Prominent Iraqi Shia cleric and politician Muqtada Al-Sadr posted a controversial tweet entitled 'Heavenly Message', in which he linked the coronavirus outbreak with the legalization of gay marriages around the world.
March 28, 2020
Translation: "One of the worst things that led to this pandemic is the legalization of gay marriages. I, hereby take this chance, to call on all governments to revoke such laws immediately. Let us repent of this sin to end this punishment."
Al-Sadr, who's strongly affiliated with Iran and its policies in Iraq, claimed that the growing number of coronavirus cases in the country can only be attributed to attempts to legalize same-sex marriages, including the recent Iraqi conversation regarding legalizing it.
I have a question:— #خليك_بالبيت Ali Al_Mikdam (@ali_almikdam) March 28, 2020
Does God own a phone and send SMS messages to Moqtada Al-Sadr in particular, and then Al-Sadr posts it?
جديات يعني شلون السماء ادزله رسائل?
? لا قانون علمي يؤيد نظريتك ولا قانون غيبي يؤيد العقاب الجماعي العبثي ...— Dr. Mohammed Al-Zubaidi ???? (@drmhmdabbas) March 28, 2020
حاشا لله #مقتدى_كورونا #مقتدى__انجب
Translation: "Your claims have no scientific grounds, or any metaphysical law that suggests random collective punishments. God forbid."
While some people agreed with the prominent religious leader, his 'Heavenly' tweet stirred lots of angry reactions by social media commentators, who urged the cleric to cite scientists and scientific approaches, in order to identify the reasons behind COVID-19 outbreak.
والله هذا الرجل مو عاقل، وأزمة كورونا أظهرت وأثبتت ذلك حتى لاتباعه، سيدنا هذه المعلومات العلمية من أين حصلت عليها، وهل أنت المكتشف الوحيد لها في العالم، اعتقد كعدة البيت أظهرت مواهبك الإبداعية، سيدنا صدقني أصبحت أضحوكة ومهزلة امام العالم بإطروحاتك، سيدنا اترك تويتر وارجع للأتاري.— dr.mustafa (@mustafa50500165) March 28, 2020
Translation: "This man is insane. The coronavirus crisis has proven it even to his followers. If these were scientific conclusions, can you tell us where you got them from? Are you the only one who's reached this reasoning in the whole world? I think staying at home has given you the chance to explore your creativity. Believe me, you've become a joke to the whole world with your theories. Leave twitter and play some Atari."
Some Twitter users also took the chance to attack Al-Sadr's pro-Iran policies, by pointing out the irony in the spike of coronavirus cases in Iran, despite the fact that same-sex relationships are totally illegal there, according to Iranian laws.
ايران الان ثالث دولة بالعالم مصابة بالكرونا . هم عدهم زواج مثليين هاي شلون بالله سيد . مو دمرتنا وضحكت علينه العالم— غفار مالك حسن اللوزه (@08ovflUHFeF3mwU) March 28, 2020
Translation: "Iran is now the third country in the world in terms of the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases, and they don't have gay marriages. How is that possible? You've destroyed us and made us a joke in the eyes of the world."
The British ambassador to Iraq, Stephen Hickey, also shared Al-Sadr's tweet stating that his country has no plans to revisit any of its laws that grant LGBTQ+ people equal rights to the rest of the population. Hickey highlighted the need to follow medical and academic tips in order to tackle the pandemic.
شكرًا للتواصل مع دول مثل ?? على وسائل التواصل الاجتماعي. نحن بحاجة إلى المزيد من التواصل والتعاون بين البلدان في هذا الوقت الحرج. لكن ?? لن تغير قانونها الخاص بالزواج المتساوي ، والذي نفخر به. بدلاً من ذلك ، لنعمل معًا على أساس أفضل للنصائح الطبية والعلمية لكسب المعركة ضد كورونا https://t.co/BJTVNah4Dz— Stephen Hickey (@sblhickey) March 28, 2020
Translation: "Thank you for reaching out to countries like Great Britain through social media networks. We do need better communication between countries at such critical times. But Great Britain will not change its laws regarding equal marriage, in which we take pride. Instead, let's work together using the best medical and academic facts so we can win our battle against the coronavirus."
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