Apr 19, 2020 — The body is then taken away by relatives on a stretcher to be washed according to the Islamic rites of washing the deceased, known as ghusl (

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Daniel Coyle ( dcoyle@iom.int ) and Candice Holt, ( ch@acaps.org ) Edition # 4 , 19 April 2020 Executive s ummary This consultation s investigate how COVID – 19 are intertwined and how this impacts their interpretation of the current situation and their uptake of official COVID – 19 response measures. This i ncludes an examination of religious views of COVID – 19, how this might affect healthcare guidance, information on Ramadan & Eid in light of Coronavirus, burial practices and challenges in the camps . The information in this report is intended to support Community Engagement, Site Management and Protection actors who require a deeper understanding of religious pract ices within the Rohingya community related to COVID – 19. Key findings : – Rohingya believe that COVID – 19 is a punishment and test from Allah as an examination of their faith . In this, no one reported that there would, or could, be an epidemic during Ramadan and the advent of an epidemic may lead them to find spiritual reasons behind worldly ills as they have with displacement and other difficult events. This may lead non – religious activities to be judged and punished by the majority of people who think COVID – 19 is a religious punishment. – Religious guidance and seeking treatment are not perceived as being at odds with one another. People believe that doctors should be consulted for prevention and treatment of COVID – 19 . However, most , if not all, believe the fact that the virus does is evidence that COVID – 19 is a punishment sent by Allah to test them and their piety. – W are not generally perceived to conflict , the re is inconsistent application of COVID – 19 guidance to religious traditions and practices . Some Mosques continue to operate as normal, some with reduced capacity, and other religious gatherings have not necessarily been halted. It is wrong to assume that t his guidance is being universally received and followed within the camps. – and failure to conform to strict understandings of purdah are being cited by women and men as a reason for the Coronavirus . This may lead to great er policing of women, reducing their access further and subjecting them to GBV. – Many people thought it was justified to adjust prayers and other religious activities to respond to COVID – 19 . However, many practices that violate COVID – 19 guidance were found to be continuing or to have increased. For example, many people initially responded to the Coronavirus by increasing religious gatherings like Talim and Jammat as a way to protect themselves from prayer. – There is inconsistent and uneven engagement of rel igious leaders and officials in relation to COVID – 19. Some people reported that while initially religious leaders were engaged, this has reduced since COVID – 19 essential and critical restrictions were implemented.

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Overview of Rohingya Perceptions: Edition 4 2 All participants expressed the importance of being able to uphold the religious observance of Ramadan and Eid as critical, as many believe that their ability to fulfil their religious obligations at this time impacts their susceptibility to the virus . Howe ver, the majority of consultations identified that the current restriction s will impact their ability to observe these practices as normal, with some being more open to necessary alteration than other s . A ll expressed that being unable to fully observe thei r religious obligations during Ramadan and Eid will be a major source of stress for the community. R ecommendations : – A potential social norms backlash needs to be prepared for, mitigated, and responded to by all actors, especially Health, CwC, Site Managem ent, and Protection. adherence to social norms , like purdah , is believed o Religious leaders favourable address harmful social norms and interpretations arising from COVID – 19. To improve engagement with religious leaders : – Ensure c ontinuous engagement of r eligious leaders by providing them with r outine updates and information. Continuous flow of information, even concerning information, is important to people. – Do not try to instead find common ground between interpretations and seek rather to discuss various interpr etations of the situation given information about COVID – 19 . Be aware that some people already feel recent religious engagement has change their culture and religion. – Explore traditions – Engage and discuss COVID – 19 more broadly with Rohingya, including how they understand it religiously . People preferred being consulted and provided with information when their broader cultural and religious vie ws were solicited. To support Rohingya during Ramadan and Eid in light of C O VID – 19 restrictions and outbreak : – Ensure that regular support for Ramadan and Eid celebrations are continued within COVID – 19 guidance . Consider providing additional support throug h mosque committees for iftar (food for breaking fast) and other observances to show support for communities during difficult times. If this is withdrawn or reduced, people are likely to feel more abandoned. – Be aware that an outbreak during Ramadan will li kely cause significant panic and upset within the camps because they month is believed to be holy. This will likely be interpreted within religious frameworks and may exasperate social – protection issues. People are already feeling afraid, abandoned, and op pressed. To ensure dignified burials : – Ensure there are adequate materials for families to bury the ir dead. In addition to burial shrowds , materials like bamboo for weaving, fragrances , and other small items can and should be provided. – Ensure that there are spaces at burials so that they can be visited later to offer prayers. – Support mosque committees with funeral materials, biers and stretchers to transport the dead. – Support grievin g families and communities with food to conduct prayer feasts to honour the dead if there are many fatalities.

