A cleric has claimed responsibility for saving the souls of more than 4000 prostitutes. Speaking to a group at Hazireh mosque in Yazd, Sheikh Hossein Ansarian said he had met and offered guidance to the women while in “plainclothes”, not in the garb of a cleric, because he did not want to bring disrepute on the sacred profession.
The website of AhluBayt News Agency (ABNA) reported on December 16 that Ansarian had moved the women to repent and “found husbands for many of them.”
“To cure certain social problems, we should not wait for the patient to come to us and ask for a prescription,” Ansarian told the site, which brands itself as the news agency of the Prophet Muhammad. “We must search the patients out and treat them, because they are not aware of their illness and do not know what to do.”
“All 4000 women repented and the relevant documents are available at the prosecutor’s office,” Ansarian said. “I personally conducted some of their marriages and many of them have children and come to hear me speak in mosques. Of course, I should have recorded my interviews with these women, who were between 18 and 35 years old”.
The cleric did not mention where and when he interviewed and offered guidance to the women; he also did not specify how he determined all the women were prostitutes, leading to some speculation that many of the women may have simply led lifestyles that he regarded as immoral.
Hossein Ansarian was born in Khansar, Isfahan in 1944, but moved to Tehran with his family when he was three. He is well known for his public speeches, and for his use of rousing and dramatic language.