Jihadis Celebrate Monkeypox Outbreak As 'Divine Punishment' Of Gays, Atheist World

May 23, 2022

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Over the past few days, jihadis online have been responding to the outbreak and spread of monkeypox, an infectious virus which according to some studies may be sexually transmitted.

Salafi jihadis, who are ideologically hostile to homosexuality and often characterize gay men as "the people of Lot," or "sodomites," have been sharing news reports about monkeypox cases in Western countries, celebrating the outbreak as divine punishment of gay men and more broadly, of non-Muslim countries.

"Monkeypox For Monkeys"

A pro-Islamic State (ISIS) Telegram channel shared a news report claiming that the first suspected monkeypox case was reported in Israel, noting that the UK is taking preemptive measures to avoid an outbreak. Celebrating the news, the channel wrote: "Monkeypox reach the monkey ancestors."[1]

Another pro-ISIS Telegram channel has been posting daily updates about the number of cases in Europe, allowing followers to interact with the post using emojis to express joy or wish patients "Hell."[2]

"Punishment Of The Atheist World"

Jordan-based Salafi cleric Iyad Qunaybi highlighted in a post on Telegram a statement by the UK Health Security Agency advising "those who are gay, bisexual or MSM" to be aware that the virus can be spread from close contact. The cleric commented on the statement by implying that the spread of the disease is divine punishment of those who criticized French League and Paris Saint-Germain soccer player Idrissa Gueye for refusing to wear a jersey with the LGBTQ Pride flag.

"While they hold Idrissa Gueye accountable for not supporting homosexuals, the deadly monkeypox virus is spreading among homosexuals, as stated in the official statement of the British government. The Hadith says: Immorality does not appear among a people until they openly publicize it, and that is when plagues and pains[...] spread among them.'"[3]

Syrian jihadi cleric Majid Al-Rashid posted on his Telegram channel: "Monkeypox virus spreads in Europe. Two million cases of COVID in North Korea. And the atheist world still glorifies immorality under the pretext of freedom, entertainment, etc."[4]

Syria-based Egyptian jihadi preacher Ahmad Al-Qa'qa' shared a news report about the spread of monkeypox among gay men in the UK, and cited a hadith (saying of Prophet Muhammad) warning Muslims of the outcome of immorality: "The Messenger of Allah said [...] 'Immorality does not appear among a people until they openly publicize it, and that is when plagues and pains [...] spread among them.'"[5]

"Divine Punishment Of Gays"

A jihadi Telegram channel shared a screenshot of a tweet saying that monkeypox is spreading among gays in the UK, with four new cases confirmed, adding that health authorities are investigating the outbreak. The channel commented: "For adulterers, it is AIDS, for gays its monkeypox," citing a Quranic verse that reads: "And the punishment of the Hereafter is greater, if they only knew."[6]


[1] Telegram, May 21, 2022.

[2] Telegram, May 23, 2022.

[3] Telegram, May 19, 2022.

[4] Telegram, May 20, 2022.

[5] Telegram, May 23, 2022.

[6] Telegram, May 18, 2022.


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The Cyber & Jihad Lab monitors, tracks, translates, researches, and analyzes cyber jihad originating from the Middle East, Iran, South Asia, and North and West Africa. It innovates and experiments with possible solutions for stopping cyber jihad, advancing legislation and initiatives federally – including with Capitol Hill and attorneys-general – and on the state level, to draft and enforce measures that will serve as precedents for further action. It works with leaders in business, law enforcement, academia, and families of terror victims to craft and support efforts and solutions to combat cyber jihad, and recruits, and works with technology industry leaders to craft and support efforts and solutions.

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