, avenge the honor of your women, avenge the people who are in prison, and avenge the oppressed people. Go there. Why die alone? When you die, why die alone?”
Allah might take al-Sisi out himself, Saber acknowledged, but encouraged Muslims to give the deity some help: “Perhaps coronavirus will topple Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi. Our Lord is capable of doing anything. But you have to make proper use of this.”
Nor did he limit his call for murder-by-coronavirus to Egypt alone: “People who are outside of Egypt should go to any consulate or embassy. They are all licentious villains and sons of bitches….Exact revenge!…If you know someone [sick], send him on a visit. You’ll be doing him a favor.…When you talk to people, they say to you: ‘We don’t have machine guns, we don’t have F-16 plans, we don’t have this and that…’ But now you have the coronavirus culture.”
Saber declared that he was ready to use the coronavirus for jihad right in New York: “If I am infected, I will go to the Egyptian consulate here. They are all corrupt sons of bitches. I’ve been dealing with them for years.”
One possibility, however, could throw a wrench into Saber’s dreams of mayhem: some Muslim leaders are claiming that Muslims can’t catch the disease – if, that is, they took proper precautions. DW reported soon after the pandemic began that “in Afghanistan, phylacteries are printed out Koran verses blessed by an imam and worn on clothes to ward off disease and evil spirits. Now that coronavirus is spreading there, there has been a boom in sales.”
In India, meanwhile, Muslims continue to protest against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), which offers refuge in India to non-Muslims who are persecuted in Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Bangladesh. The government has asked them to end the protests in light of the coronavirus, but many have refused. One woman explained that the protesters had nothing to worry about, because “corona has come from the Quran. Corona means Quran. It came from there. And what is this Corona? Even more deadlier diseases will emerge after this. God willing, we won’t be harmed. It’s for them to fear. We are not scared.”
Other Muslims aren’t, either. Some are sharing videos on TikTok encouraging their coreligionists not to practice social distancing – that’s for infidels. In one, a believer tells another who refuses to shake his hand: “Islam teaches us that shaking hands spreads love not coronavirus.” In another video, a pious Muslim is stopped from drinking from the water bottle of a person who has been infected with coronavirus. He responds: “Sharing food eaten by another Muslim leads to Shifa (healing) and not corona.”
But if Muslims can’t get coronavirus, how will they be able to use it in jihad against their enemies? Maybe Bahgat Saber will be kind enough to explain this to us in his next video.
Robert Spencer is the director of Jihad Watch and a Shillman Fellow at the David Horowitz Freedom Center. He is author of 19 books, including the New York Times bestsellers The Politically Incorrect Guide to Islam (and the Crusades) and The Truth About Muhammad. His latest book is The Palestinian Delusion: The Catastrophic History of the Middle East Peace Process. Follow him on Twitter here. Like him on Facebook here.