DUBAI: A cleric from the Iranian city of Qom, known for his historic vitriol against Western medicine, has posted on social media against interacting with people who receive the coronavirus vaccine, with a claim these jabs have made the individuals gay.
Ayatollah Abbas Tabrizian wrote this homophobic rant on his Telegram platform: “Don’t go near those who have had the COVID vaccine. They have become homosexuals.”
The radical Islamist has nearly 210,000 followers in this social media platform, the Jerusalem Post reported.
Tabrizian, whom his followers describe as the Father of Islamic Medicine, last year had a viral video of him burning a copy of the Harrison’s Manual of Medicine – considered an authority and the most trusted brand in medical content – and arguing that Islamic medicine made such books ‘irrelevant’.
“Actually, his goal of spreading nonsense is to try to scare people [out] of getting vaccinated while the leader of the regime and other officials got Pfizer and they don’t provide it for the people with the excuse that they don’t trust the West,” Iranian dissident Sheina Vojoudi said.
“Like other clerics in the regime, also Tabrizian relates all the shortages to sexuality. The clerics in Iran are suffering from lack of knowledge and humanity.”
Iran’s regime has executed 4,000-6,000 gays and lesbians since its 1979 Islamic revolution, according to a 2008 WikiLeaks cable.
Iran is the Middle East region’s hotspot for the coronavirus’ worst outbreak with almost 1.5 million cases. The country’s vaccination program begins Tuesday for the population groups most at risk: frontline healthcare doctors and nurses working in contact with COVID-19 patients at intensive care units.
Iran earlier launched a COVID-19 vaccine developed by Iran’s Razi Vaccine and Serum Research Institute.