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Overview of Rohingya Perceptions: Edition 4 3 Introduction This edition of COVID – 19 examines religious practices, beliefs and traditions that are related to the epidemic and its operational multi – faceted subject to discuss with respect to COVID – 19 . T here are many impacts to consider from changes to communal praying in mosques, to burial practices t hat might change in the event of mass fata lities, or to the engagement of religious leaders in COVID – 19 awareness and response programming. Overall, Rohingya have largely understood the Coronavirus according the predominant Deobandi school of Islam that they most commonly follow. Within this world view, suffering and hardships like COVID – 19 or even the g enocide they endured are often attributed to a lack of sincere or genuine practice of Islam according to its traditions. It is important to keep this point in mind when considering the impact that such events may have on the population. While they are no doubt difficult to pin point or predict, they may signal that a COVID – 19 epidemic will exacerbate scrutiny of people, especially women, who are seen as threatening religious norms and traditions, and disturb a population that has already experienced significant hardship and disr uption to their traditional customs and practices. Methodology : The i nformation in this report reflects the findings of several separate inquiries: 11 consultations ( 5 female, 4 male, and 2 mixed) between participants 18 – 7 0 years of age across camps ( 1E, 10, 12, 16, 18, 20ext . ) conducted between 30 th of March to the 2nd April 2020 ; 6 consultations with imams in Camp 20 extension and Camps 24 and 25 of teknaf; 9 consultations ( 3 female, and 6 male) that were conducted on the subject of Rohingya c ultural practices on death and funerals across 3 camps (9, 15, 20Ext.) in the first week of March , 2020 . All consultations were conducted by a team of 15 experienced Rohingya field researchers ( 7 females , 8 males) that have been trained in qualitative research methods by CwC program me , under Site Management . They are supported by four Bengali CwC staff with a high degree of English and Rohingya language fluency and two international researchers experienced in qualitative dat a collection. Data is collected by IOM and jointly analysed with the Rohingya volunteers themselves . Interviews are recorded with consent , transcribed and checked by Rohingya volunteers and Bengali staff . Data is then analysed with q ualit at ive d ata a nalysis software through matrices. Findings are discussed with volunteers during weekly meetings and their interviews are included as part of the dataset. General information and answers to questions were provided to participants following the focus group discussions. This report is one in a series on perceptions of the COVID – in collaboration with ACAPS. Rohingya refugee s are not a homogenous group and existing data available does not allow for disaggregated analysis of t heir own needs and experiences . This report does not represent the different practices between different Rohingya families nor investigate the current funeral practices of the Christian and Hindu Rohingya. Limi t ations : The information outlined in this report does not represent the official views of the International Organization for Migration (IOM) or ACAPS in Bangladesh . I t reflects an analysis of the views of Rohingya refugees not be read as a definitive accou Coronavirus or COVID – 19 across all camps, and it is likely to change with the circumstances and as more consultations are conducted. Teknaf camps were exclusively consulted on death and funeral practices, whereas

