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Some Iraqis rejecting coronavirus warnings

The Kurdistan Regional Government in Iraq has imposed a ban on communal worship in mosques because of the new coronavirus, but some people are ignoring the danger.
A worker in protective suit sprays disinfectants in a barber shop at popular market, following an outbreak of the coronavirus, in Basra, Iraq March 10, 2020. REUTERS/Essam al-Sudani - RC24HF95V7S1

SULAIMANIYAH, Iraq — Iraqi Kurdistan health officials’ recommendations seem at odds with some religious leaders’ advice on dealing with the new coronavirus, Covid-19.

Some prominent clerics there are reminding Muslims that the Quran promises a martyr’s reward for the faithful who trust in Allah despite pestilence like Covid-19. Some are sharing a Kurdish poem that reads, “You youths take the mosque’s path / do not care about what is on your way / our mosque’s congregation is far away from epidemics.”

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