In light of contemporary work in black feminism, a critical consideration of police violence shows us that the ostensibly natural right to self-preservation is, in fact, not afforded to certain racialized (namely, black) subject positions.
Even though the vaccination debate has nothing to do with religion, the public colored it with religious tones, and opted for policy inspired by the evolving culture of religious toleration and respect for individual conscience. After this move in the direction of post-reformation European culture took shape, public health turned medieval.
Non-vaccinating parents are asking, in the name of religion, to risk their own child and their child’s classmates with a preventable disease. This is not a theoretical risk: the last outbreak of polio in the United States, to give one example, was in a Christian Scientist school with low vaccine rates.
Uprooting a fear without replacing it with helpful information is redundant. Therefore, it is time to shift focus from merely quashing anti-vaccine sentiment to intentionally building vaccine confidence. Nigeria provides a heartening case study on how this can be achieved.
Over the years we have realized two things. One, the anti-vaccination lobby is very strong and they use social media to their benefit. Second, for any vaccination campaign to be successful it would require a positive socio-political and religious background.
Contemporary rabbinic authorities have established this religious obligation as carrying scriptural authority – citing no fewer than five affirmative Commandments and three Biblical prohibitions.
…theologies of disability can aid human flourishing, because caring for people of varied abilities made in God’s image allows us all to create more just and compassionate political systems
Without a sustained focus on material inequalities and repressive state power, the conversation on Islamophobia too easily slips into a mealy-mouthed appeal to diversity and tolerance.