The speech warned about the spread of fake news that could create panic and make the situation even more complicated.
Rabat – The Minister of Islamic affairs, Ahmed Taoufiq, sent a message about the novel coronavirus for imams to read at Friday prayers in all mosques in Morocco.
Islam, the message said, “has the best commands to protect us from this new virus, by linking the principle of faith with cleanliness and purity, that the Qur’an and the Sunnah promoted, in order to purify the Muslim’s body and soul.”
The speech, sent to imams via the Islamic affairs ministry’s delegates in all regions, aimed to raise awareness among Moroccans about taking precautions regarding the spread of the virus without panicking.
The speech also promoted the well-known precautionary measures of avoiding handshakes, washing hands regularly with soap or hand sanitizer, and avoiding large gatherings.
The ministry’s move adds to the government’s efforts in fighting the COVID-19 outbreak. Morocco has only recorded seven cases so far, including one death.
Taoufiq also warned about the spread of fake news that might cause panic and make the situation even more complicated.
The ministry accused social media of amplifying the danger and spreading rumors.
“Some social media outlets have shown a lot of [misleading information]. Believers are not meant to believe rumors, especially not in this case,” the letter contained.
“… such rumors are likely to push people to hoard groceries and goods, in a state of panic, which will open the door for speculators to manipulate prices, and cause economic damage, which is contradictory with Islam’s teachings” Taoufiq added.
Some Moroccan markets have seen an increase in the cost of foodstuffs.
During a presentation at the cabinet meeting on Thursday in Rabat, the minister of industry, Moulay Hafid Elalamy, said “a slight increase was recorded in the price of certain food products as well as an important increase of hygiene products’ price.”
However, the industrial supply chains do not expect large-scale disruptions in the short term, because industry actors provided alternative supply chains, assured Elalamy.