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Iranian Sunni cleric accuses Chinese Shiite students of spreading coronavirus


A Shi'a university-seminary in Iran has lambasted the most senior Sunni cleric in the country for protesting novel coronavirus outbreak in Iran through Chinese Shi'ite religious students based in the city of Qom.

Molavi Abdolhamid Ismaeelzahi, known as the spiritual leader for Iran's Sunni minority, recently circulated a short video on social media charging that Chinese Shi'ite scholars studying at Al-Mustafa International University (MIU) had infected Iran with novel coronavirus.


MIU claims to be an international academic, Islamic, and university-style seminary Institute established in 1979, in Qom, the second most important religious city in Iran, which was the epicenter of the coronavirus outbreak in the country


Lambasting Molavi Abdolhamid for the circulation of the video, MIU said in a statement on Sunday, March 15, that the Sunni leader has no evidence to back up his accusation, adding that it expected top religious clerics to be more cautious in their public remarks.

Furthermore, MIU has deplored Abdolhamid for accusing Al-Mustafa International University of brainwashing its non-Iranian students. 

"Such accusation is an insult to our non-Iranian graduates," MIU insisted in its statement, adding that Abdolhamid had also been wrong by describing MIU's activities as a movement against a rapprochement between religions.