Founder of New Age version of Shiite Islam sentenced to death in Iran
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Founder of New Age version of Shiite Islam sentenced to death in Iran

Mohammad Ali Taheri, 61, has been imprisoned since 2011 for blasphemy, is seen as threat to regime’s religious orthodoxy

Mohammad Ali Taheri, founder of a New Age version of Shiite Islam and a proponent of alternative medicine, who has been repeatedly sentenced to prison and death by Iranian courts. (YouTube screen capture)
Mohammad Ali Taheri, founder of a New Age version of Shiite Islam and a proponent of alternative medicine, who has been repeatedly sentenced to prison and death by Iranian courts. (YouTube screen capture)

TEHRAN, Iran — An attorney for the founder of a mystical, New Age version of Shiite Islam said an Iranian court has sentenced his client to death.

Mahmoud Alizadeh Tabatabaei tells The Associated Press that the court sentenced Mohammad Ali Taheri to death on charges of founding a cult.

The lawyer says he will appeal within 20 days.

In 2014, the 61-year-old Taheri was sentenced to death on similar charges but an appeals court later rejected the verdict. He has been in jail since 2011, when a court sentenced him to five years in prison for blasphemy.

In recent weeks, authorities reportedly detained dozens of his followers.

Taheri also has done research on alternative medicine. Iran’s leaders see New Age beliefs as a threat to the principles of Islam.

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