• Tuesday, Nov 24, 2020
  • Last Update : 03:35 pm

IS warns followers to avoid Europe over coronavirus fears

  • Published at 10:16 am March 16th, 2020
MIDEAST-CRISIS/ISLAMIC STATE
File photo: A member loyal to the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) waves an ISIL flag, in Raqqa, Syria June 29, 2014 Reuters

In a departure from official guidance from the WHO, the IS guidance to supporters includes covering the mouth when yawning and sneezing, as well as sealing off water containers

Notorious terrorist group Islamic State (IS) has adopted a safety-first approach to the coronavirus pandemic and advised its followers not to travel to Europe, the Politico reported citing the ultra fundamentalist group’s weekly mouthpiece.

In the latest edition of the terrorist group’s official newsletter, al-Naba, the editors who normally urge followers to carry out attacks on the western countries instead ask them to "stay away from the land of the epidemic" for the time being.

In a full-page infographic on the back cover, a list of pro-tips instructs militants on how to stop the pandemic's spread. IS members are advised to "put trust in God and seek refuge in Him from illnesses," but to also "cover the mouth when yawning and sneezing," and to wash their hands frequently.

In a departure from official guidance from the World Health Organization, the IS guidance to supporters includes covering the mouth when yawning and sneezing, as well as sealing off water containers.

One featured hadith, or saying of the prophet, reads: “There is one night in the year when pestilence descends, and it does not pass by any vessel that is not covered or any waterskin that is not tied up, but some of that pestilence descends into it.”

Those who believe they might have contracted coronavirus are told to stay away from areas under IS control in order to preserve the health of others and fulfil the holy "obligation of taking up the causes of protection from illnesses and avoiding them."

Much like more conventional publications, al-Naba has been breathlessly reporting on the coronavirus's spread since the beginning of this year, when it first wrote about the "new virus [that] spreads death and terror in China."

Although past editions of al-Naba have expressed concern that members of China's Uyghur muslim minority could bring the virus into areas under its control, in the latest newsletter the editors portray the pandemic as a problem that is affecting the outside world.

The number of confirmed cases in Europe has passed 50,000, with more than 24,000 in Italy alone.

Outbreaks of coronavirus have also been reported in other countries where Isis are active, including Iraq, Afghanistan and Indonesia

At a Pentagon press conference on Wednesday US Major General Alexus Grynkewich, the number two commander for the international anti-jihadist coalition in Iraq and Syria, said, “The Islamic State group is weakened but a resurgence is possible if the United States leaves Iraq.”

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