Last year, 24,000 children in the country were refused vaccinations on the call of the clergy, who declared the medicine un-Islamic! As a result, Pakistan is, today, one of only 4 countries in the world, where the disease in still endemic. Two of the other three, share borders with us - India and Afghanistan. While I'm not sure of the reasons behind the failing status of the latter two, I am thinking they too probably have something to do with illiteracy and the unequivocal faith resting in the equivocal characters in our societies - namely, the "ulema (clerics)", who insist on not embracing times and progression, or even common sense.
The three reasons given for opposing polio vaccines?
- They render little boys sterile, because they contain progesterone;
- They contain lard;
- They signify that we are trying to artificially combat God-willed adversities!
The second has been an all-time favourite of the clerics, and should not be dignified with a response. But the first and the third reasons cited, wreak of absolute madness. Progesterone? Why would Polio vaccinations contain progesterone, and if they would, how could a couple of drops cause sterility in little boys! Get this secret out, and that hellish gender-change industry will have a run for its money; nay, be doomed.
And that we should not try to combat difficulties (because they are a part of God's plans) is my favourite. What it essentially means is that these clerics are basically in favour of no medication at all - for prevention or cure. Because whatever the disease or ailment is, it is God's trial, and ought to be persevered with a writ so strong, that all the Pfizers, Bayers and Wyeths should shudder at the thought of Muslim domination in the world (as if we don't already have enough on our plates, thanks to these offshoots). The poor children who are suffering from Polio today, as a result of their ignorance, spark no compassion in the brady bunch. Maybe, stripping them of wool in winters this time around will.
Copyright (c) 2008 Saadia Malik