Cleric declares jihad against polio campaign

Maulvi escapes before police raid, polio team returns to complete vaccinations.

Our Correspondent June 13, 2012


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.


Terry Bass | 11 years ago | Reply

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.

1984 | 11 years ago | Reply

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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