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Overview of Rohingya Perceptions: Edition 4 4 consult ation on religion and COVID – 19 were exclusively held in Kutupalong Balukhali E xpansion due to the volunteers being based there ; therefore, th e data is not representative of the entire refugee population . Rohingya , Islam & h ealth Tablighi Jamaat are documented in Rakhine and observed by programme staff in the camps. 1 Deobandism is a school of Islamic teaching that developed under later periods of British Colonial rule as a revivalist tradition that attempted to reshape Muslim individuals, communities and societies to reflect the authentic tradition of the Muslim faith and religion , and promote greater uniformity within the Muslim world. 2 Deobandism was largely a reaction to the perceived forced conversions of Muslims in the subcontinent during British rule and the critiques of British Empire in the subcontinent. A religious reviv a core part of the movement , along with variou s practices that encouraged religious study, retreats, and education. 3 lack of piousness or faith on the part of the person who suffers. This is reflected in quotes like: eople are saying that the genocide was our fault because we had sinned. Maybe we did sin. Otherwise, what is the ( Elderly man, Camp 18 , December field notes) All participants across 11 consultations believe that COVID – 19 was created by Allah and only Allah can stop the pandemic. It is believed that Al lah has created this disease to punish those who have sinned and those who are not devoted to Allah . All of the disease has come B ecause it is a new disease people are talking about it in different ways. There is no medicine for it. The Alem [Wise people] are telling this as the end of the world, and it is a Gozab people are not performi ng prayers and more transgressions are being committed regularly – us because people are committing wrong doings so that they turn into good people . (Camp 1 E , Men) Medicine has not been found and a lot of scientists any medicine so its Gozob from Allah. P eople should be aware of these situation. The Quran says , Fear Allah and try to escape from the plague To avoid this disease, you must repent to God. (camp 20 extension, Imam) 1 Boutry , Maxime (2014). Socio – Anthropological Study of Displaced and Non – Displaced Communities of Sittwe Township. Myanmar: ACF. 2 Begum, Momotaj , and Humayun Kabir (2012). Reflections on the Deobandi reformist agenda in a female Quomi madrasah in Bangladesh. South Asia : Journal of South Asian Studies 35, no. 2: 353 80. Available at https://doi.org/10.1080/00856401.2012.659650 3 For more informatio

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Overview of Rohingya Perceptions: Edition 4 5 Many people are saying that i t appeared because people are not praying Namaz and not reciting Dua ( blessings ) and Q uran and also doing Haram (Camp 10, Women) China gave us so many troubles. China did much hatreds on us. And Myanmar government also did Genocide on us. That’s why Allah send this disease first in China as Allah’s Gozob . (Camp 18, Women) This is furthered by the belief that one persons misdeeds are experienced collectively and that many people will suffer when one person fails to follow or practice Islam according to Rohingya Islamic tradition. This is important to understand because it m ay encourage policing and scrutiny of individuals in ways that could increase stig m a and vulnerability of groups that are believed to be less pious. However, the alternative is also to note that such understanding of collective responsibility is beneficia l in helping people realize the impact of their behaviours on the health & wellbeing of many others One brother spoils, the other suffers for that (Ak baiye gorer noshto shobe duke fa). We a ll are getting hurt only for one brother. Five have done mistakes then all are getting troubles. One does the bad deeds and ten others are accused of being bad because of him ( Akzonor zoriya doshzon horaf ) . Now, every single country is in troubles because of honour & COVID – 19 This worldview leads people to question the causes of illness and harm by appraising whether actions of people within their own community are according to social norms. Wh ile many people talk about the failure of men to pray five times a day, women and girls are more likely to suffer the scrutiny of social policing . T heir performance of purdah and adherence to religious norms and traditions has already begun to be suggested as a source of the disease by both men and women. 4 Especially, it’s because some women have become unveiled [b eporda h] or immodest after coming here to the camp. It is the number one cause women come out of the house even if they were paid money. In our religion, women should 4 Honour in Transition: Changing Gender norms about Rohingya . Getting disease and cure of it is the will of Allah. No one except Allah could ever cause any disease to anyone. Even though I am great king, I cannot create or destroy a disease because it will have happened b y the verdict of Allah. The coronavirus did not appear five hundred years ago. Now, the Coronavirus has been described by the great mullahs and religious leaders as a disease from Allah to test people and place them on right track . If we ask and pray from Allah, then Allah may recover us because all things are done by Allah not anyone else (Camp 16, Men)

