Iranian Muslims Kiss, Lick Public Shrines: We Are ‘NOT Afraid of Coronavirus’

Iranian Muslims Kiss, Lick Public Shrines: We Are ‘NOT Afraid of Coronavirus’

Islamic devotees in Iran say they have no fear of infection as COVID-19 outbreak spirals

Defiant Iranian Muslims are demonstrating their faith by kissing and licking public shrines while boasting they are “not afraid of coronavirus,” despite the escalating outbreak of the deadly COVID-19 across Iran.

Devout Islamic Iranians are releasing online videos showing faithful Muslims licking and kissing shrines to show they have no fear of infection.

The show of defiance comes as Iran is failing to limit the spread of the virus, with the coronavirus outbreak in the Islamic Republic spiraling out of control.

978 cases in Iran and 54 deaths have now been officially confirmed in Iran, the highest death toll of any country outside China.

On Monday, a top adviser to Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei was confirmed dead from coronavirus, as other key officials are also infected with the deadly COVID-19.

Despite the crisis, however, religious leaders are continuing to reject advice from the Health Ministry to close holy sites to help stem the spread of infection.

Instead, the videos, which have reportedly emerged from Iran’s coronavirus epicenter of Qom, show Islamic devotees spreading misinformation about the virus while forcing young children to also take part.

Touching and kissing surfaces in shrines is a common practice for pilgrims, and religious hardliners argue the holy sites of Qom are “a place for healing,” according to Breitbart.

But many Iranians are worried the clerical establishment is not taking the outbreak seriously, while Iranian health workers have reportedly admitted the number of people that have died from coronavirus could be five times more than government figures claim.

Still many hold a contrary view that Islamic faith will beat any virus.

“There are people who say that this shrine spreads coronavirus. I’m here to lick the tomb so that I can fall ill,” one man says in a video.

“This way, I’ve removed the virus. You can come and visit.”

U.S. Department of State senior advisor for public affairs Len Khodorkovsky shared a clip, captioning it: “Don’t do this. Ever. But especially during the coronavirus outbreak.”

Another video from the city of Mashhad, where the Imam Reza shrine is located, shows a man licking the shrine and reportedly saying: “I have come to lick the Imam Reza shrine so that I contract this disease and allow others to visit the shrine with peace of mind.”

As Breitbart News reported, President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence announced Saturday additional travel bans on travelers from Iran.

The United States currently bans some travel from the Islamic republic, but that ban will be expanded to include foreign traveling from Iran or through Iran in the past 14 days.

Pence said the State Department would also announce a level four warning about traveling to specific regions in Italy and South Korea, where the virus is also spreading.

“We are urging Americans to not travel to the areas in Italy and the areas in South Korea that are most affected by the coronavirus,” Pence said.

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