Controversy is stirring inside Iran with the worsening health situation and the explosion of the corona virus, which has killed thousands of citizens and infected huge numbers in all provinces of the country without exclusion.
With the escalation of the crisis, fingers have been pointed at Shiite clerics. This is not only because a number of them assumed influential positions while being unable to face of the crisis, nor because their fatwas and directives are contrary to health measures, but because they are accused of contributing to the spread of the virus by following “fairy-tale” traditions, according to Tehran MP Parvaneh Salahshouri, which plunged the country into a disease epidemic.
The epidemic was started in Iran’s holy city of Qom, killing thousands in light of the insistence of clerics to deny the truth, as shrines remained open to the public while lacking the simplest of health measures, given that these shrines are viewed as alternatives to hospitals.
Moreover, Qom’s clerics refused to impose quarantine measures in the city, instead entrusting worshipers to pray at the shrine of Fatima Bint Musa al-Kazim for healing.
There has been an influx of millions into the Shiite city, among them thousands of visitors from China, where the virus first appeared. This explains why the disease embraced that specific spot.
The issue dates back to six years ago, when the religious seminary in Qom began to teach the Chinese language to prepare a new generation of clerics, and the Imam Khomeini Institute for Research and Education was one of the most prominent institutions that formed this trend.
Despite the presence of Chinese students in more than one city for the same purpose, Qom was the most prominent destination, as it represents Iran’s ideological capital. At Al-Mustafa International University (MIU) alone there are more than 40,000 foreign students from 130 countries, which drew criticism from Mohammad Hossein Ayati, president of Mashhad University of Medical Sciences; Molavi Abdolhamid Ismaeelzahi, imam of the Sunnis in Zahedan; and others.
MIU was content to issue statements rejecting the accusations, although it does not deny the existence of the huge number of Chinese accused of transmitting the virus to Iran.
A prominent Sunni cleric, Ismaeelzahi said that some foreign students have said they intend to return to their country, but MIU has kept their passports.
MIU opened in 2007 through the merger of two seminary organizations. Its main center is located in Qom, but it has a large number of branches and institutions affiliated with it inside and outside the country.
Source » theportal-center