Alwaght- Iranian President Hassan Rouhani rebuked US president’s recent Bible photo-op outside a church amid angry anti-racism protests in American cities, saying Donald Trump is resorting to the Christianity’s holy book to justify ordering “murders and crimes” against the American people.
In remarks on Thursday, Rouhani said the US has been experiencing the “worst days in its political and social history” amid angry protests over US police brutality, which erupted after the death of an unarmed African-American man at hands of a white Minnesota policeman last week.
The protests have been met with a heavy-handed police crackdown. The anger has also spilled onto other countries, sparking similar anti-racism protests in several cities around the world.
Rouhani said under such circumstances, “we have witnessed that black people and those who reject the White House’s mindset are being subjected to massive suppression.”
“It is shameful that the US president reaches for The Bible [to justify] issuing an order for murders and crimes against American citizens,” Rouhani said.
He was referring to Trump’s photo stunt on Monday, when US police drove back peaceful protesters near the White House so the US president could walk to the nearby St. John’s Church and pose briefly with a Bible.
Declaring himself “your president of law and order,” Trump vowed on the same day to return order to American streets using the military if the protests continue.
The Iranian president further said The Bible is not a holy book that invites to peace and kindness. The Bible, he added, is the holy book of an Abrahamic religion and such a move angers the followers of all other such religions, who respect Jesus Christ and The Bible.
“The rulers in the White House have turned the current situation into one of the worst eras in America’s history,” he added.
Rouhani expressed sympathy with the “American people and those who are protesting in the streets,” saying, “We condemn the White House which is issuing orders to commit these crimes.”
Trump’s Bible-toting stunt sparked outrage among several US lawmakers and religious leaders, including the bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Washington, Mariann Budde, who said Trump had held up The Bible in front of the church under her watch “as if it were a prop or an extension of his military and authoritarian position.”
Budde, in an interview with the NBC, said that what Trump did “was an abuse of the spiritual tools and symbols of our traditions and of our sacred space.”