In a press release transmitted to the media, the Moroccan Ministry of Habous and Islamic Affairs announced the cancellation of all religious Moussems in the country, regardless of the number of participants, as a preventive measure against the Coronavirus, although the circular issued by the Ministry of the Interior prohibiting all demonstrations with a projected number of participants exceeding 1,000 people had excluded the Moussems.
This new decision of the Ministry comes after the registration in Morocco of the 6th case of infection to date, in Casablanca, Marrakech and Fez, of which one died, while the others are still in quarantine.
On social networks, many citizens wondered whether the cancellation of religious Moussems might not be a preliminary step before the cancellation of Friday prayers, which involve large gatherings of worshipers in mosques, especially after some countries, such as Norway, took this step to protect their citizens. Indeed, the Norwegian Islamic Council has announced the suspension of the Friday prayer as a precautionary measure against the spread of the epidemic, until the danger subsides. In Belgium, the largest mosque in Brussels will be closed today, Friday, in order to prevent people from gathering for prayer until further notice. The mosque administration has advised the faithful to avoid collective prayers, to pray at home or to pray individually in the mosques.
For its part, the Ministry of Islamic Affairs of Saudi Arabia, which has suspended entry to its territory for the Umrah, has announced that Friday prayers in mosques will not exceed 15 minutes, while other prayers will not exceed 10 minutes. it also banned all-day prayer in mosques or breaking the fast in mosques, while prohibiting drinking and eating.
The Iraqi authorities announced the suspension of Friday prayers in Karbala, where the death of one person infected with the virus was recorded, triggering controversy among Muslims, some of whom approve of the decision, while others reject it.