The Islamic Post Blog

‘Swine Flu’ Makes a Case for Religious Reflection by Khalida
May 21, 2009, 5:36 am
Filed under: Interfaith, May Volume I - 2009, National, Religion, Science, World | Tags:

US Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano has announced the United States federal government declaration of a public health emergency due to the swine flu outbreak. Secretary Napolitano asserts the declaration is part of a standard operating procedure, which was also done for the 2009 presidential inauguration and for flooding. The influenza strain “is obviously a cause for concern … but it is not a cause for alarm,” President Obama has noted.
Health and Religion.
Knowledge is coming to the forefront that people who work with swine, especially those with intense exposures, are at increased risk of infection with the influenza virus if the animals carry the strain that is also able to infect humans. It is believed to be spread between humans through coughing or sneezing of infected people and touching something with the virus on it and then touching their own nose or mouth. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has also declared that swine flu cannot be spread by pork products, since the virus is not transmitted if it has been cooked “to an internal temperature of 160°F” as this process “kills the swine flu virus as it does other bacteria and viruses.”
Nevertheless, Muslim, Christian and Jewish holy books all prohibit the consumption of pork, which is a staple in the Southern Unites States and south of the border as well, although the majority of residents in these areas are widely known to be religious:
Old Testament: “ As for any beast that is a splitter of the hoof but is not a former of the cleft and not a chewer of the cud, they are unclean for you. Everyone touching them will be unclean.” –Leviticus 11:26
Holy Qur’an: “Forbidden to you for (food) are: dead meat, blood and the flesh of the swine and that which hath been invoked the name other than Allah.” –Holy Qur’an 5:4
It is also worthy of note that Jesus (peace be upon him) has been recorded as stating in the New Testament: “Think not that I have come to abolish the law and the Prophets. I have come not to abolish but to fulfill them.” –Matthew 5:17. However, this is disputed by followers of Paul, who exclude themselves from the law based upon his teachings.


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