Andrew Bostom and WND Mislead on Vaccines and Islam

(Amended post: I originally failed to notice that the WND author had conflated Somali-Americans with Somali refugees)

From WND:

An outbreak of measles is sweeping through a community of Somali refugees in Minnesota and the growing number of cases may be starting to test the limits of the Hennepin County healthcare system.

…Dr. Andrew Bostom, M.D., an academic internist specializing in general internal medicine who has also authored several books about the history of Islam, said Muslim communities often prove difficult to convince that vaccinations are appropriate for their children.

“The case against vaccinations is first an Islamic one,” he said, citing a 2011 article by Dr. Majid Katme, spokesman for the Islamic Medical Association in the United Kingdom.

“We are giving our innocent children haram [forbidden] substances and harmful chemicals that destroy their natural immune systems, causing disease, suffering and death,” Dr. Katme wrote. (1)

The article, by WND‘s Leo Hohmann, was originally titled “Measles Outbreak among Somali Refugees Stretches Minneapolis Health System”, but this has since been amended to “Quran Blamed in New U.S. Disease Outbreak”.

It should be noted that other reports refer to “Somali-Americans” rather than “Somali refugees”, and it seems more likely that this is the case: from the rest of Hohmann’s article, it seems that he has chosen to portray the patients as “refugees” in order to promote Donald Trump’s thwarted travel restriction proposals.

It is the case that measles vaccination rates among Somali-Americans in Minnesota are low – but this is something that is local, and that has happened over the past ten years. It’s theoretically possible that Majid Katme’s view about what is “haram” may have played a role, but if so, neither Hohmann nor Bostom provide any evidence of it, and I’m doubtful.

A more immediate cause appears to be first-hand contact between Somali-Americans in Minnesota and the discredited Dr Andrew Wakefield. Of course, a community might have been predisposed to welcoming Wakefield’s anti-vaccination theories due to a pre-existing religious objection to vaccines, but this seems unlikely to be the case here given that in 2004 the vaccination rate among Minnesota-born Somalis was at 92%.

Ironically, it may be that Somali refugees are better protected: although some vaccine resistance has been reported in Somalia, the authorities have run vaccination programmes without without encountering serious problems. More generally, although Islamists have opposed vaccines in some parts of the Muslim world (as blogged here), the mainstream Muslim view, as expressed by the Islamic Advisory Group for Polio Eradication – and apparently endorsed by the OIC – is that “routine childhood vaccinations” are “a life-saving tool which protects children” and that vaccination “fully conforms to Islamic rulings.”

Somali-Americans in Minnesota are far from being the only group to have shunned the measles vaccine: in one particular case in 2005, a returning missionary from Romania brought measles to churchgoers in Indiana. A subsequent study confirmed that the patients had been concerned “about adverse events, particularly related to media reports of a putative association between vaccinations and autism”.

WND has sent out mixed messages on the subject of vaccines; on the one hand, it has run pieces by a libertarian named Phil Elmore with titles such as “Don’t Buy the Vaccines-Autism Myth”, and in February 2015 it published a column by Ben Carson stating that “there is no substantial risk from vaccines, and… the benefits are very significant”. However, the site’s more typical output has been fearmongering headlines such as “Measles Vaccines Kill more than Measles”, which was followed by “Stunner! Whistleblower Claims Feds Hiding Vaccine-Autism Link” and “Big Pharma-CDC Lie On Vaccines” (among others).

Further, in 2007, WND‘s tie-in print publication Whistleblower ran a special issue on “Scary Medicine: Exposing The Dark Side of Vaccines”. Contributors included one Dr Sherri Tenpenny, who is on the board of directors of the “International Medical Council on Vaccination”. The council has a website, which includes among its resources… the very screed by Majid Katme quoted by Hohmann and Bostom!

UPDATE: ABC News has run a piece on the issue, under the headline “In Minnesota’s Worst Measles Outbreak, a Battle of Beliefs over Vaccines”. It includes the following:

On Sunday, a nonprofit group that has questioned vaccine safety held a meeting for the Somali community [in Minnesota] to advise them about their rights to decline vaccinations based on their beliefs.

