Coronavirus and religion: "Muslims are cleaner than everyone else" caller claims

8 March 2020, 12:28 | Updated: 8 March 2020, 12:30

By Seán Hickey

In a conversation about how religions will have to adapt their practices because of coronavirus, Maajid Nawaz was taking calls from listeners saying how their faith has taken measures to stop the spread.

Maajid was referencing Catholic traditions of placing communion on the tongue or spreading peace as practices that must change when Naain called in to remind Maajid of the practice of ablution in Islam.

"You've forgotten to mention something positive about muslims" the caller began. "We do ablution before praying" which is the practice of washing hands, face and feet before entering the Mosque.

The caller argued "we are more hygienic than most of the listeners to your show" which took Maajid by surprise.

He waited a moment before responding to the caller, who seemed convinced that the point he made was fair.

Ablution is the practice of washing before prayer
Ablution is the practice of washing before prayer. Picture: PA

Maajid took exception to the statement, saying "this is a moment for all of us to rally together and talk about how to prevent coronavirus".

"You use the opportunity to boast about how muslims are better than everyone else" Maajid challenged Naain, not accepting the point because of its divisive undertone.

Naain however persisted, making the point that the conversation centred around practices that must be stopped. "Here is a religious practice that actually gonna benefit everybody" Naain argued.