Iranians have posted several videos on social media, featuring devout Shiites licking holy shinres in defiance of the coronavirus.In some of the videos, worshippers say they are licking the shrines in order to infect themselves, thus protecting future pilgrims to the shrines from contracting the virus.  On March 1, 2020, a pilgrim posted a video of himself licking the steel bars protecting the window of a Shiite shrine. He said that many people have “spread lies” that this window “contracted” corona, AIDS, hepatitis, and “such nonsense.” He said that he is licking the bars so the disease enters his body and future pilgrims will be safe. “I have now eaten the corona disease,” he said. In another video posted online the same day, Heidar, an Iranian schoolboy is seen kissing and licking the doors of another Shiite shrine, according to the adult filming the video “Heidar has kissed all the doors […] He kissed it, licked it, and spread in on his eyes.” On February 29, 2020 a video featuring Hossein Ravazadeh, an “expert on Iranian-Islamic medicine” was posted on social media. In the video he said that he has come to Qom to kiss everybody [he meets]. He said that he intends to go everywhere in Qom and “show everybody that the [coronavirus] is nothing but stories.” He said “they want to take away our religion” but the Shiites will not let “them” do so. Ravazadeh then volunteered to go to the infected people and treat them.

 

 



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