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Overview of Rohingya Perceptions: Edition 4 6 live within the five fences [fas gheera] of the house according to Islamic rules. Nowadays, they don’t follow those rules. Therefore, it might be the Almighty Allah is annoyed or displ eased with us due to our act or deed s. T his calamity has been done by the Almighty Allah. If it’s not like that, this virus would not have spread A ll over the world. It is the decision of the Almighty Allah. (Camp 16, Men) Women are meant to be bound by honour [izzot], but now they are becoming dishonourable [bezzoti], not following their husbands, not treating men as men, and they are not obeying religion. Their intention is always towards bad, not towards good deeds. (Camp 20 Women) Why are my women do ing such undignified things – that’s why Allah doing this. W omen) These findings are concerning and potentially highlight how women may be subject to greater scrutiny, control, and punishment, including increased access and mobility restrictions and GBV as a result of the COVID – 19 epidemic and response. ot solicited but still appeared prominently in 3 out 15 discussion. It is also important to note how these views are held and enforced by both men and women and most likely to affect young women who are unmarried, because they are most likely to damage a f Fuk of many shapes and sizes It has already been discussed that Rohingya and many Chittagonians have a similar understanding of disease and illness that it results from fuk . Fuk literally translate s as insects, which are believed to arise in dirty conditions, but the term can more broadly connotate germs, bacteria or virus. As a result of the te rm s broad applications, – medical understandings of how different diseases may arise from insects, bacteria, and virus are less clear to many Rohingya . – type of fuk. While this interpretation in some ways works well for Rohingya to understand how flies, mosquitos and bacteria that may cause diseases from u nsanitary conditions, human waste, or spoiled foods, it does not work well as a framework for understanding COVID – 19 as a virus. have been getting different kind o f afflictions as different disease – fuk ( biyaromor f uk) are entering at shelter from toilets. So, C oronavirus can catch people b ecause of those disease – fuk Camp 16, FGD, Male) T his point is relat ed to religion because people have blurred a cultural understanding and religious understandings of illness could be the main way to demonstrate and show piousness . Prayer is intimately associated with cleanliness through the ritual ablutions that are required and many people said that the only requirement for prayer was that T his conflation between religion and cul tural understandings of illness ha s also reinforced a perception that dirt, lack of cleanliness, and a lack of religious practice are the sources of illness. While people are now attempting to

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Overview of Rohingya Perceptions: Edition 4 8 alterations can be made in light of COVID – 19, four FGDs stressed that no changes can or should be made, and seven consultati ons (3 KIIs and 4 FGDs) concluded that alterations can and would be accepted as long as worship and devotion continues. Some people also noted that they were unable to pray when they fled Myanmar and that during such circumstances this is reasonable. great scientists and specialists are saying that this disease infects so easily. That’s why more people are following what the doctors and government are saying. M ost people are praying separately and some are praying at the shelters to avoid gathering. T he community in 1E, KII, Male) at mosque, but there is a limitation on how high the fever or sickness is like being not able to take ablution, or walk to mosque, and then he can take prayers at home. So, all people are well now. As we surely do not know about the spreading the disease, that’s why we personally can not determine whether we need to go to mosque or not. The people may not go to mosque if a great holly mullah can explain through interpretation of the Quran or Hadith. If he does, all people have to follow the mullah’s instruc tions. We do not know that yet as the mullahs have not told us not to come at mosque for this. Transmitting disease is a thing and not able to walk because of disease is another thing and we all people are good physically so we need to meet with mullahs an we will pray at home . (Camp 1E, KII, Male) If there is any exception in the time of any difficulties or disasters, we can pray namaz everywhere like in house and anywhere we can pray namaz at home. But Allah mentioned that the best place for male to pray namaz When asked what actions their local mosque s are implementing for COVID – 19 par ticipants in all consultation mentioned that imams are encouraging people to increase the time they devote to praying . Participants in 6 of 11 consultations mentioned that awareness on COVID – 19 was been included in the service and participants in two consultations mentioning additional door to door awareness sessions being conducted by the imam or other a justification and these are written in Quran how the prayers can be taken and why. The mullahs how the prayers can be performed. The mullahs have to teach and tell us correctly. The mullahs are not saying to pray at homes or not to come the mosque because of this disease. For me, I personally think that we are praying to make Allah agree with us. It is possible to pray at mosque because taking prayers at mosque are a blessing and good. Allah has said to say prayers by gathering. For this reason, some people a re still praying at mosque and some are at house. We heard from the sayings of mullah that taking prayers at home is acceptable if there are (Camp 1E, KII, Male )

