Islamists vs. the Quest to Eradicate Polio

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Unfortunately, eradicating the disease from Pakistan without Taliban cooperation seems a hugely daunting task given that the Islamist terror group operates with impunity in the mountainous terrain of Waziristan. As one Pakistani health official said, “going to these areas for a polio campaign would be tantamount to putting the lives of our staff in jeopardy.”

That hazardous assessment, sadly, is growing equally true for polio vaccinators working outside Taliban-controlled areas as a disturbingly large percentage of Pakistani Muslims seem to share the Taliban’s aversion to polio vaccinations, albeit for differing reasons.

In particular, many Pakistani parents, fearful that vaccination is either a US-led plot to sterilize Muslims or violates Islamic law, are refusing to let their children become vaccinated. According to one Pakistani government health official, an estimated 30,000 families across Pakistan refused polio vaccination during the latest national polio vaccination campaign.

Moreover, the efforts to prevent health workers from administering polio vaccinations are becoming increasingly violent and deadly, violence fueled in part by some Muslim clerics who have denounced the polio campaign to be anti-Islam. One cleric in Pakistan’s Punjab province, Maulvi Ibrahim Chisti, recently called for a jihad against polio vaccination teams.

Recent examples of that jihad include a community health worker shot and killed in Karachi; a polio vaccination team beaten up in the capital Islamabad; two workers of WHO wounded when their vehicle was shot at by armed men in Karachi; and a polio vaccinator brutally beaten by a family in Islamabad for trying to administer anti-polio drops to their child.

Yet, despite the rise in violence against polio vaccinators, there are those who remain confident that the Pakistani public will eventually be won over to the side of preventative medicine.

One of those voices is Shahnaz Wazir Ali, Special Assistant to Pakistan’s Prime Minister, who said, “It is our religious duty and obligation to protect our children against disease and disability,” adding that over 730 Muslim scholars and religious leaders “have pledged their support to the cause.”

One of those religious leaders was Mufti Abdul Qayyum, a one-time staunch anti-polio vaccine advocate who had once said in an interview that the polio vaccine was “haraam” (sinful), noting that he would rather have his own child “crippled by polio than take her forward for administration of a haraam vaccine.”

Those words became bitterly prophetic as Qayyum’s own 23 month-old niece recently fell victim to polio, an event which transformed the Islamic scholar into a devoted advocate of polio immunization, one who reportedly has now administered anti-polio drops to children in his city of Quetta as well as to his own one year-old son.

Unfortunately, Mufti Qayyum’s conversion came at the expense of his niece, who now faces lifelong paralysis, a fate now possibly faced by the 250,000 Pakistani children without polio immunization who live under Taliban control.

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  • Anamah

    What a problem for Islamists! What to do? Is not easy for that kind of people to love their own children enough to protect them against horrific diseases. But yes there are some problems… Americans and Jews can be inside each drop of these vaccines… their funds, their doctors, their labs, their geniuses, so… how to solve that terrible doubt deep and difficult to solve? They can't!!!

    • mlcblog

      Love seems to be a foreign concept over there.

  • Stuart Parsons

    Muslim children need no vaccines…. They have the protection of the mighty Allah who clearly stated that the administers of these vaccines "are the vilest of beasts" 8:55. Furthermore, according to the Islamic doctrine of Al-Wala wal bara Muslims must love what Allah loves and hate what Allah hates. Allah loves the Taliban and hates infidels bearing ungodly oral vaccines containing Allah knows what.

  • Amused

    So be it , let them cripple their next generation . In addition , no travel into any western country from areas that have refused vaccination .It's just too bad that the adult Taliban can't be infected , since most had their vaccine as children .


      They already cripple their next generation. – with islamofascxist brainwashing in Madrassas and Mosques.

  • Ghostwriter

    Somehow,I'm not surprised at any of this.

  • Boston

    Two big problems for the Islamists. 1) The developer of the polio vaccine was Jewish. 2) They've heard that the vaccine was made up of ground-up pig spinal cords so that's out for the true believers.

  • Atikva

    These people are regularly poisoning schoolgirls to prevent them from learning to read and write. So even if they could understand the concept of vaccination, how could they possibly care about their children contracting a crippling disease, they are too far gone in the realm of lies and stupidity!

    That's islam for you.

  • jmz

    how do i put this delicatly?…ummmm Screw them, let them die. quit wasting our money and vaccines to help kids, whos parents are trying to kill us and will blow up their kids to do it. who will then grow up healthy and try to kill us. i dont want to wait 50 yrs for the next couple of generations to hopefully join us in the 21st century and quit being animals. I want to kill them off and replace them with superior model people. face it these people hate us, they hate what is good and hate the freedom and prosperity the west (esp America) stands for. they dont want to join us or work with us or even tolerate us. they want to dominate, enslave and kill us and our way of life forever. quit helping them LEST MUSLIM TRASH DIE THEY DESERVE IT!

  • danseagull