For Muslims wary of the Covid vaccine: there's every religious reason not to be | Sadakat Kadri

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Suspicion of authority and worries about what is halal must be balanced by the fact that protecting others is an obligation

As the UK’s Covid-19 vaccination programme has accelerated, optimism about its effectiveness has been rising. According to the Office for National Statistics, more than nine in 10 people are now keen to get a jab, up from 78% in December. But there are significant racial disparities. The Royal College of General Practitioners reports that enthusiasm within Asian and black communities dips by between two-thirds and a half, and – as many imams have acknowledged – the suspicion of vaccines is disproportionately high among Muslims.
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Why? Influential traditions warn that innovations sometimes come with danger, and a fear of God can produce fatalistic attitudes towards disease: even viruses are part of creation, after all. But the most distinctively Islamic concern is much simpler. Lots of believers worry that vaccines contain pork. Continue reading...

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