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Overview of Rohingya Perceptions: Edition 4 9 religious officials. A nother three mentioned social distancing and cleaning at the mosque as well as discussions on changes to regular practices because of COVID – 19 messaging. Mosque, Imams and murobbis have been giving awareness to community to avoid from gathering and to stay at home. The Mokta b s ( religious primary school) are being stopped by Ima m and the imams are advising to children to do self – study at home not to move from one place to another place within the camps and to have meals in time. The Imams also have been conducting Taalim ( religious instruction ) with Murobbis to pray Namaz on time , to recite blessings and to instruct to respective family to pray Namaz in order to prevent from coronavirus. Most of the people from the community are following according to the Imam’s Taalim (religious instruction) . If they keep conducting Taalim (relig ious instruction) with community, every single one will hold the rope of almighty Allah. At the same time, the government is also raising awareness among community through speakers with CNG to Camp 16 , KII, Male ) Many Imams and Ma w lana [religious scholars] are going to door by door to give awareness about disease and also asking to recite Qur’an and praying namaz and prohibiting not to do , Female ) Ramadan , Qurbani Eid & COVID – 19 The holy month of Ramadan begins April 23. The month is incredibly significant for Rohingya and generally there are various concessions made during this month by humanitarian respon ders most significant rel igious occasions. Ramadan and Qurb a ni Eid, which follows Ramadan, are believed to be times piety accumulated through religious worship. The majority of consultations ( 8 FGDs and 2 KIIs) identified that the current restriction s will impact their ability to normally observe Ramadan and Eid, with some being more open to change than others. It will effect Ramadan because, after keeping fast ( r oza) the whole day , we have to go to distribution centre for receiving rations there and we have to line up, so the disease may spread from there. We are worrying about it. Ramadan is a month of blessing so we have to fast and to do Iftar, etc . I think that everyone will change their practice . are not getting proper thing s in market. I think coronavirus may affect prayer of tarabi [done during Ramadan] and E id N amaz [prayer for Eid] . When we pray tarabi and Eid N amaz many people have to gather. At that time , how can we keep distance of 3ft ? There is not enough space . Obviously , people might follow these change s to avoid spreading disease (Camp 10, FGD, Mixed) However, in more than half of consultations ( 7 consultation of 11 ) people reported that it is not possible for the virus to appear in the camps during Ramadan or that likelihood is reduced due to the spiritual power that the month of Ramadan holds . All participants expressed the importance of being able to uphold the religious observance s of Ramadan and Eid as critical and many believe that their ability to fulfil religious obligations at this time impacts their susceptibility to the virus . This aligns with Deobandi schools of thoughts that attribute physical

