Image posted by TTP JA against polio vaccination
Pakistan Tehreek-e-Taliban Jamaat- ul -Ahrar (TTP JA) have reiterated their rejection of the polio vaccination by posting a video and fatwa on social media via their spokesperson Ehsanullah Ehsan.
The poliomyelitis (polio) virus causes temporary or permanent paralysis, which can be life-threatening. As there is no cure, vaccinating all children under 5 is considered by health experts to best safety measure for prevention. It is unclear if the content released by TTP JA is a new statement or refers to past Taliban media releases on polio. Al Mustafti Dr Abu Abida al Islamabadi gives his opinion on the subject and the following is stated, (English translation via RA),
“When I was young I got polio. My biggest sense of loss is that I cannot fight alongside the Taliban. However, I can still make myself useful but making crackers, filling explosive bombs and making suicide vests. You might say that my parents did not give me the polio drops but no, I was given the drops and despite this I got polio. You may not be aware but the polio vaccine is actually drops with the polio virus that are given in your body. These polio drops are manufactured from African monkey kidneys and you all know kidneys are for making urine. These monkey kidney also transmit other monkey diseases into our bodies including AIDS and polio. Some of our Muslim brothers were targeted and arrested by the establishment for not allowing the giving of polio to children. We would like to tell them to approach the Taliban representatives in your area and we vow to safeguard and protect you even at the cost of our lives.”
There is also reference to the CIA using the vaccination programme in Pakistan for their own ends via Dr Shakil Afridi. The intention was to use this as a cover during their operation to locate and kill Osama Bin Laden so CIA could obtain DNA to ensure they had the right person. TTP JA now claim the programme is a conspiracy that government infidels are following for America and it will be harmful to locals.
See following links, for Taliban posts on polio,
Back in 2013 Ehsanullah told me, “Sister, we are not opposed to healthcare per se but have to take certain measures to curtail spy operations carried out undercover. We simply cannot ignore spy operations under their cover. Our enemies want to vaccinate our children before droning them.” He also pointed out that it was drones and the Pakistan army killing children in the Tribal Areas adding, “the present world order that kills 30,000 children every day wants to vaccinate children – children they will kill later on anyway. There are many Shakil Afridis and collaborating NGOs on the ground. When your house is raided, you fight. Vaccinations and green tea afterwards.”
Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan stance on polio vaccination
The stance of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (IEA) on polio differs to that of TTP JA. The Afghan Taliban are generally supportive of polio programmes providing they fall within Islamic principles, see following statement,
“Follow Islam: Islamic Emirate (Afghan Taliban) declaration reminder, polio workers”should be provided with all necessary support”
I raised the difference in opinion with Ehsanullah who stated, “this is the official statement of TTP JA against polio and TTP JA is independent in our strategies. Video with a fatwa reflects the Islam.”
Situation in Pakistan
World Health Organization reported: In 2015, polio remains endemic in only two countries – Pakistan and Afghanistan. No new cases have been reported in Africa for the past year. (Graphics via BBC)
End Polio Website states, “Pakistan accounted for 86% of the global wild poliovirus (WPV) case count in 2014. Pakistan is the only country to have reported a dramatic increase in cases last year. In 2014, polio affected forty-four districts (23 in 2013) from three provinces/areas.”
Yesterday’s statement will cause alarm for polio workers and may lead to a tightening of security. Health staff and those protecting them on the ground have being threatened and even killed.
End Polio stated the following on their website in relation to polio in Pakistan,
“Polio eradication continues to be a national emergency with the renewed commitment of the Government at all levels. The Polio Eradication Initiative (PEI) recognizes that quality and coverage of polio campaigns are too low, with significant pockets of continuously missed children. The goal of the NEAP 2015-16 remains to interrupt transmission of wild poliovirus in Pakistan. Key elements and strategies of the plan are in this document, in detail, which includes both refinements of existing strategies and the incorporation of innovative approaches. The underlying assumption of the 2015 Pakistan NEAP is that “all children anywhere in the country can be reached.”
See following link,
Regarding concerns over risks, very little in life is entirely risk free, the question is whether the benefits outweigh the risks. Every time a person get in a car there is a risk of an accident but vehicles are not banned. India is now polio free. Baby Centre website which gives guidance to mothers in India states “about one in 2.4 million people who receive Oral Polio Vaccine (OPV) – which is a live, but diluted, virus – may contract polio. This is not the case with Injected Polio V (IPV) as it is inactivated” see following link,
“Polio vaccine, drops or injection”
Does the polio vaccine come within Islamic principles?
IN DEFENSE OF VACCINATION: (From right) IDB President Ahmed Mohammed Ali, OIC Secretary-General Iyad Madni, International Islamic Fiqh Academy Chairman Sheikh Saleh bin Abdullah and Abbas Shuman, representative of the grand mufti of Al-Azhar, at the IGA meeting. (AN photo by Fouzia Khan)
Regarding the question whether the polio vaccination is un- Islamic? In 2014, Arab News reported a meeting of the Islamic Advisory Group (IAG) held in Jeddah to review the global polio situation where this issue was addressed. They stated,
“Abbas Shuman, representative of the grand mufti of Al-Azhar, said that Shariah allows the use of drugs to protect against epidemic diseases. The Islamic Shariah has ordered that we protect five key objectives from harm: life, religion, faith, honor and natural resources.
‘It is everyone’s duty to protect the life and health of human beings. The attacks on health workers and facilities must be stopped. The health of all children is at risk if health workers and health facilities are attacked so it is everyone’s duty to protect children from polio or any epidemic diseases as going against this will be a sin. Therefore, parents should take their children for vaccination,’ he said.”
“Shariah allows vaccination”
“In Pakistan, a Final Push to Wipe Out Polio”
Carol Anne Grayson is an independent writer/researcher on global health/human rights and is Executive Producer of the Oscar nominated, Incident in New Baghdad. She is a Registered Mental Nurse with a Masters in Gender Culture and Development. Carol was awarded the ESRC, Michael Young Prize for Research 2009, and the COTT ‘Action = Life’ Human Rights Award’ for “upholding truth and justice”. She is also a survivor of US “collateral damage”.