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Is this an oxymoron or what?! Swine flu warning for British Muslims
Tuesday, September 22, 2009, 07:00

Latest news report From United Kingdom says that all British Muslims must receive the swine flu vaccination. : At the Heart of All Things Local

A Little Background from Wikipedia:
Halal (حلال, ḥalāl, Halaal) is an Arabic term designating any object or an action which is permissible to use or engage in, according to Islamic law. It is the opposite of haraam. The term is widely used to designate food seen as permissible according to Islamic law (Sharia) - ( (الشريعة الإسلامية). It is estimated that 70% of Muslims worldwide follow halal food standards[1] and that the global halal market is currently a $580 (U.S.) billion industry[2].

Learning About the Laws
Islam has laws regarding which foods can and cannot be eaten and also on the proper method of slaughtering an animal for consumption, known as dhabihah. However if there is no other food available then a Muslim is allowed to eat non-Halal food.[3] Surah 2:173 states:
If one is forced because there is no other choice, neither craving nor transgressing, there is no sin in him. Indeed, Allah is forgiving, merciful

Of the explicitly forbidden substances everyone knows that pork is not kosher. It seems to be at the top of the list. A variety of substances are considered as harmful (haraam) for humans to consume and, therefore, forbidden as per various Quranic verses:
Pork meat (i.e., flesh of pig)[Qur'an 2:173].

Now, I don't know how it is viewed specifically regarding vaccinations since it is not 'eaten' but injected. If it truly were to save a life as a medical intervention, then I imagine it would be acceptable and even required.

Are There Exceptions to the Rules?
I know in Judaism, if an innovation that saves a life by replacing a part the body, such as a heart valve, then it is acceptable. Interestingly, pig organs make the best substitutes for human organs with least rejection.

There are more options today:
  • Pig valves which are actual transplants from the heart of a pig.
  • Cow valves which are made from the pericardial tissue of a cow’s heart.
  • Homografts which are human donor valves.
  • Autografts which are the patient’s own valve used in the Ross Procedure.

But, I digress.

A Matter of Choice
The reason for this blog is to question WHY Muslims from Nottingham are being required to prove they are vaccinated against swine flu before they travel to Saudi Arabia for the Hajj Pilgrimage?

I understand that fear of the spread of disease, with the season changing and the congregation of so many people in close quarters. But, let us look at the present situation. This is a mild flu season. With proper sanitary precautions, boosting of nutritional supplements, and proper rest and vitamins everyone will be fine.

On the other hand, requiring the vaccination may cause more harm than good if the health authorities are listening to the news from experts in vaccination effects.

I'm wondering what the population of Muslims will do after hearing the news that everyone who goes on the pilgrimage to Mecca this November will be required to get seasonal flu vaccine certificates. Will they change their plans? What are their choices?

Screening Measures
The article indicates that passengers are currently screened on arrival at all ports of entry into Saudi Arabia. Does that mean every person gets a blood test? How is the screening accomplished?

How many are quarantined today?
Does anyone know what the statistics are for how many people are quarantined for carrying the H1N1 virus, for how long and where? The news report says these quarantined patients are also admitted to the hospital if they test positive. What treatments are given?
  • Closures and Quarantines Saudi Arabia Preparations for the increased flow of pilgrims to Mecca between June and September will include awareness campaigns on the symptoms of influenza H1N1 and precautionary measures, including wearing masks at crowded places and adherence to health regulations laid down by the Saudi authorities. Separately, the government on 13 July announced the temporary closure of an international school in the capital Riyadh after 20 of its students, including seven foreigners, were found to have contracted influenza H1N1.
  • FLU TRACKER: 86717 people examined quarantine at Cairo airport for fear of the swine flu and to ensure their safety
  • A number of travel agents that they expect an unprecedented decline in the number of applicants to perform the Hajj this year because of the prevailing fear of the disease, swine flu which is sweeping the world today.
  • They pointed out that the warnings made by the Ministry of Health of the presence in crowded places and to call to postpone the pilgrimage season of the reason for panic among the citizens, demanding the ministry officials to show restraint in making statements and not to intimidate citizens and give it more volume
  • Particularly since Saudi Arabia has 4 devices capable of prosecuting any virus during the Hajj and Umrah seasons, reduce the spread and so their losses are compounded by the increasing mainly as a result of the global financial crisis and its effects.
  • The other hand, continued to get rid of the pigs on the tenth day in a row have been executed since 4630 and the slaughter of 94 pigs in the head while calling for d.
  • Sami Taha, a member of the Board of the Association veterinarians need to slaughter all the pigs in Egypt, including the existing churches and monasteries to control the disease and to ensure non-proliferation and entry into Egypt.
  • The Ministry of Health examined the health quarantine authorities at Cairo airport for about 86 thousand and 717 people from those in the swine flu virus, the ministry confirmed that seven people suspected of whom only HIV infection and found not all of the disease

What's Your Opinion?
The religious leader, Minister for Faith and Cohesion Shahid Malik said: "It is inevitable that at an event where two million people are expected to meet, viruses will spread quickly." Perhaps they are all taking this news in stride and feel it is the best course of action. Do you have an opinion?

"This year there is greater concern about flu, particularly for vulnerable people."

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