Top Islamic preacher Ayatollah Kazem Sedighi blamed a ‘prevalence of degeneracy’ amongst young people for causing earthquakes in Tehran this week, and suggested a spiritual clean-up could help eradicate tectonic shifts.
"What can we do to avoid being buried under the rubble?" the cleric asked thousands of followers attending Friday prayers in Tehran’s biggest mosque. "There is no other solution but to take refuge in religion and to adapt our lives to Islam's moral codes,” he urged (Daily Telegraph)
The Ayatollah was speaking days after Iran’s President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad advised people to relocate from Tehran to avoid an imminent mega-quake, and also revealed he’d received divine guidance that women are the most to blame.
"Many women who do not dress modestly . . . lead young men astray,” he explained. “(They) corrupt their chastity and spread adultery in society, which (consequently) increases earthquakes.”
The Ayatollah’s assessment stuck an unlikely chord with the views of leading American evangelical Christians, many of whom blamed sinners and gays for provoking Hurricane Katrina to destroy New Orleans in 2005.
Though Katrina killed at least 1,836 people, Repent America director Michael Marcavage was unforgiving declaring ‘although the loss of lives is deeply saddening, this act of God destroyed a wicked city’.
"From 'Girls Gone Wild' to 'Southern Decadence,' New Orleans was a city that had its doors wide open to the public celebration,” Mr Marcavage added in an official statement issued soon after the hurricane struck.
“Let us not forget that the citizens of New Orleans tolerated and welcomed the wickedness in their city for so long. May this act of God cause us all to think about what we tolerate in our city limits, and bring us trembling before the throne of Almighty God," he concluded. (Repent America’s statement in full)
“All hurricanes are acts of God, because God controls the heavens,” Reverend Hagee said, “I believe that New Orleans had a level of sin that was offensive to God, and they were recipients of the judgment of God for that,” he explained. (Salon on Reverend Hagee)
Hurricane Katrina; footage