Cleric declares jihad against polio campaign

Published: June 13, 2012

Maulvi escapes before police raid, polio team returns to complete vaccinations. ILLUSTRATION: TRIBUNE COMMON

MUZAFFARGARH: 

A cleric in Muzaffargarh declared the polio campaign ‘un-Islamic’ and announced at the local mosque that Jihad should be carried out against the visiting polio vaccination team.

According to details, the local polio team entered Muzaffargarh’s rural Khan Pur Bagga Sher area and asked local families to cooperate with the campaign.

When the local cleric, Maulvi Ibrahim Chisti found out about the campaign, he immediately went to the biggest mosque in the area and declared that polio drops are ‘poison’ and against Islam. He added that if the polio team forced anybody to partake in the vaccination campaign, then Jihad was ‘the only option’.

As a result, the polio team returned to Muzaffargarh city without carrying out immunisation, and reported the matter to Muzaffargarh Health Executive District Officer (EDO) Dr Aashiq Hussain, who in turn informed the Muzaffargarh District Coordination Officer (DCO) Tahir Khursheed.

A police inquiry was ordered, after which a raid was carried out in the cleric’s area. However, Chisti had already escaped by the time the police arrived.

Residents said the cleric had tried to convince them that the polio campaign was a ‘western conspiracy’ to render the population impotent.

After the police raid, the polio team returned to Khan Pur Bagga Sher to implement the polio immunisation campaign.

Published In The Express Tribune, June 13th, 2012.

Reader Comments (36)

  • Mirza
    Jun 13, 2012 - 8:47AM

    Instead of declaring Jihad against illiteracy, hunger and disease it is ironic that the mullah are declaring jihad against vaccination. Yet again police could not arrest the mullah, what is new? No mullah is ever punished for their wrongdoings and abuse of religion. No mullah is going to issue fatwa against him.

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  • Imran
    Jun 13, 2012 - 8:51AM

    No wonder Zardari is president of this country!

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  • Aditya Randhawa
    Jun 13, 2012 - 8:56AM

    I agree with Mullahs , that vaccination is unislamic

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  • Jun 13, 2012 - 9:01AM

    The curse of Pakistan. Cowards to the core. If he is calling for Jihad then let him go to Afghanistan? Salams

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  • Imran Con
    Jun 13, 2012 - 9:11AM

    Just letting everyone know it’s seemingly possible to sprain your eyebrow if you raise one quickly enough. It should be impossible, I know. My brain instinctively just made it a point to halt all thinking about anything as an act of self preservation so worrying about it will have to wait. If I end up in a padded room and can no longer coherently tend to my own finances. I’m requesting that at least one person tell the doctors that cleric is the one who should be paying for the treatment.

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  • Cautious
    Jun 13, 2012 - 9:12AM

    Residents said the cleric had tried to
    convince them that the polio campaign
    was a ‘western conspiracy’ to render
    the population impotent.

    Maybe it’s time to start tossing some of these knuckledragger clerics in jail? The real question is why are the Pakistani political and military leaders mute when outrageous statements like this are made — it’s past time that you start to confront these ignorant clerics.

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  • Random
    Jun 13, 2012 - 9:35AM

    speechless. These maulvis do not know anything about Jihad and yet they can call for Jihad against everything and anything. jahiliat at its peak.

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  • DevilHunterX
    Jun 13, 2012 - 9:40AM

    Residents said the cleric had tried to convince them that the polio campaign was a ‘western conspiracy’ to render the population impotent.

    Can’t maulvis think about anything else but sex?

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  • positive pakistani
    Jun 13, 2012 - 9:41AM

    Just make all of these clerics stand in a row…..n….Shoot them!

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  • Yuri Kondratyuk
    Jun 13, 2012 - 9:54AM

    Qur’an is the true word of the only true God. But, I wonder why mullahs who know pretty much nothing outside of Qur’an are being so ignorant.

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  • Omer
    Jun 13, 2012 - 10:08AM

    Another culprit runs away! I say we should bulldoze his house to teach him a lesson.

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  • Omer
    Jun 13, 2012 - 10:09AM

    @ Positive Pakistani. I agree, because these clerics are our giving our country a slow death.

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  • Sky
    Jun 13, 2012 - 10:55AM

    All he need is some basic education about what immunization is and how it works. May be .. Just may be they understand

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  • Naveed Javed
    Jun 13, 2012 - 11:10AM

    No Wonder we live in Islamic Republic of Pakistan!

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  • usman
    Jun 13, 2012 - 11:27AM

    Role of shakil afridi is also creating huge problems in the immunization process. people in villages now doubt the vaccine and consider it as a counter productive.

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  • roadkashehzada
    Jun 13, 2012 - 11:37AM

    polio dose must be mandatory and should be responsibility of parents. if there is a polio case, parents should be fined and jailed

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  • Jun 13, 2012 - 12:27PM

    nonsense.

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  • Riaz Khan
    Jun 13, 2012 - 12:33PM

    We surely have DEATH WISH & it’s coming true!

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  • Javed
    Jun 13, 2012 - 12:40PM

    @usman:
    “Role of shakil afridi is also creating huge problems in the immunization process. people in villages now doubt the vaccine and consider it as a counter productive.”

