- Meanwhile his followers have been gathering at a mosque in large numbers rather than self-isolating.
Iraqi Shia political leader Muqtada al-Sadr has said same-sex marriage equality has caused the COVID-19 pandemic.
Al-Sadr is a cleric, the leader of the Shadrist political movement and leader of a Shia militia.
He tweeted: ‘One of the most dangerous things that have caused this epidemic is the legalization of same-sex marriage.
‘Hence, I call on all governments to repeal this law immediately and without any hesitation.’
It is not clear how he reconciles this claim with the fact that many of the worst affected countries, including Iran, China and Italy, do not have marriage equality.
Moreover, al-Sadr’s own followers may be spreading the virus.
They attracted criticism after hundreds congregated inside a mosque and defiantly chanted ‘coronavirus has terrified you’.
This went against government measures imposed to stop the spread of the outbreak. Iraq had imposed a nationwide lockdown last week, to fight the pandemic.
Muqtada al-Sadr previously accused of ordering assassinations
Muqtada al-Sadr gained popularity in Iraq after the 2003 invasion toppled the Saddam Hussein government. Al-Sadr has stated that he wishes to create an ‘Islamic democracy’ in the country.
However, some of his worst alleged crimes are against other Muslims. He is widely suspected of ordering numerous assassinations against high-ranking Shi’ite Muslim clergy.
Nor is he the only religious leader to blame LGBT+ people for coronavirus.
Ralph Drollinger, a minister who leads the weekly Bible study group for Donald Trump’s cabinet, claims coronavirus is God’s judgment for same-sex marriage and for trying to save the environment.
Moreover, extremist Christians have lined up to blame LGBT+ people for coronavirus. Some of the fundamentalists even say they won’t be washing their hands to stop its spread.
One Christian blogger has speculated her god will ‘use the virus for good’. Meanwhile, a US TV evangelist has said only people with ‘fake faith’ wash their hands to stop the virus spreading as they don’t believe god will save them.