On March 9, 2020, the International Union of Muslims Scholars (IUMS), which is supported by Qatar, posted on its website an article by one of its members, Sheikh 'Abd Al-Razzaq Qassoum, who is also chair of the Association of Algerian Muslim 'Ulama. In the article he described the coronavirus pandemic as a sign heralding Judgement Day and as divine punishment for the oppression of Muslims in China, Palestine and other parts of the world. He expressed puzzlement at what he called the silence of the Muslims and their leaders in the face of the persecution of their brothers around the world, and even accused some of these leaders of encouraging and abetting this oppression.
'Abd Al-Razzaq Qassoum (source: Echoroukonline.com)
The following are translated excerpts from his article.
"These days the world and the people are shaken… by the deadly coronavirus pandemic, which killed thousands of people in China and [then] spread like wildfire to every part of the world. The pandemic confounded hospital doctors and kept laboratory workers awake at night. All of China’s abilities, economic power and technologies did not avail it, and neither did its ideologies. The pandemic confounded the planes in the skies and the harbors and airports on the ground. It forced people to wear masks, forced travelers from China to go into quarantine, and made holiday resorts irrelevant…
"The world was shaken by the appearance of the Chinese virus, as the panic spread to every country and every laboratory in the hospitals and clinics mobilized to stop it. But ideological China has suffered another plague, an ideological one, manifest in the quiet political persecution of millions of Chinese Muslims who did nothing wrong, other than be Muslim.
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"Bless you, Allah, for [branding] the body of the Chinese giant with signs heralding the coming of Judgement Day. You exposed the helplessness [of this giant], as opposed to your immense power, and avenged the oppressed Chinese Muslims. Today China has two faces: the face of the Chinese plague that afflicts its body, and the face of religious persecution, which sentenced the Chinese Muslims to isolation, oppression and even arrests. So why is it that the world, with all its [different] faiths and ideologies, was outraged by this disease and set forth [to fight it] in the air and on the ground, yet did not bat an eyelash at the torment of the downtrodden Muslims?
"This is a world full of contrasts, whose power-balances, formulas and standards are awry. It is preoccupied with the 'Deal of the Century' instead of the 'Trial of the Century.' This Deal of the Century denies the rights of the oppressed Palestinians, for it robs them of their land and rips it to shreds… while pleasing the aggressive, occupying Zionists, welcoming the oppression they commit, strengthening them and encouraging their erosion [of the Palestinian land]. The ‘free’ and ‘civilized’ world also ignores all the corruption, tyranny and oppression that take place in various [other] places, in more than one country.
"Did the arrogant [people] of the world, [who speak] in the name of politics, economy and technology, not consider that this Chinese epidemic, which was made in China, is [Allah's] answer to [the pleas] of the oppressed? Do they not understand that Allah gives oppressors a respite, but does not ignore them, and eventually captures them, never to release them again? It was surely the sighs and the pleas of the tormented in the prisons of the aggressive Zionists and in the concentration camps of the arrogant Chinese that Allah answered [by causing this epidemic]…
"I was surprised by the terrible silence of the Muslims people and leaders in the face of what is happening to their persecuted brothers. I was even more surprised at those who conspire with the oppressors, helping them economically and encouraging them to continue… This is a grave [act], and Muslim society suffers every kind of flaw, because it its leaders…
"Allah has given [the world] signs and warnings in the form of this epidemic that emerged in China, and by shaking the seats of the tyrants in the U.S. and Palestine. All that is left is for our [own] leaders to take a lesson from [the fate of] these arrogant [tyrants]. History has already taught us that it is decreed [by Allah] that the [correct] ideas, whether nationalist or religious, will eventually triumph, no matter the initial number of victims. Just as [the Muslims] defeated those who tormented them in the trench, and just as November's children defeated the colonialist occupiers, so too will the Chinese Muslims defeat their tormenters, the oppressed Palestinians will defeat their hangmen, and all those with [stolen] rights will defeat their oppressors. That was Allah's way with those who have passed from the world, and it will be his way with the [current oppressors]. Never shall we find an alternative to the way of Allah. There is no tyrant who will not be [defeated] by a greater tyrant, and there is no oppressed [people] to whom Allah will not eventually grant victory. We fear that the epidemic… and the punishment… will have victims among the Muslims [as well], and repercussions for the Muslims. But recovery will eventually come, and it will be the lot of the believers who spoke the truth and who believe in [the their own] rights…"
 Iumsonline.org, March 9, 2020.
 A reference to a story in the Quran (85:4-9) about the Muslims' enemies who cast them into a trench full of fire.
 A reference to the young Algerians who fought for their country's independence from France. November's Children is the name of a documentary film by Moussa Haddad about this period.