Responding to burial plans for Sheikh Kasnazani, Sulaimani's fatwa council reiterates ruling banning funerals due to coronavirus risk

Dervishes marching to meet body at airport
Dervishes belonging to Qadiriyya Sufi order holding pictures of their late sheikh and marching toward Sulaimani Airport on July 10, 2020 (NRT Digital Media)

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SULAIMANI — Head of the Sulaimani’s High Council of Fatwa Mohammed Abdulla reiterated on Friday (July 10) that funerals and ceremonies of all kinds where a large crowd could gather are currently banned because of the risk posed by the Kurdistan Region’s coronavirus outbreak.

It called on the government to enforce its own public health rules.

The reminder is in apparent reference to plans to conduct a burial in the city on Friday for leader of the Qadiriyya Sufi order Sheikh Muhammed Kasnazani, who died recently.

“Implementing and executing the rules and safety regulations is the work of the government and authorities. We do not have any force or power to prevent people,” Abdulla said.

Abdulla said that their ruling prohibited any gathering or ceremony that might harm the people of the Kurdistan Region.

Hundreds of dervishes forced their way across the border at the Bashmax crossing on Thursday without being tested for coronavirus infection in a serious violation of the Kurdistan Region’s public health protocols.

According to an NRT reporter on the scene, a large group of the dervishes are now marching towards Sulaimani International Airport to await the arrival of the sheikh’s body.

(NRT Digital Media)