Patti Carroll, the director of outreach for the non-profit group called the Vaccine Safety Council of Minnesota, said the goal was to inform parents of their rights and that they could decline recommended vaccinations even during an ongoing measles outbreak.

…Mark Blaxill spoke at the meeting on Sunday, aimed at parents in the Somali community, according to ABC affiliate KSTP, and told parents they could refuse vaccinations and still have their children attend daycare and receive benefits.

WND re-published the first three paragraphs of the article, and provided a link for the rest. However, WND has also changed the headline; while the ABC News report refers to “Somali Minnesotans”, WND headlines the article as “Somali-Muslims at Center of New Vaccine Battle” – thus maintaining the bogus refugee and religion angles while implying that Minnesotans of Somali birth or heritage are not “really” Minnesotans.

Footnote

(1) Katme actually used the spelling variation haaram, and “forbidden” appears to have been in the original source:

We are giving our innocent children haraam (forbidden) substances and harmful chemicals that destroy their natural immune systems, causing disease, suffering and death.

12 Responses

  1. America has the highest infant death rate of 45 developed nations and also has the highest vaccination rate .
    The infant death rate and vaccination rate graph line up perfectly.
    The highest smallpox deaths happened in Germany which had 99% vaccination rates – this led the public out on the streets circa 200 years ago to protest against vaccination – Sanitation then reduced smallpox to zero.
    Measles Mumps Rubella Polio diseases deaths flatlined BEFORE vaccination with nutrition and sanitation.
    Jenner was not a doctor but a fraudster who killed his son with the filthy smallpox pus .
    A vaccine will give you the disease it is supposed to prevent – why would it not. I had all these diseases
    naturally with barely a day off school . No one in America has died of natural measles in the last ten years but 10 have died of the vaccine – this from the CDC .
    Do the research and dont listen to Big Pharma’a marketing campaigns on this trillion dollar scam.
    One in two american kids are sick with allergies
    with the 100 plus toxic ingredients in their 70 plus vaccines by age 10.

    • “America has the highest infant death rate of 45 developed nations”
      I’m not sure what you’d call a “developed country”, but the USA’s infant mortality rate of 5.8 per 1000 is better than that of Russia, India, Brazil, Argentina and South Africa according to this list.
      “The infant death rate and vaccination rate graph line up perfectly” Could you provide a link to such a graph?
      “The highest smallpox deaths happened in Germany which had 99% vaccination rates”
      You seem to be talking about the 1870/1 epidemic; that was when Jenner’s old “cowpox” innoculation method was being used. Jenner didn’t discover smallpox innoculation btw – it was already a folk remedy against smallpox in many parts of Europe; his contribution was to prove it scientifically. His two sons both died of TB; the son that Jenner tried incoulating suffered brain damage.
      ” No one in America has died of natural measles in the last ten years” There have been at least 11 measles deaths in the US since 2000. The last was in 2015 – a woman who was immunosuppressed and thus vulnerable to infection. Additionally, the mortality statistics do not take account of people who die from subacute sclerosing panencephalitis (SSPE), which is a complication of measles; it takes up to a decade to develop and is invariably fatal. And of course, other measles complications, such as encephalitis, deafness and blindness, don’t kill but merely disable to various degrees. But you didn’t suffer any of those, so that proves measles is perfectly harmless!
      Additionally, the vast majority of measles cases in the US in the last 17 year were amongst the unvaccinated according to the CDC.

      • IF I can post graphs on this site let me know – there are hundreds . You should be able to educate yourself by googling to see the real evidence of the uselessness of vaccination .
        If you read Dr Hadwen and Dr Creighton on the hundreds of thousands of smallpox deaths in the most highly vaccinated Prussia – it was the vaccinated who mainly died.

        The smallpox vaccination is the same today – ie cow pus .
        There are hundreds of toxins in all vaccines which cause a multitude of disease and allergies down the line . The peanut oil in the vaccines are why millions of people have this allergy – same with wheat , foreign squalene , aluminium , mercury
        monkey pus – the SV40 virus found in nearly all tumours came from monkeys pus in the polio jag
        causing millions of cancer cases.
        The polio inventor of vaccination Dr Salk admitted in an affidavit that his vaccine caused all or nearly all polio cases in america .
        You are either uneducated in vaccines or working for big pharma as a disinformation troller.

