Ayatollah Abbas Tabrizian, an Iranian cleric has warned his followers to not go on the brink of anyone who has had the COVID19-19 vaccine, as they need to turn to gays and homosexuals.
Ayatollah Abbas Tabrizian took to Telegram, a social media app where he has 210,000 followers, to publish a homophobic rant over the weekend.
“Don’t go near those that have had the COVID vaccine,” he said.
“They became homosexuals.”
But his comments about the vaccine are met with strong criticism from other Iranians including LBGT rights activists and health officials.
“Like other clerics within the regime, also Tabrizian relates all the shortages [shortcomings] to sexuality,” dissident Sheina Vojoudi told The Jerusalem Post.
“The clerics in Iran are affected by lack of data and humanity.
“Actually, his goal of spreading nonsense is to undertake to scare people [out] of getting vaccinated, while the leader of the regime and other officials got Pfizer, and that they don’t provide it for the people with the excuse that they don’t trust the West.”
UK human rights activist Peter Tatchell said: “Ayatollah Tabrizian combines scientific ignorance with a crude appeal to homophobia.“
“He’s demonizing both the vaccination program and LGBT+ people without a shred of evidence.
“By seeking to scare the general public into not getting vaccinated against Covid-19, he’s fuelling the pandemic and putting lives in danger.
“Typical of the many Iranian religious and political leaders, his bizarre, irrational claims scapegoat LGBTs and put theological prejudice before knowledge domain .”
Meanwhile, thousands of gay people are executed in Iran from 1979 to 2019 and Iranian secretary of state Mohammad Javid Zarif has dismissed international outrage over its anti-gay policies, saying:
“Our society has moral principles, and consistent with these principles, we live…
“These are moral principles regarding the behavior of individuals generally, which is because the law is upheld and you abide by laws.”