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Monday, June 01, 2020

‘Wrong to blame religious minorities over origin of COVID-19’: US to govts

Brownback's remarks came after a congregation of Tablighi Jamaat in New Delhi's Nizamuddin area emerged as one of the biggest hotspots of the coronavirus outbreak in the country.

By: Express Web Desk | New Delhi | Updated: April 3, 2020 9:40:31 pm
Mumbai Police outside a suspected Covid-19 patient’s house in Worli on Thursday. (Express photo/Prashant Nadkar)

The United States has said it is wrong to pin blame on religious minorities for the spread of coronavirus, asserting that the “blame game” over the origin of the Covid-19 should be aggressively pushed back by governments across the world.

US Ambassador at Large for International Religious Freedom Sam Brownback Thursday, as quoted by PTI, said, “They (governments) should go out there in open messaging and say no, this is not what happened. We know where this virus originated. We know it’s a pandemic the whole world is being subjected to and it’s not something from religious minorities. But unfortunately, we are seeing the sort of blame game getting started up in different places around the world, and we hope it gets pushed back aggressively by those host governments.”

Brownback’s remarks came after a congregation of Tablighi Jamaat in New Delhi’s Nizamuddin area emerged as one of the biggest hotspots of the coronavirus outbreak in the country.

He urged religious groups to practice social distancing and sought the release of peaceful religious prisoners across the world, particularly in countries like Iran and China.

During a conference call on COVID-19 impact on religious minorities, when asked if he had any specific conversations with the Indian officials about the trending of #CoronaJihad, Brownback denied having spoken to any official in the country.

“If the person is practising their faith and they’re doing it by being a jihadist and attacking and trying to blow up buildings, I think governments have every right to lock them up. And we do that ourselves in the US, and I have had that happen in my state when I was governor of Kansas,” he said.

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