TEL AVIV — Arab social media users have been extensively discussing Hurricane Irma and the extent to which the powerful storm was “divine punishment” or a natural phenomenon that is appropriate to the climate in the region.
Saudi religious figure Abou Abdelaziz quoted the Quran and then wished harm to those who are not “brothers.” He wrote, “Hurricane Irma – ‘Only Allah knows who his soldiers are.’ Allah make the hurricane easy for our brothers and make it destructive for those who destroyed the land with their crimes and their wickedness.”
— أبو عبدالعزيز (@A_a11z22) September 11, 2017
Jordanian-Palestinian journalist and analyst Yasser Zaatreh chose to preach to the Americans, “The hurricanes are haunting the Americans and costing them tens of billions of dollars. Their catastrophes also didn’t stop after they were hurt by the election of Trump, and here comes the hurricane!! It’s not only politicians who create events!!”
الأعاصير تطارد أمريكا، وتستنزف عشرات المليارات. لم يتوقف البؤس عند ابتلائهم بترامب، فجاءت الأعاصير!! ليست السياسة وحدها من يصنع الأحداث!!
— ياسر الزعاترة (@YZaatreh) September 9, 2017
Qatari activist Bint al-Masnad wrote, “The 450 billion Trump took from Saudi Arabia with a kiss has been wasted on the reconstruction of Houston. So, where will he get the money this time to rebuilt the damage caused by Irma!!??”
ال450 مليار اللي خذها ترامب وفوقها بوسه من السعودية بيصرفها على إصلاح هيوستون طيب من وين بيجيبها هالمره عشان يصلح ماسيدمره إعصار إيرما!!؟؟
— بنت المسند 🇶 (@aljf00l) September 4, 2017
The moderators of the Islamic account “Fortress of Muslims” wrote of Irma, “The strongest country in the world economically, technologically and militarily is standing impotent, weak and beaten before one soldier from the soldiers of Allah…! Praise Allah, how amazing you are.”
The account “The End Times” wrote, “Hurricane Harvey, Hurricane Irma, hurricanes that destroy the U.S. The hurricane is a soldier of Allah. In a previous discussion we referred to a prophecy that tells us they will be destroyed by the destructive hurricanes.”
— آخر الزمان (@alnazeee) September 1, 2017
The account of Egyptian satirist Jo wrote, “The hurricane went up to American at a loss about equal to what Trump took from Saudi Arabia…!! I wonder who cursed the money Trump took?”
— Joe (@youssef_hussen) September 11, 2017
Yet there were others who lectured social media users about attributing causes for the hurricane.
Waseem Yousef, a well-known religious figure from the United Arab Emirates wrote, “No one wishes death on the people of Florida unless Allah has taken pity out of his heart. There are innocent women and children there and we pray to Allah for their safety.”
— وسيم يوسف (@waseem_yousef) September 9, 2017
Saudi religious figure Abdelaziz al-Moussa wrote, “Allah protect the people from hurricane Irma, save the innocent, the women, the children and the old. Allah protect the human beings and protect the animals. Allah protect the land from all destruction.”
اللهم أحفظ البشر من #اعصار_إيرما ونجي الأبرياء والأطفال والشيوخ والنساء، اللهم أحفظ الناس والحيوانات، وأحفظ الأرض من عليها من كل دمار وهلاك.
— عبدالعزيز الموسى (@A_2016_s) September 10, 2017
Hamzeh al-Muzeini, a lecturer at the King Saud University in Riyadh wrote, “Those attributing the hurricane to Allah and claiming that this is divine punishment underrate Allah. These hurricanes have been hitting the same area since before the founding of America.”
الذين يتألون على الله بوصف هذه العواصف بأنها عقاب يسيئون الأدب معه تعالى.فهذه الأعاصيرتضرب المناطق نفسها في كل سنة ومن قبل أن تُكتشف أمريكا=
— حمزة قبلان المزيني (@hmozainy) September 11, 2017
Saudi author and media personality Halime al-Muthaffar wrote, “The gloating of the tragedies of non-Muslims stem from a sick heart, unhealthy mind and deficient consciousness. The Muslim is supposed to be born compassionate.”
الفرح والشماتة بمصائب غيرالمسلمين والكوارث عليهم لاينبع إلا من قلب مريض وعقل جاهل ووعي ناقص.فالمسلم سوي الفطرة تملأ قلبه الرحمه#اعصار_إيرما
— حليمة مظفر (@halimamuthffar) September 10, 2017
Egyptian media personality Wael Qandil also expressed anger toward those who filled social media with joy for the destruction of the U.S., writing, “Is it possible to define as a natural person those who wish that the hurricane will kill the man and stone? Can he be defined as a human?”
هل يمكن أن يكون إنساناً طبيعياً، ذلك الذي يتمنى أن يهلك الإعصار البشر والحجر؟!
هل يمكن أن يكون إنساناً أصلاً؟
— wael kandil (@waiel65) September 9, 2017