Key Muslim clerics join fight to eradicate polio

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The week of December 17, 2012 will long be remembered as one of the bloodiest for health workers in recent memory.

That Monday marked the start of an ambitious, three-day vaccination
drive aimed at inoculating some 34 million Pakistani children against
polio, the crippling disease eradicated in almost the entire world, yet
still transmitted there.

But that day also marked the start of a determined campaign of murder
— at least nine people were killed — against the very health workers
trying to save children’s lives.

It was a campaign rooted in a belief that these workers are out to
harm the children they are trying to inoculate. Such misinformation is
actively encouraged by Sunni Muslim extremists like the Pakistan
Taliban, the presumed culprit in the attacks, though the group denies
involvement.

Ultimately, the mistrust hurts children in some of Pakistan’s most
vulnerable and hardest to reach communities — and threatens to spread
the harm far beyond by keeping the poliovirus alive.

Frustrated by the attacks, and the halting progress towards what the
UN calls the “historic goal” of eradicating polio worldwide, the World
Health Organization has now turned to one of Sunni Islam’s highest
authorities for advice and help.

Written By: Nahlah Ayed
continue to source article at cbc.ca

15 COMMENTS

    • In reply to #1 by Virgin Mary:

      I shall sit here and await the posting of what has become the most annoying and clichéd of responses. I know it’s going to be posted eventually, but by whom?….

      Why don’t you post it in quotation marks? Because I’m not going to say anything until you do.

      S G

    • In reply to #1 by Virgin Mary:

      I shall sit here and await the posting of what has become the most annoying and clichéd of responses. I know it’s going to be posted eventually, but by whom?….

      Instead of sitting there twiddling your thumbs and waiting for this clichéd response to appear, why don’t you tell us what you think about this story?

      This also goes out to Curly and Larry.

    • The worst thing is that these “key clerics” will never suffer the feelings of guilt they deserve to for dragging their feet on this problem. I have no doubt that they will instead feel pride at having acted at all. People have died or been crippled because of a preventable illness, and others have been killed for trying to protect people from it, in part thanks to these one book “scholars”.

      #5 by Virgin Mary:

      RELIGION POISONS EVERYTHING!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      “Religion stops poisoning one thing quite so much,” might have been more appropriate for this story. But what’s wrong with using a cliché when it is fitting? Sure, it’d be better to come up with an original phrase, but jeez. It’s almost like you’ve got an axe to grind, VM.

  1. I am reminded of the largely Christian MPs in the House of Commons in the 19 century, who although as reactionary as could be, and who’s minds were full of superstition, had enough sense to realise that as the river Thames flowed past containing vast amounts of raw sewage, ( and of course the various harmful bacteria) , causing the “Great Stink”, that something had to be done about it. And Lo and Behold, a sewage system was later constructed to deal with the very real problem.

    Occasionally, reality has a way of forcing itself upon superstitious minds. Let’s hope that is the case in Pakistan.

  2. “…the World Health Organization has now turned to one of Sunni Islam’s highest authorities…” This is exactly the problem with and what enrages me about religion. Religious people actually grant these charlatans – whether they be mullahs, priests, nuns, rabbis, yogis, jedi masters or whatever – the authority to answer questions for them. Even extremely important, life and death type of questions. I beg the theists – STOP DOING THIS. Learn to think for yourself, please.
    And it it why I admire science so much. As Carl Sagan and Lawrence Krauss say, “in science there are NO authorities.”

  3. ‘But it faces a significant obstacle in, among other things, the belief in some areas that the vaccine is harmful or is intended to sterilize children’.

    I have seen this accusation (from a non-religious standpoint) from those tin foil hat fashioneries, this time however it is directed towards Bill Gates and his funding towards a malaria vaccine.

    Some of these same people also associate ugentics to the ‘Pro Choice industry’ as they call it.

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