Indonesia – Fatwa Against The Measles Vaccine

From Atheist Republic news of a threat to health posed by religious nonsense.

Photo Credits: Opposing Views

Measles is a highly contagious infectious disease caused by the measles virus. Symptoms usually develop 10–12 days after exposure to an infected person and will last 7–10 days. Small white spots known as Koplik's spots may form inside the mouth two or three days after the start of symptoms. Vaccination as a prevention from this virus resulted in a 75% decrease in deaths from measles between 2000 and 2013, with about 85% of children worldwide being currently vaccinated.

According to ABC News, Indonesia's peak Islamic body issued a religious decree — or fatwa — declaring the Rubella-Measles vaccine to be "haram" or religiously forbidden. The Indonesian Ulama Council (MUI) justifies the ruling by claiming the vaccine contains traces of pork and human cells, which are banned in the Muslim religion.

“We’ve found ourselves in a position where we have no choice … there has not been a vaccine found to be halal and sacred,” an MUI official told CNN Indonesia. He said the religious organization understood the dangers associated with not getting children immunized.

However, CNN Indonesia reported that a number of towns have already suspended the vaccine before the MUI even announced their decision.

Tim Lindsey, the director of the Centre for Indonesian Law in the University of Melbourne, told ABC News that the fatwa would undoubtedly make accessing the vaccination more difficult in Indonesia.

However, the fatwa also states that the use of the product will be allowed for the time being due to the lack of viable alternatives. The problem is that fatwas are very powerful among Muslims, and if people already have any doubts at all about the vaccine — now they also have a religious excuse for avoiding them.

Fatwas are not legally binding in Indonesia, however declarations from the MUI are highly influential. “If there’s a MUI fatwa opposing it, that will be a real obstacle to public health efforts,” Professor Lindsey said.

A lower percentage of vaccinated children can severely endanger the whole population. For example, as of September 2017 a measles epidemic was ongoing across Europe, especially Eastern Europe. In Romania, there were about 9300 cases of measles; 34 people who were all unvaccinated died of measles. This was preceded by a 2008 controversy regarding the HPV vaccine. In 2012, a doctor named Christa Todea-Gross published a free downloadable book online. The book contained misinformation about vaccinations from abroad (translated into Romanian) which significantly stimulated the growth of the anti-vaccine movement.

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Anthony McIntyre

Former IRA prisoner, spent 18 years in Long Kesh. Free Speech advocate, writer, historian, humanist, and researcher.

9 comments to ''Indonesia – Fatwa Against The Measles Vaccine "

  1. What I don't understand is how those who get vexinated are not immune from catching the measles? I thought that was the point of getting vexinated?

  2. Christy,

    No, being vaccinated is to pre-arm your immune system to recognise a foreign body so when the main assault comes it's got the hardware to resist it.

    You will still get the measles but should be able to fight it off as your body instantly recognises the virus before it has a chance to multiply.

    Viruses work in the main by fooling immune systems into ignoring them until they multiply enough to cause the damage.

    Vaccines allow your body a very early warning.

    For example, right now my son has Chicken Pox. He has had it before when he was a wean and he was covered head to toe. Now he has about 7 spots in total and felt slightly tired one evening and that's it. His body recognised the danger and went into full apeshit overdrive to repel the bastard virus.

    But the human body can't fight off every infection and that's why we vacinate.


  3. whatever u do, dont give vaccines to monkeys -

  4. also, how do pro-vaccinators feel about the use of aborted fetal cells in vaccines. is this medical progress or diabolical butchery? surely this is wickedness without equal, or is it just another 'choice'.

  5. Grouch,

    I have absolutely no issue with fetal cells being used in vaccinations. How do you feel about blood or organ donors?

  6. so long as they're not your own fetal cells eh Steve.

  7. As I've said, I've no problem with it grouch. Now, how do you feel about organ donors?

  8. Steve

    Thanks for that though my query was a little off the topic of religious fanatism versus enlightenment and moderation.

  9. Did you say you had no problem with your good self being used as one of the ingredients of a vaccine? as for blood donors and organ donors - id give you a pint of saordonian blood if you needed a transfusion and one of me own kidneys too if u were stuck for it. to me blood donation and organ donation are a billion miles away from the spare parts industry.


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