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Courtesy of Talabe Today

Iranian imams are showing their fun side on Instagram

By Loubna Mrie

Imams are people too. They play basketball, comb their beards, and run the vacuum cleaner just like everyone else.

That’s the message of Instagram account Talabe Today, which is doing its best to show the world the softer side of Iran’s religious leaders. The man behind the account, Masoud Zareian, is himself studying to be an imam in Iran, reports the BBC. Many of the subjects are his fellow students.

English-language captions like, “A clergyman ironing his clothes. Cleanliness, simplicity and#economic independence are some#values closely guarded by clergymen,” tend to highlight the virtues of its subjects. Since launching in January 2015, Talabe Today has gained than 14,000 followers.

Iran is an Islamic republic. It has been sharply criticized by international organizations for the strictness of its religious law.