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An Iranian cleric has warned his followers not to get the COVID-19 vaccine, or go near those who’ve received it, because it turns people gay.
Ayatollah Abbas Tabrizian, a cleric in Qom, Iran, shared the warning with his more than 200,000 followers on Telegram, The Jerusalem Post reports.
“Don’t go near those who have had the COVID vaccine,” Tabrizian said. “They have become homosexuals.”
Tabrizian reportedly styles himself the “Father of Islamic Medicine” and claims that religious-based medicine has made science-based medicine “irrelevant.”
Last year, Tabrizian went viral for a video of him burning a copy of Harrison’s Manual of Medicine, co-authored by Dr. Anthony S. Fauci, which is a “practical, portable” version of Harrison’s Principles of Internal Medicine, a textbook used by members of the medical profession.
Iranian dissident Sheina Vojoudi told the Jerusalem Post that Tabrizian’s “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.”
“Like other clerics in the regime, also Tabrizian relates all the shortages [shortcomings] to sexuality,” Vojoudi added. “The clerics in Iran are suffering from lack of knowledge and humanity.”
Tabrizian isn’t the first religious leader to claim that the COVID-19 vaccines cause homosexuality. Earlier this year, an ultra-Orthodox rabbi in Israel told his followers not to get any COVID-19 vaccine because it might “turn them” gay.
An Israeli LGBTQ group responded sarcastically to the rabbi’s claims, saying it was “gearing up to welcome our impending new members.”
Religious figures have also tried to blame the COVID-19 pandemic on gay people. Last year, Rick Wiles — a Trump-approved pastor — responded to the death of an LGBTQ lawyer who contracted COVID-19 by saying it was God’s “judgment” and that a “plague was underway.”
A conservative pastor in Tennessee made similar comments in March, claiming that same-sex marriage was the cause of COVID-19 and that the pandemic was a “reckoning” from God.
In August, an anti-LGBTQ Christian group that believes gay people cause “disease” was declared a COVID-19 hotspot after an outbreak of the virus among its staff.
And in November, an anti-LGBTQ televangelist who blamed the COVID-19 pandemic on “fornication” and living a “sinful lifestyle” died after contracting the virus.
Editor’s Note: This article was updated to note the Jerusalem Post as the source of Sheina Vojoudi’s comments.
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