The Sciences

Fundamentalism is bad for your health: Muslim edition

Bad AstronomyBy Phil PlaitJan 30, 2007 9:52 PM


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From the Times Online UK:

Dr Abdul Majid Katme, head of the Islamic Medical Association, is telling Muslims that almost all vaccines contain products derived from animal and human tissue, which make them "haram", or unlawful for Muslims to take.Islam permits only the consumption of halal products, where the animal has had its throat cut and bled to death while God's name is invoked.

Will they invoke God's name when their child is suffering from measles? How about mumps? In Islam, the men are regarded more highly than women; how would they feel if their borderline-adult son had these symptoms:

Mumps in adolescent and adult males may also result in the development of orchitis, an inflammation of the testicles. Usually one testicle becomes swollen and painful about 7 to 10 days after the parotids swell. This is accompanied by a high fever, shaking chills, headache, nausea, vomiting, and abdominal pain that can sometimes be mistaken for appendicitis if the right testicle is affected.

I can imagine yelling lots of blasphemous statements under those conditions. The Times Online article goes on to say:

His warning has been criticised by the Department of Health and the British Medical Association, who said Katme risked increasing infections ranging from flu and measles to polio and diphtheria in Muslim communities.

I sometimes joke that if creationists don't want to believe in evolution, then they shouldn't benefit from it, including vaccinations. However, the ramifications would spread to the larger population which understands just what medical science has done for humanity (as someone who is older than 30 and wears glasses, I am grateful to be alive because of medical science). There are so many reasons to fight fundamentalist religion. Your very life -- and the lives of your kids -- should be at the top of that list.

Tip o' the surgeon's mask to Respectful Insolence.

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