        The disease incidence and death graphs all show flat lining BEFORE vaccination – google them yourself and read the warning inserts .

        Measles vaccine is 1000 times more harmful than natural measles which is often unnoticeable

        The mumps measles outbreaks are in the vaccinated as you well know – you wont find many unvaccinated kids in Disney world

        Hadwen had more reliable figures unlike the CDC and he proved injecting smallpox pus from cows gave you smallpox – how surprising – not !

        As I said the side effects of the measles vaccine
        are in the hundreds if you read the warning insert – which actually has the diseases you mention above.

        The rise in autism lines up with the vaccination number graph in america and elsewhere.

        There have been 10 deaths from vaccinated measles in ten years BUT none from natural measles .

  2. Oh lordy, lordy,Charles.. I asked for just a link to the graphs,
    As for the rest of your screed, how about providing some links to back up your claims? Like I provided links to back up my rebuttals to your nonsense?
    Mind, your reference to Hadwen makes me think you’re not very good at using the internet. I remember Hadwen as being very big in CAM in the 60s/70s; but he seems to have gone quietsome time in the 90s. So if you’re getting your “facts” from books etc from that period, rather than up-to-date websites, just cite the books please.
    You claim that a dose of “natural measles” can be almost unnoticable;yet you yourself said that your own measles got you a “day or two” off school.
    Finally, could you please say something – anything – about the CDC’s figures showing that a) every US measles outbreak since 2000 was “natural measles” bought in from abroad by an infected traveller; b) the vast majority of measles sufferers were unvaccinated?

    • Lordy Lordy Mrs “Grimble ” – I left a lengthy reply with links but it does not appear at all – so I will give it some time then repost refutations of your vaccine efficacy promotions .

  3. nothing in islam that bans immunization, but some stupid Muslims try to control Muslims through attaching their message to their religion like Dr. Majid Katme.
    I know vaccination is 100% done to children in Islamic countries like Egypt.

    • Why would muslims want to poison their kids with eg pus from calves and monkeys , aborted fetal tissue , foreign squalene , known and unknown viruses and bacteria , aluminium , mercury and about 100 other toxins in each jab – for no scientific reason whatsoever .

      To bypass the mucous membrane and skin and jab these devastating poisons into babies and kiddies is
      criminal negligence and this is why vaccine inserts
      have 100 + side effects including autism and death – to legally cover for the negligence .

      The health of american kids has been wrecked by 70 plus vaccines and they have the highest infant death rate of the developed nations .

      • I am not an expert on the subject, but linking it to a religion is not a good idea.
        A doctor can request that based on their knowledge and not attach his cause to religion for the sake of gaining followers.

      • The founder of vaccination was an occultist and unqualified as a doctor but bought his MD and went on to spread smallpox to millions since quite simply you were injected or smeared on an open wound with live smallpox which would bypass your mucous membrane – the main first defence against disease .

        It was cowpox which is a type of smallpox or actually
        smallpox – and still made the same way .

        So I would say this is what witches do – poison people and religions would not normally allow this .

        All vaccines work in the same way – to give you a disease but through a shortcut channel which
        confuses the immune system for life with allergies to everything in the syringe and more.

        Injecting a poisonous concoction into your “temple”
        is against what most religions would teach – so I think it is within a religious leaders remit to protect the health of his congregants .

      • The founder of vaccination was a fraud and paid money for his qualification as a doctor and went on to spread smallpox to millions since quite simply you were injected or smeared on an open wound with live smallpox which would bypass your mucous membrane – the main first defence against disease .

        It was cowpox which is a type of smallpox or actually
        smallpox – and still made the same way .

        So I would say this is what witches do – poison people and religions would not normally allow this .

        All vaccines work in the same way – to give you a disease but through a shortcut channel which
        confuses the immune system for life with allergies to everything in the syringe and more.

        Injecting a poisonous concoction into your “temple”
        is against what most religions would teach – so I think it is within a religious leaders remit to protect the health of his congregants .

  4. Very Very nice post. its a very useful and outstanding article. Thanks for that.

    • Get some mercury and aluminium etc squirted into your
      bloodstream to give you Alzheimers and actually affect your immune system so that you develop allergies and
      your face can actually twist with the effects of the mercury – very nice – not !

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