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Pakistani Religious Scholar Speaks In Support Of Polio, Other Vaccines

“A radical Pakistani religious scholar known as the ‘Father of the Taliban’ has issued a fatwa urging parents to immunize their children against polio and other fatal diseases, adding that vaccinations comply with Islamic law,” Agence France-Presse reports. “The edict by Maulana Sami-ul-Haq, who heads the hardline Dar-ul-Uloom Haqqania seminary, comes more than a year after the Pakistani Taliban banned polio immunization following a fake CIA vaccination program meant to help track Al Qaeda chief Osama Bin Laden,” the news service writes, noting, “The ban has led to a surge in polio cases in Pakistan that threatens worldwide efforts to eradicate the infectious crippling disease, which is also endemic in Nigeria and Afghanistan.” However, “according to a statement signed by Haq and dated October 30, parents should disregard the militants’ warnings,” AFP states (12/10).