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Overview of Rohingya Perceptions: Edition 4 10 suffering to a lack of spiritual practice. As such, it is difficu lt at present to gauge actual impact COVID – 19 may have on Ramadan. Coronavirus changes for Ramadan]. They will keep celebrating as like before. They do as like as before by hoping to Allah. Ra madan is the month of mercy of Allah, it is a great month in the year. Through the piety of the month, Allah will take away the disease. Because we are praying namaz more and reciting Quran , we will be protected from the diseases as the mercy of Allah will Insha Allah, the disease will stop and Allah will protect us the disease. If we pray from Allah by reciting Qur’an and praying namaz. We can’t prevent ourselves from the disease only Allah can . Ramadan is the month of mercy for Allah. (Camp 20Ext. FGD, female) W hether the Coronavirus will affect us or not during the Ramadan month I can’t believe that it will now. Because it is a dangerous virus, there is no security and guarantee . Maybe the coronavirus will stop due to the Ramadan month because it is a great month. I believe 80% All participants expressed that being unable to fully observe their rel igious obligations during Ramadan and Eid will be a major source of stress for the community. Everything becomes more in Ramadan. We have to pray more by crying to Allah in Ramadan. If they stop food supplements, we won’t able to fast. If we pray to Alla h without fasting, without praying Namaz, by disobeying Allah, will Allah accept our blessings ? We need to eat and pray. No, Allah will not accept. We will want to eat this thing and that thing in Ramadan. If we can’t eat, how can we keep our fasting. In h ot season, in the plastic’s shelter, if we can’t eat, if market will not be opened. if they do not provide us those things, how will we fast in Ramadan ? Everything is difficult. No clothes, how can we make children up, how can we buy clothes to children, how can we make our children happy. If we can’t give clothes to children, if we can’t make children up, then the children will disagree. If the children disagree with us then Allah will disagree either. If the children will be happy, Allah will be happy. Because of children Allah Now, some things are stopped. Ramadan is coming in the future. Ramadan month is a happiest month for us. In the month, our minds run. If we can’t eat what we want, how will it be! (Camp 18, FGD, Female) month is really a great, noble month in the year. It is a bright gift from Allah. By the power of Ramadan, Coronavirus will go 16, KII, Male)

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Overview of Rohingya Perceptions: Edition 4 11 In order to prevent coronavirus, the markets and shops are closed. Government will not allow us to sell anything. We will not be allowed to go to market or outside. So, what can we do ? (Camp 18, FGD, Female) People won’t able to go outside and won’t able to butcher cows. And people won’t even be able to pray Namaz to prevent crowding (Camp 18, FGD, Female) When s cience & r eligion meet While it might have been assumed that religious and medical guidance, including seekin g treatment from doctors or following doctors advice, would conflict, Rohingya generally reported willingness to follow advice of medical guidance in this and many other consultations under the series. For them, religiously educated people were akin both had studied and were knowledgeable in their respective fields. Participants in all consultation stated that if they or anyone in their family were to fall ill and display COVID – 19 symptoms that they would seek the advice of a doc tor and would go to the health clinic or hospital for support. Although it wa s agreed by all participants that Allah created the virus and that their overall faith lies in the will of Allah, people believed they should still do everything in their power to protect their families and survive because Allah will support those who actively struggle against the virus . e need to follow what Imams saying and the doctor advice both are important f or us. (Camp 12, FGD, Female) us safe. It is important to hear the doctors and mullah because some peop le have the idea and some people not. Thus, it is urgent to hear them and to follow the rules whatever they say for there is only one way to do. I n camps, there are so many clinics and every single clinic has doctors. As soon as I have fever, cough and symptoms . I have to explain to doctors by going at nearest clinics about my feeling and then I have to follow their suggestions so that Allah will prevent me from it . struggle to recover from any diseases (Camp 16, KII, Male) , we have to obey and follow what the doctors prescribe because they know the ways how the disease has been spreading through the people. The people from the government as well as the doctors are announcing here not to be crowded, not to stay close to one a nother, not go to shops or markets and so many things. So we have to live on these things, and also we need to ask from Allah as the doctors could not Allah will. Allah is great est and then his rusul ( prophets on’t take treatment from doctor, how can our

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