Friday, April 27, 2007

Fatwa on polio vaccine - causes impotence.

From the Hindustan Times:

Thousands of children below five years in Peshawar could not be administered polio drops, after a fatwa issued by anti-state cleric Maulana Fazal Ullah declared that these drops could turn the kids "sexually impotent". Ullah’s message warning the people against the polio drive was aired on illegally-run radio FM channels. The cleric is said to be holding tremendous influence in the area and people accede to his directions.

He said that polio drops rendered the kids "sexually impotent", and also called upon the people to boycott the polio drops because these (polio drops) were a tool used by the Western countries, particularly the US.
Unfortunately, there's no vaccine for ignorance. The BBC reports that over 160,000 children were estimated to have been left unvaccinated and that vaccine teams have been beaten up. Conspiracy theories abound.
Amirullah Khan, a resident of NWFP's Swat district, quoted Maulana Fazlullah of a local FM channel as telling his listeners the vaccination drive was "a conspiracy of the Jews and Christians to stunt the population growth of Muslims". Maulana Fazlullah confirmed this to BBC, saying if the international organisations were keen on improving the health of the Muslims, they should help the hepatitis-C patients in the area. Last year samples of the vaccine were laboratory-tested after a petition in Peshawar High Court alleged they contained oestrogen. The hormone was not found, said Dr Waheed Khan, a health official.