Al-Qaeda Supporters Say Morocco's Earthquake Is 'Divine Punishment' Of Sinners; ISIS Supporter Celebrates 'The Perishing Of Polytheists'

September 13, 2023

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Over the past days, jihadis on Telegram published posts commenting on the earthquake that hit Morocco and the flooding in Libya's coastal city of Derna. Some argued that the natural disasters are divine punishment of Muslims who do not abide by Islamic law and reject the jihadi doctrine, while others criticized the international relief response, claiming that Western countries do not extend support to Muslims.

ISIS Supporter: Natural Disasters Are Signs Of Allah's Anger, Vengeance

The pro-Islamic State (ISIS) Telegram channel "Awar Al-Haq" published an article authored by Ahlam Al-Nasr, arguing that the earthquake in Morocco is a divine "lesson" meant to remind Muslims of their commitment to their religion.

Al-Nasr began by offering condolences to "monotheists" only, a term that ISIS uses to refer to those who support its doctrine. She also expressed joy for the death of others who do not abide by the shari'a:

"To begin with: May Allah Almighty accept every monotheist who died in the earthquake, heal every monotheist who was wounded or injured, and compensate every monotheist for the harm he suffered. Praise be to Allah for ridding the country and the worshipers from the sinners and other immoral people, and for demolishing immoral sites and shrines."

Arguing that natural disasters are divine punishment of those who fight ISIS and reject its interpretation of Islam, Al-Nasr added: "Corruption has spread on land and sea due to people's actions and polytheism. Heresies and superstitions have spread, and the Caliphate has been fought despite it being the command of Allah Almighty and the essence of our existence in life. And vice has spread and climbed the peaks [...] – Will this [corruption] and others like it go without accountability or punishment?!"

Answering her own question, she argued that Allah would never neglect the punishment of criminals, nor will He forget those believe in Him and do righteous deeds: "The earthquakes, my brothers, should shake our being internally just as they shook our lives externally. It has become clear that the Lord, Blessed and Most High, is angry, and the Morocco earthquake is only an example of this. Whoever truly wants to escape the wrath of Allah Almighty should re-assess his actions and understand that such sins are committed by fools, [and] are not a challenge, [and that] this nonsense is used by those who are slaves to their passion and Satan."

Doubling down on the claim that natural disasters are signs of Allah's anger, she stated that sins committed by Muslims "summon His anger, disgust, and vengeance."

Al-Qaeda Supporter: Survivors Should Repent

Similarly, Al-Qaeda supporter Fu'ad Al-Khatib, who runs the Telegram channel "Without Title," wrote that the earthquake is a message of warning from Allah to Muslim sinners.[1]

His post featured a video showing men and women dancing at a wedding party in Marrakech when the earthquake took place. He commented:

"Morocco – songs, music, dancing and mingling [of the sexes] during the earthquake. Look at the mercy of Allah Almighty and the greatness of His patience with those who publicly disobey Him. If Allah wanted to bury them [...] they would all have become, in the blink of an eye, mere numbers among the victims, but He was gracious to them and is giving them a new opportunity that must be taken and heeded before it is too late."

Al-Qaeda Supporter: Earthquake Shows Jews Live In Morocco

The pro-Al-Qaeda "Abi Obaida Al-Neqadi" Telegram channel wrote: "the plight of Morocco and its earthquake revealed that Jews exist in abundance in Morocco and in many regions."[2]

Reflecting on the decades-old tensions between Morocco and Algeria, which further deteriorated in August 2021, when Algiers broke diplomatic relations with Rabat, he accused the Jews in Morocco of "crafting [the public] opinion that incites division between the two peoples of Algeria and Morocco on the basis of nationalism."

The channel further condemned Moroccan King Mohammed VI for allowing "Israel to have a presence among the wonderful, generous, religious, and genuine people" of Morocco.

Syria-Based Group Ahrar Al-Sham: Earthquake Exposes Hypocrisy Of The International Community

Leader of Syria-based jihadi group Ahrar Al-Sham Abu 'Obaida released a statement in which he criticized the international relief response to the crisis in Morocco and Libya, saying:[3]

"The Libyan tragedy brings more tears and aches to the hearts as days go by. It was preceded by the Moroccan earthquake. As usual, the hypocrisy of the international order in providing relief to those afflicted in Islamic countries is evident. Our Most Merciful Lord wants the best for our Islamic nation, so He tests every country according to what His great wisdom requires. Allah might heap calamities upon people in order to make them ascetic in their rich world and test their yearning for the Hereafter, or to expiate their sins, raise their ranks, and increase the stores of their reward on the Day of Resurrection. So be patient, our Islamic nation, for you are a compassionate nation, and the promise made to those who are patient is Paradise."


[1] Telegram, September 13, 2023.

[2] Telegram, September 13, 2023.

[3] Telegram, September 13, 2023.

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