Iraqi researcher Jomaa Al-Atwani has it all figured out. He said recently on Iraq’s Al-Nujaba (that’s Nujaba, not Notjobba) TV that “Trump and other American officials ridicule anyone who says that this virus was produced in the American biological labs, as part of a biological war,” but that’s exactly what it is, “a biological war against the peoples of the region.” Al-Atwani is not alone: the world, particularly the Islamic world, is rife with conspiracy theories about where the coronavirus comes from and what it was designed to do – and yes, the Great Satan and the Little Satan, that is, the United States and Israel, are usually the culprits.
Al-Atwani explained: “The problem is that everyone believes in germ warfare, including America, which talks about this kind of war being the next war, but, at the same time, are not ready to accept [that this is] such a war. You are now waging a war against the whole world. You are waging a war against all the Islamic nations….How is this any different from a biological war? Ultimately, it should not come as a surprise that we claim America is waging a biological war against the peoples of the region.”
Of course! How could we have missed this? “Ultimately,” Al-Atwani continued, “the means are many but the goal is one: Killing the people, keeping them in a state of extreme poverty, and instigating war among the countries of the region on a sectarian, racial, and ethnic basis. If America fails to do so with this war, it will surely find other ways to kill and massacre the Arab and Islamic peoples. For us, there is no difference between a direct or proxy military war by America, and the biological war that the people of the region are now suffering.”
Iran’s Supreme Leader, the Ayatollah Khamenei, meanwhile, explained Iran’s rejection of an American offer of help with the coronavirus pandemic on the basis of his own conspiracy theory. “I do not know how real this accusation is but when it exists, who in their right mind would trust you to bring them medication?” said Khamenei. “Possibly your medicine is a way to spread the virus more.” The coronavirus, he added, “is specifically built for Iran using the genetic data of Iranians which they have obtained through different means.”
In Nigeria, similarly, according to the Nigerian publication Punch, the “leader of Izala Muslim sect in Plateau State, Sheikh Sani Jingir, claims coronavirus is Western conspiracy to stop Muslims from performing their religious rites. The Islamic leader in a sermon on an Izala TV monitored in Kaduna on Tuesday insisted that coronavirus was not real….Jingir said any Muslims who believed in Trump and stopped praying at the Holy Mosque in Mecca should seek for God’s forgiveness.”
Meanwhile, the Yemeni Islamic scholar Ibrahim Al-Ubeidi is not as concerned as Al-Atwani, Khamenei or Jingir are about the American role in spreading the coronavirus. For him, it’s all the fault of, you guessed it, the Jews, and – here’s a novel twist – their stooges in Riyadh. It turns out that the House of Saud, according to Al-Ubeidi, is “a Jewish family par excellence.” It was placed in power in Arabia in order to seize control of Mecca and Medina from the Muslims and put them under Jewish control.
In the same vein, albeit with a different spin, the Egyptian Dr. Makram El Nabrawy said in connection with the coronavirus: “Through my readings of the situation and the realization of what I read in the past about conspiracies that are carried out today in full detail, which were mentioned in the book ‘Protocols of the Elders of Zion.’” Another article in Al Watan stated: “The hypothesis that the Corona crisis is related to the Deal of the Century, which was announced by US President Donald Trump in the presence of representatives of the Organization of the Elders of Zion and Zionism in conjunction with the spread of the virus in the Chinese state of Wuhan and the transmission of infection to the rest of the world, and I think that this hypothesis is the strongest and most explanatory of this crisis.”
Why, of course. What other explanation could there be? And imagine how much progress could be made if all these conspiracy theorists devoted their intellectual energy to mitigating the novel coronavirus crisis than to finding novel ways to blame the usual suspects.
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.