    I am not defending Afridi but these baseless sentiments about Polio vaccination have been around for more than a decade across the country. It’s not Afridi, but our collective belief in conspiracy theories that is the source of our ills. Unfortunately both educated and uneducated have such beliefs.

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  • Proud Atheist
    Jun 13, 2012 - 1:50PM

    Unless Pakistanis resolve to separate religion and state and institute civil rights in place of religious rights, the common man will continue to suffer under the tyranny of religion.

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  • Syed
    Jun 13, 2012 - 2:36PM

    @ positive Pakistani,
    Now thats positive thinking. :)
    We should do what Mustafa Kamal Ataturk did in Turkey, although it was not ethical, but the end result is that after 5 decades Genuine Muslim leadership is emerging there instead of fanatic Kooko-heads like we and other Muslim countries have.

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  • Aditya
    Jun 13, 2012 - 2:37PM

    What do you expect from somebody who gets all his education from ‘religious teaching’ alone?

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  • DevilHunterX
    Jun 13, 2012 - 4:55PM

    @usman:
    Why? It is not like they have something or someone to hide right??

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  • True Muslim Paki
    Jun 13, 2012 - 5:33PM

    Please dont generalize. Every Cleric is not bad just like every secularist is not bad. There are some bad apples every where. The Clerics have contributed so much in advancing Islam in Pakistan. Please acknowledge that.
    I agree that what this cleric has done isn`t good.

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  • Sudheer Varkey
    Jun 13, 2012 - 5:40PM

    It would do the subcontinent if the countries were to compete on economic and social welfare fronts rather than military.
    I’m an Indian and I’m still disgusted and angry after reading this.

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  • Sudheer Varkey
    Jun 13, 2012 - 5:47PM

    Do the subcontinent a lot of good* if the countries were to compete on economic and social welfare fronts rather than military.

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  • Yuri Kondratyuk
    Jun 13, 2012 - 6:32PM

    @Syed:

    We should do what Mustafa Kamal
    Ataturk did in Turkey, although it was
    not ethical, but the end result is
    that after 5 decades Genuine Muslim
    leadership is emerging there instead
    of fanatic Kooko-heads like we and
    other Muslim countries have.

    Unethical actions produced the good that ethical actions couldn’t? Either your definition of ethical is wrong or your definition of good is wrong.

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  • Navid
    Jun 13, 2012 - 8:14PM

    It’s a shame that the idiotic comments one one, just one cleric in some remote village up north is being dubbed as the voice of all religious men. How judgemental can one be??? There is just one idiot in muzaffargarh, but I see numerous idiots here…and that too from the educated class…Recommend

  • BlaaardyCivilians
    Jun 13, 2012 - 8:59PM

    Serves us right since we tend to use religion in every sphere of life.. you reap what you sow!

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  • Salman
    Jun 13, 2012 - 11:18PM

    Is this a story even ? Even I can issue a declare jihad against polio while sitting comfortably in front of my lappy…will E.T make my news as well ? Recommend

  • Khalq e Khuda
    Jun 14, 2012 - 1:19AM

    Four years of glorious PML-N rule has effectively made many areas of Punjab into FATA 2.0. The increasing number of acid cases, violence against minorities and women, sprawling madrassas and roaring jihadists! You are truly the heir of Zia Take a bow Shahbaz Sharif!

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  • Truthbetold
    Jun 14, 2012 - 1:53AM

    @Aditya Randhawa:

    “I agree with Mullahs , that vaccination is unislamic “

    Vaccination and all western medicine is unislamic. Also, all music, television, computers, electricity, automobiles, telephone, refrigerators, air-conditioning, water pump, tractors, AK47, suicide vests are all unislamic.

    Someone should check what this mullah takes for his high blood pressure and diabetes.

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  • Saleem
    Jun 14, 2012 - 2:03AM

    Why do the stupid ‘awam’ listen to such retards and appoint them as imams of mosques. People like this maulvi need treatment in a mental asylum or if found not mentally ill to be shot for exposing young children to the risk of a paralytic illness.

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  • Usman Masood
    Jun 14, 2012 - 6:57PM

    Sadly the people of Pakistan have by and large been denied basic education and a real access to information. Especially in the rural areas, where “tradition” is promoted under the garb of Islam. Lack of actually following Islam could be the reason people are so easily misguided, if once they could perhaps know what their religion expects from them, they would not succumb to such verdicts…

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  • 1984
    Jun 14, 2012 - 7:22PM

    I’m eagerly waiting for the day when a cleric declares that AK47,RDX,nuclear missiles,automobiles,loud speaker in the mosque,suicide bomb vest etc are unislamic and no muslim should thereby use them….

    In “Back to the Future”,Doc and Marty travelled back 30 years in time.but with these guys you can travel back to Stone age

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  • Jun 21, 2012 - 1:49AM

    The current worldwide polio campaign was started in the early 80′s by the Rotary service organization.
    Since then they’ve teamed up with organizations and eliminated polio in 99% of the world with the three remaining countries being Pakistan, Afghanistan and Nigeria.

    Hundreds of millions of children has been inoculated since its inception and it needs to be stamped out or it will rise again.

    It is a bitter travesty when people, religious or otherwise threaten children’s health for there own purposes.
    Rotary and its companion organizations will work until Polio is eradicated from the world.

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