The Taliban declared that coronavirus “is a disease ordained by the Almighty Allah which has perhaps been sent by Allah because of the disobedience and sins of mankind or other reasons” and demanded that others supply them with medical needs for areas under Taliban control.
Afghanistan has 22 recorded cases of COVID-19 thus far. In a Wednesday statement, the Taliban said that since the virus is “a decree of Allah” it has to be dealt with “in accordance with the teachings of the Holy Prophet,” with recitation of prayers, more Quran reading and giving alms for repentance.
“Moreover, the safety guidelines issued by health organizations, doctors and other health experts must be observed and all safety precautions followed to the best of one’s abilities,” the group said. “But at the same time, we must not forget reliance upon Allah while desisting from panic, leaving Islamic injunctions or committing actions which could, Allah forbid, amount to religious rebellion or become the cause of spreading anxiety and psychological fear among the people.”
The Taliban added that “international relief, health and humanitarian organizations should execute their obligation of sending necessary equipment, medicine and aid to areas under our control and we shall lay the groundwork for their secure travel.”
They also warned “our brotherly businessmen” to not engage in price gouging, saying they “must also support their fellow people in this time of crisis” and “refrain from unlawful profit, price hikes and hoarding and instead show affinity towards the people.”
On Sunday, the Taliban said they had “major concerns” about detainees in Afghan government prisons and directed prisoners “to take precautionary measures and strictly follow all the published prevention guidelines in order to safeguard themselves from this dangerous virus.”
“It must be mentioned that there are around forty thousand detainees in Kabul administration run prisons where even common diseases can spread rapidly and Allah forbid, if the coronavirus were to take affect it would generate a catastrophic tragedy in which case all responsibility shall fall squarely on the shoulders of the Kabul administration and its foreign backers,” the group added.
The Taliban’s latest statement on pandemic preventive measures comes less than a week after ISIS included a full-page infographic on coronavirus prevention in the terror group’s official weekly al-Naba newsletter.
ISIS highlighted “the counsel to put trust in God and seek refuge in Him from illnesses” and “the obligation of taking up the causes of protection from illnesses and avoiding them.” The terror group also added that “the healthy should not enter the land of the epidemic and the afflicted should not exit from it,” though their claimed provinces and active cells aren’t all operating in virus-free lands: While West and Central Africa remain mostly untouched, along with no reported cases in Syria or Yemen (where ongoing war would make gauging the extent of an outbreak difficult), cases have been reported in Algeria, Egypt, Iraq, Afghanistan, India, the Philippines and Indonesia.
ISIS also reminded followers to “cover the mouth when yawning and sneezing” and cites a hadith about germs and contamination: “Cover the vessels and tie up the waterskins, for 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.”
People should also “wash the hands before dipping them into vessels,” ISIS concluded.