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Viral video urges Indonesian Muslims to march on virus hotspots – VIDEO

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PHOTO: Thai health authorities meeting a flight returning from Indonesia on Monday after passengers attended 'Dawah'

A video clip, showing Indonesian Muslim pilgrims being urged to gather at Covid-19 hotspots is getting lots of attention. Some are concerned that the best intentions of the muslim leaders could lead to uncontrolled local outbreaks of Covid-19.

In the clip, Muslim worshippers on a “Dawah” (missionary) pilgrimage are encouraged not to be afraid of the virus and to march to locations where it’s spreading.

There have been reports that some religious leaders in the deep South may have shared similar messages. The rumours have fuelled criticism on Thai social media that this might be at least part of the reason why Covid-19 has spread so quickly there.

The Public Health Ministry reports that the number of Covid-19 coronavirus cases in the largely Muslim deep South provinces of Pattani, Narathiwat, Yala, Songkhla and Satun has reached 230, a combined second only to total infections in Bangkok.

Dozens of passengers tested positive after returning from religious gatherings in Malaysia and Indonesia last week. 42 of the 76 Muslim Thais who returned from Indonesia on Monday tested positive for Covid-19.

Members of the Thai Islamic community travelled to Indonesia to preform “Dawah ” an Islamic missionary tradition, amidst a rise of Covid-19 cases in Indonesia, and have returned with over half testing positive. The staff from Lion Air, ground and air staff, have had to isolate themselves for 14 days.

SOURCE: The Nation

 

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Jack Burton is an American writer, broadcaster, linguist and journalist who has lived in Asia since 1987. A native of the state of Georgia, he attended the The University of Georgia's Henry Grady School of Journalism, which hands out journalism's prestigious Peabody Awards. His works have appeared in The China Post, The South China Morning Post, The International Herald Tribune and many magazines throughout Asia and the world. He is fluent in Mandarin and has appeared on television and radio for decades in Taiwan, Mainland China, Hong Kong and Macau.

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