Linked to Viral Outbreak, Cambodian Muslims Facing Backlash

The revelation of the religious identity of infected individuals set off a deluge of online hate directed at the minority community.

Saros Abdullah was furious last Wednesday. Seated in a narrow lane at Phnom Penh’s Phsar Tuol Sangke, the Cambodian Muslim chicken seller was seething at the comments she was reading on Facebook about her community causing the spread of coronavirus in Cambodia.

“Some Khmer brothers and sisters said these Muslims brought the virus into Cambodia,” she said, her voice steadily rising in volume.

“I got very upset and that led to a clash of words with other people here.”

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