Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Will the Himandhoo Taliban community refuse polio vaccination?

A cleric in a northern Pakistani village has opposed a foreign-funded polio vaccination campaign of the Pakistan government, urging locals not to take any preventive measures against polio "as those killed during an outbreak are martyrs". "I must tell my brothers and sisters that finding a cure (vaccination) for an epidemic before its outbreak is not allowed in Sharia ," said Maulana Fazlullah during a Friday sermon in Mam Dherai village where he is building a madrassa with local funds.“According to Sharia, one should avoid going to the areas where an epidemic has broken out, but those who do go to such areas and get killed during an outbreak are martyrs,” he said. The provincial government has launched an anti-polio campaign to run between February 20 and 22 in selected parts of the province, but there have been reports of people refusing to get their children vaccinated.
Sermons like this are influencing people into refusing polio vaccination in many parts of the NWFP. Like Nigeria, Pakistan is another country where clergy is blocking efforts aimed at eliminating fatal diseases like polio. Cases of people misbehaving with polio vaccination staff have been reported from several areas. Recently, a surgeon, Dr Ghani Khan, was killed in a bomb blast in remote Bajaur Agency, causing postponement of the anti-polio campaign, official sources said.
Swat is one area where polio staff is facing resistance, said an official, adding that deeply religious people often resisted things involving foreigners.
Maulana Fazlullah suspects the intentions of foreign agencies involved in funding drives against fatal diseases: “I don’t understand why foreigners would think of our well-being when we see that they are killing Muslims in Afghanistan and Iraq.” He cited the example of a companion of the Prophet who, he said, was ‘martyred’ during an epidemic.

To read the complete article go to adnkronosinternational the global information gateway

Sunday, February 18, 2007

(Some) mullahs declare polio vaccination an American plot

"The parents of 24,000 children in northern Pakistan refused to allow health workers to administer polio vaccinations last month, mostly due to rumours that the harmless vaccine was an American plot to sterilise innocent Muslim children.
The disinformation - spread by extremist clerics using mosque loudspeakers and illegal radio stations, and by word of mouth - has caused a sharp jump in polio cases in Pakistan and hit global efforts to eradicate the debilitating disease.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) recorded 39 cases of polio in Pakistan in 2006, up from 28 in 2005. The disease is concentrated in North-West Frontier Province, where 60% of the refusals were attributed to "religious reasons".
"It was very striking. There was a lot of anti-American propaganda as well as some misconceptions about sterilisation," said Dr Sarfaraz Afridi, a campaign manager with the WHO in Peshawar.
The scaremongering and appeals to Islam echoed a similar campaign in the Nigerian state of Kano in 2003, where the disease then spread to 12 polio-free countries over the following 18 months. Pakistan is one of just four countries where polio remains endemic. The others are Nigeria, India and Afghanistan."
To read the entire article go to Guardian Unlimited

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Jinni's make big comeback

While googling to find God is a recent phenomenon, dialling a jinni for help has been practised for a long time. Fanditha, a mixture of folk medicine, charms and black magic, based on ancient beliefs and superstitions has its roots in the Hindhu-Vedic culture of our ancestors and has been around from the days of the first Maldivians. The jinni was added to this mix with the arrival of the Arab invaders in the latter part of 12th century.

The father of Jenni is Devil ( Iblis ) while the father of mankind is Adam , peace upon him . Regarding the nature of their creation , God the Almighty told us that they were created from fire when he said ( We created the demons from the fire of poisons ), his saying ( The demons are created from a tip of flaming fire ) . The scholars from the ancestors explained the words ( Marej Min Nar) as the tip of flame, as reported by each of Ibn Abbas , Ekrema , Mujahed , Al-Hassan , and so on . (from alroqia.com)

The last judicial execution in Maldives also involved the arcane and the supernatural. On Tuesday 7 April 1953, the trial of the black magicians for the poisoning murder of Huvadhu Atoll Chief Veeru Ali Didi was held at the Civilisation Club. Abdullah Jalaluddheen Sheikhul Islam the Chief Justice of Maldives passed a death sentence and Nilandhoo Hakeem Didi was promptly tied to a coconut palm on Hulule' and shot to death. During the Presidency of Rannabadeyri Kilegefaan Ibrahim Nasir, fanditha appears to have been pushed to the fringes as Maldives tried to enter the modern world. Nasir Kilegafaan was a science and technology man.
Now fanditha has made a big comeback. The demand for it has grown since Maumoon took power. Apparently, Maumoon's father was also a black magician. From acquiring weath and wives to curing chikungunya, an increasing number of people are turning to fanditha. There is wide variety of solutions. The thaveedhu, and the glass of water over which the magic words are recited, are the most common. Then there is the the broadband access to the world of jinni. This is achieved by top black magicians by accessing a jinni through a person who has fits.
Fanditha is resurging and black magicians are doing brisk business. This is not at all surprising considering the fact that even the current Minister of Health himself apparently uses fanditha. According to a Police investigation conducted at the request of the Minister for the President's Office, he enlisted black magic help from the daughter of Hakeem Didi, because his fingers were disintegrating, and cysts and dermatitis were forming on his body, and for many other things including a bid for the Presidency. This investigation finally climaxed with a court case.

"Any person who wishes to practise Dhivehi medicine, Fanditha, Circumcision, and Midwifery must write to the Ministry of Health for a permit, and must receive a permit before practising anything mentioned above.In relation to these matters, the Ministry of Health has the discretion to choose to grant an appropriate permit to those who make a request, and may also cancel any of these permits."
Translation of Act No:74/78, 5 June 1978, Statutes of the Maldives, Administration Office of the People's Majlis, Malé 1997.
With many thanks to Maldives Culture.

Saturday, February 03, 2007

M.I.B guard girl students (Those who dress like Pakis... part II )

Men In Buruga are guarding the girl students of Jamia Hafsa who have refused to vacate a children’s public library until the government enforces Sharia law in Pakistan.

"Some of the burqa-clad people occupying a children’s public library here are actually men and not women", a student of the Jamia Hafsa seminary said on Thursday. Students of the girls seminary have taken over the library to protest at the demolition of a mosque built on encroached state land. The girl student said on condition of anonymity that burqa-clad male students not only guard the library, but also roam freely in the Jamia Hafsa compound, and the girl students resented this. “When we told the male students to leave the compound and not to trespass, they paid no heed, saying that they were there for our safety and protection,” she said. nni"

“We want Sharia or we are ready to embrace martyrdom,” representatives of the ‘Students Action Committee’ told reporters here on Thursday.

With thanks to
Daily Times