- Ayatollah Abbas Tabrizian, a controversial Shia cleric in Iran warned people not to “go near” those who have received the vaccine.
- Tabrizian is known for his disdain for Western health methods and championing his own “Islamic medicine” practice instead.
- Homosexuality is illegal in Iran and punishable by execution.
This is what Ayatollah Abbas Tabrizian, a controversial Shia cleric in Iran, said and warned people not to “go near” those who have received the vaccine. He made the claims on messaging platform Telegram, where he has more than 200,000 followers.
Tabrizian is known for his disdain for Western health methods and championing his own “Islamic medicine” practice instead. In January 2020, a video surfaced showing him burning an American scientific textbook, saying that Islamic medicine made such books “irrelevant.”
LGBTQ activist Peter Tatchell slammed the cleric for his statement, saying that Tabrizian’s words are meant to demonize the gay community while discouraging people from getting vaccinated.
Tabrizian’s sentiments followed a similar one from Israeli ultra-orthodox rabbi Daniel Asor last month, saying that the coronavirus vaccines can cause “opposite tendencies”.
“Any vaccine made using an embryonic substrate, and we have evidence of this, causes opposite tendencies,” he said.
“Vaccines are taken from an embryonic substrate, and they did that here, too, so…it can cause opposite tendencies.”
Tatchell said that the cleric “combines scientific ignorance with a crude appeal to homophobia.”
Iranian dissident Sheina Vojoudi said that Tabrizian “relates all the shortages to sexuality,” much like the other clerics of the government. She said his claims are “nonsense” and contradicts the fact that regime leaders in the country actually got their Pfizer vaccinations.
Homosexuality is illegal in Iran and punishable by execution. It was believed that thousands of gay people have been killed by the government since the Islamic Revolution in 1979.
In 2019, Iranian foreign minister Mohammad Javid Zarif said that the Iranian society “has moral principles.”
“And we live according to these principles. These are moral principles concerning the behavior of people in general. And that means that the law is respected and the law is obeyed.”
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