Manchester-born Iran-based scholar Dr. Sheikh Farrokh Sekaleshfar, who had delivered a lecture about homosexuality in Orlando a few weeks prior to the Pulse nightclub massacre and who has previously said that homosexuals should be "gotten rid of," said in a video that was uploaded to the Islamic Pulse YouTube channel on March 28, 2020 that the coronavirus is ultimately a good thing, since everything Allah has created is a blessing, and that this is true even if the coronavirus is man-made. He went on to say that during the Iranian hostage crisis, when he said Iranian students had confirmed their suspicions that the American embassy in Tehran had been a "network of espionage," Imam Khomeini had said that the desert sands had served as agents of Allah when they caused the failure of Operation Eagle Claw, the American attempt to rescue the hostages. Sheikh Sekaleshfar said that the coronavirus is similarly an agent of Allah, and he told a brief story in which Zaynab, the daughter of Ali, had said that even the spectacle of violence and stabbings that she witnessed in Karbala had been beautiful because it was all part of Allah's creation.
Weeks before the June 2016 shooting by Omar Mateen at Pulse, a gay nightclub in Orlando, FL, that left 49 clubgoers dead, Sheikh Sekaleshfar had delivered a sermon titled "How to Deal with the Phenomenon of Homosexuality" at the Husseini Islamic Center in Sanford, a suburb of Orlando. In a 2013 sermon at University of Michigan, Sheikh Sekaleshfar had also said that the Islamic punishment for homosexuality is death and that people should "get rid of" homosexuals out of compassion. For more from Islamic Pulse, see MEMRI TV Clip No. 6944 Qom-Based Media Producer Muzaffer Hyder: Iranian Leader Khamenei Is The Wisest Man Alive; Islam Is The Solution To The World's Problems; America Orchestrated 9/11, December 24, 2018. Islamic Pulse is a media company based in Qom, Iran.
Farrokh Sekaleshfar: "Whatever you see in the realm of creation is a blessing, it's Allah's creation.
The coronavirus – is this something separate from Allah's jurisdiction of creation? Of course not. This too is a created thing. Allah has created it, and therefore it's a blessing, and it's good. Well, this may be a man-made phenomenon. It may be, although I don't want to enter any conspiracy theories, it's still not substantiated, but it's a possibility. But even if it is, did man make this virus, or construct it, independent from Allah or not?
"During the early stages of the Islamic Revolution of Iran, the American Embassy in Iran, it was realized amongst the students that it was acting as a network of espionage. And they went in, and their conjecture proved to be correct. And they took a number of hostages in the so-called 'hostage crisis' during the presidency of President Carter. Carter then sent a fleet of planes and helicopters to rescue these hostages. What happened? They encountered a sandstorm. And many of the American soldiers and planes, they crashed and they died. Imam Khomeini, rahmatullahi alaih [may Allah's mercy be upon on him], in a speech given after the event, he said: 'Who made those helicopters crash?' He said: 'The sand made them crash,' not us, and the sand were given this duty from Allah.
"The sand were Allah's representatives. The sands are a creation of Allah, likewise with the virus.
"It's all good when lady Zaynab, alayha salam [peace be upon her], says: 'I see nothing but beauty...' What she's looking at, it's a massacre, it's stabbings, killings, but it's all Allah's actions. And it's beautiful for her."