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Iraqi cleric blames same-sex marriage for the global coronavirus crisis, missing a glaringly obvious point

Lily Wakefield March 28, 2020
Iraqi cleric Moqtada al-Sadr coronavirus covid-19 Pride flag

Iraqi cleric Moqtada al-Sadr. (HAIDAR HAMDANI/AFP via Getty)

An Iraqi cleric has blamed the global coronavirus pandemic on the legalisation of same-sex marriage, missing a very obvious point.

Homosexuality is not illegal in Iraq but discrimination is widespread and LGBT+ people are frequently victims of vigilante justice and honour killings.

According to Al ArabiyaIraqi Shia political leader Muqtada al-Sadr, who is leader of the Sadrist Movement and the Saraya al-Salam militia, made the comments on Twitter on Saturday, March 28.

He wrote: “One of the most appalling things that have caused this epidemic is the legalisation of same-sex marriage.

“Hence, I call on all governments to repeal this law immediately and without any hesitation.”

But the glaringly obvious point missed by the Iraqi cleric was that the country, where there have been 506 confirmed cases and 42 deaths from coronavirus, has not legalised same-sex marriage.

China, where COVID-19 originated, also does not have marriage equality, and neither does Italy, which has been ravaged by the virus, with more than 9,000 deaths. 

Al-Sadr’s followers were recently criticised after hundreds gathered in a mosque, chanting “coronavirus has terrified you”, despite the nationwide lockdown announced last week in Iraq.

Blaming the coronavirus pandemic on LGBT+ people and same-sex marriage has become something of a trend among religious leaders around the world.

Earlier this month, a US evangelical preacher declared that the spread of COVID-19 was God’s response to the legalisation of the “abomination” of equal marriage and abortion.

Perry Stone said: “So why is there a reckoning? I’m gonna explain it in these simple terms. There’s a reckoning because the courts of the land passed a law to take an infant’s life… and for marriage, that we have known it, to be changed into something we’ve never known.”

An ultra-Orthodox rabbi from Israel also claimed that that the outbreak of coronavirus is happening because of Pride parades.

In a bizarre rant at the Kiseh Rahamim yeshiva in Bnei Brak, Rabbi Meir Mazuza said a Pride parade is “a parade against nature”, and added: “When someone goes against nature, the one who created nature takes revenge on him.”

More: China, cleric, Iraq, Iraqi, Italy, marriage equality, Muqtada al-Sadr, Sadrist Movement, same sex marriage, Saraya al-Salam

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