[In this footage, Hassan Ghazizadeh Hashemi, Iran’s Health Minister, is critical of how certain people are abusing people in the name of religion.]
Hashemi says: Some are abusing the credulity of some people. Ignorance is a terrible thing. Ignorance is the cause of human beings’ misery. And it has always been an excuse for those who were after their own personal or group interests. And they have learned to give it a religious background. And they do any wrongdoings or mistakes under it.
Hashemi goes on: [They say] ‘if you do vaccination, it is Zionists’ doing. World Health Organization is Zionist’s pretext. And this or that will happen to your child.’ Such things are surprising in the 21st century and in a country with several thousand years of civilization. Doesn’t the supreme leader vaccinate his children and grandchildren? Don’t the religious authorities vaccinate their grandchildren? Why do we pass such things easily?
Health Minister adds: Another one says, ‘don’t brush your teeth.’ That is very interesting! He says toothbrush is the Zionist’s doing. And then he mentions a few pieces of evidence, one of which is the animals. It is embarrassing. He says, ‘look, animals don’t brush their teeth, and their teeth are healthy.’ The other one is dressed in the prophet’s clothing and says whatever he wants against medicine, and no one says anything – not the Medical Council, nor associations, nor the academics.
Hashemi warns: I think we have to act more carefully in such issues. All should talk, all should speak up. All should make clarifications. We should not allow them to abuse people’s misinformation and ignorance. Therefore, it seems that it is your duty and responsibility – you who work with dearest Iranians. In my opinion, we should speak up. When you retreat, they will gallop however, they want. The part that is so unfortunate for me is abusing the religion and the Shiite Imams. In the name of Imams, religion, God, the Prophet, they talk, and no one speaks up in the country. And if you remain silent, unfortunately, it will continue, just as in other cases of abuse.