After learning of the initial reports of the spread of coronavirus in China and the subsequent deaths that occurred as a result, many around the Arab world rejoiced. Arab social media threads attributed the spread of the virus to Allah’s will to punish the Chinese for their cruel treatment of the Uighur Muslim population in western China.
When the virus made its way beyond China’s borders and landed in Iran, the Arab world was even happier. Many of the images of Iranian suffering as a result of coronavirus and its rapid spread throughout the country went viral on social media. Again, many Arabs claimed that this was also a result of Allah’s wrath on Iran because of their heinous acts against Sunni Muslims in Iraq, Yemen and Syria.
Although quick to interpret the reason for the spread of the virus in China, Arabs soon learned that the rumor that the country’s Muslims were spared from its deadly path was unfortunately wrong.