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Tue Mar 17, 2020, 07:03 AM

Hard-line Shiites storm Iran shrines closed over coronavirus

Source: Associated Press

Hard-line Shiites storm Iran shrines closed over coronavirus

By JON GAMBRELL
March 17, 2020

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — Hard-line Shiite faithful in Iran pushed their way into the courtyards of two major shrines just closed over fears of the new coronavirus, Iranian state media reported Tuesday, as the Islamic Republic pressed on with its struggle to control the Mideast’s worst outbreak.

Roughly nine out of 10 of the over 17,000 cases of the new virus confirmed across the Middle East come from Iran, where authorities denied for days the risk the outbreak posed. Officials have now implemented new checks for people trying to leave major cities ahead of Nowruz, the Persian New Year, on Friday, but have hesitated to quarantine the areas.

Late on Monday night, angry crowds stormed into the courtyards of Mashhad’s Imam Reza shrine and Qom’s Fatima Masumeh shrine. Crowds typically pray there 24 hours a day, seven days a week, touching and kissing the shrine. That’s worried health officials, who for weeks ordered Iran’s Shiite clergy to close them.

Earlier on Monday, the state TV had announced the shrines’ closure, sparking the demonstrations.

“We are here to say that Tehran is damn wrong to do that!” one Shiite cleric shouted at the shrine in Mashhad, according to online video. Others joined him in chanting: “The health minister is damn wrong to do that, the president is damn wrong to do that!”

-snip-


Read more: https://apnews.com/6e92d93551ee6c6ae51d0acaaad9eb32

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Reply Hard-line Shiites storm Iran shrines closed over coronavirus (Original post)
Eugene Mar 17 OP
captain queeg Mar 17 #1
Igel Mar 17 #3
lapfog_1 Mar 17 #2
Igel Mar 17 #4

Response to Eugene (Original post)

Tue Mar 17, 2020, 07:16 AM

1. Oh good. We aren't the only ones with religious nuts

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Response to captain queeg (Reply #1)

Tue Mar 17, 2020, 10:01 AM

3. Never have been.

In fact, in some ways our religious nuts are much saner than religious nuts elsewhere.

We just don't have people swarming to protest and protect against every offense to our homegrown nut harvest like they do for other cultures' religious nuts. There's no ideology to protect the locals, and every reason to aim at them as domestic political foes.

Pistachios are more valuable than walnuts, esp. when you're allergic to walnuts.

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Response to Eugene (Original post)

Tue Mar 17, 2020, 07:17 AM

2. Iran will fall

without anyone firing a shot at them.

5% fatality rate WHEN everyone gets infected at one time. That is what Italy is showing us.

Iran could be even worse.

Someday someone might decide that science and their life is more important than their faith.

Probably not.

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Response to lapfog_1 (Reply #2)

Tue Mar 17, 2020, 10:13 AM

4. No, they won't.

They have religion to bind them and nationalist on top of that.

Creating a sense of persecution and paranoia has never hurt a group, esp. when that's extended to include past wrongs and present distress, coupled with preaching to the group how virtuous and superior they are. The harder you push against them, the more virtuous and wronged they appear to themselves, and the more they stick together.

The only risk Iran really faces is the fact that they're a reduced empire, with a number of conquered people in one border. Azeri, Balochis, Arabs, Kurds, and numerous smaller ethnicities. The Persians have tried to create an "Iranian" ethnicity out of that but still have to put down the occasional wave of Balochi and Kurdish separatist violence, or even Arab separatism in Khuzestan. If the state's hit hard enough, some of those groups may push for more autonomy or independence, but even then they're still mostly Shi'ite and "Shi'ite nationalism" has been a big deal. Instead of three glues--ethnicism, religiosity, and xenophobia they only have two glues. If the minorities teamed up, maybe they could do something, but they're not going to.

(While the Arabs and Azeri could be handled by melding them with adjacent Azeri and Arab countries, the Balochis and Kurds are a problem and would require carving up existing states. The Balochis would gobble up SE Iran and SW Pakistan, and the Kurds we've heard about a lot. Most of the other ethnicities as countries would resemble Lesotho, little enclaves that have scant viability but still have nominal independence and get some respect simply to avoid offending one or another group. Otherwise it would get and deserve the same amount of respect as Andorra.

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