Blasphemy or harmless fun? Thrill-seeking dental worker posts photo atop St. Petersburg mosque

Blasphemy or harmless fun? Thrill-seeking dental worker posts photo atop St. Petersburg mosque
A St. Petersburg dentist found herself in the center of a heated online debate after posting a photo of herself atop the city’s historic mosque, along with a snarky caption, to social media.

Irena Megrelishvili managed to reach the top of the mosque’s dome, and celebrated the daring feat by posting a picture to her Instagram account. The photo, which shows Megrelishvili triumphantly posing on top of the minaret, was captioned: “Offending religious feelings. Sorry, believers.”

The post was quickly picked up by local media, sparking an inferno of outrage – and support – on Russian social media.

“I wouldn’t want to sit in a chair before such a dental professional. Insensitive and ill-mannered. I'm Orthodox, but I’m also outraged!” one user wrote on Russia’s most popular social network site, VK.com (VKontakte).

“And such morons live in St. Petersburg? What a disgrace. I hope she’s already fired with a life ban from medical activity,” another user said.

However, many people online rushed to Irena’s defense, arguing that the stunt was daring and commendable, and may even reflect positively on the young woman’s professional ethic.

READ MORE: Watch Russian thrill-seekers evade security to climb iconic Eiffel Tower (VIDEO)

In fact, several VK users stated that from now on they want their teeth attended to only by Megrelishvili. “What does it have to do with her medical activities? It’s a doctor with strong character and good motor coordination. She must be a decent specialist,” one of them wrote.

Others wondered what all the fuss was about.

“The fans of Spartak [Moscow football club] are offended when you wear a Zenit [Saint Petersburg club] scarf; alcohol abstainers are offended when you take photos with booze and so on. What next? Are we going to punish everybody?” one of the users wondered.

It appears that Megrelishvili wasn’t prepared for the attention that the photograph would receive, as her Instagram account has since been deleted.

In-mid April, there was a similar public outcry in St. Petersburg after a group of teenagers posted videos of a party with beer and cigarettes atop the city’s Church of the Assumption.

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