An Iranian cleric on Tuesday warned against approaching people who have been vaccinated for COVID-19, claiming the vaccine has turned them into homosexuals.
“Don’t go near those who have had the COVID vaccine. They have become homosexuals,” Ayatollah Abbas Tabrizian wrote to his 210,000 followers on his Telegram account.
Tabrizian, from the city of Qom, has a history of rants warning against the evils of Western medicine, the Jerusalem Post reported.
Known to his followers as the Father of Islamic Medicine, last year he released a video of himself setting alight the authoritative medical text, Harrison’s Manual of Medicine, and claiming “Islamic medicine” had rendered such medical journals “irrelevant.”
Tabrizian, like most other Iranian clerics, blamed most of society’s shortcomings on sexuality, The Post quoted Iranian dissident Sheina Vojoudi as saying.
“The clerics in Iran are suffering from lack of knowledge and humanity,” Vojoudi said.
“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,” she added.
The report also quoted LGBTQ activist Peter Tatchell as saying: “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,” he told the Post. “By seeking to scare the public into not getting vaccinated against COVID-19, he is fueling the pandemic and putting lives at risk. Typical of many Iranian religious and political leaders, his bizarre, irrational claims scapegoat LGBTs and put theological prejudice before scientific knowledge.”
Iran’s regime has executed between 4,000 to 6,000 homosexual men and women since the Iranian Revolution in 1979, according to a 2008 British WikiLeaks cable.