AS swine flu began its spread across the globe, first to step up to the pig ignorant podium was Israel’s deputy Health Minister, who wanted its name changed to “Mexican” flu to avoid ruffling Jewish feathers.
Then up stepped imam Amadia Rachid, based in the Italian city of Salerno, who claimed this week that the swine flu virus affirms Islam’s teachings. Said Algerian-born Rachid:
We believe that what is happening shows the truth of our faith. Even Muslims who live in Italy are talking about swine flu at the moment â€¦ many believe the disease confirmed the teaching of the Koran
The Islamic faith doesn’t explain exactly why pigs should be considered unclean animals. But it’s clear that, for most theologians, it is precisely to avoid the spread of disease that Islamic tradition tends to keep men away from pigs.
Shortly after – despite the fact that global health experts insist that the mass slaughter of pigs is entirely unnecessary and a waste of resources – Egypt, one of the few Islamic states which allows pig breeding, began giving the chop to the country’s estimated 300,000 pig population.
According to this report, at one large pig farming center just north of Cairo, scores of angry farmers blocked the street to prevent Health Ministry workers in trucks and bulldozers from coming in to slaughter the animals. Some pelted the vehicles with rocks and shattered their windshields and the workers left without killing any of the animals.
Experts suspect that swine flu, a strange new mix of pig, bird and human flu virus, originated with pigs then jumped to humans and is now spreading through human-to-human contact. Health authorities have said you cannot contract the flu by eating pork.
Even the Catholics are getting in on the act, with some US bishops suggesting ways that priests can alter the celebration of Mass in an effort to prevent the spread of the virus.
A letter from Bishop Gregory M Aymond warns parishes in the Diocese of Austin, Texas, not to:
Offer the blood of Christ at Eucharist until more is known about the virus. It seems that having the public drink from the chalice may be an unnecessary risk.
Bishop Aymond further instructed ministers of Communion to always have clean hands when handling and distributing the Eucharist.
Father Michael Dugan, director of the Office of Liturgy for the Diocese of Dallas, reminded parishioners of their obligation to attend Mass on Sunday. If a parishioner is sick, however, Father Dugan recommended that he or she stay home to avoid spreading the illness.
Father Dugan also said that:
Members of our congregations should not be offended at this time if someone chooses not to shake the other person’s hand at the sign of peace. If you are ill, the appropriate response to someone extending a sign of peace might be to bow to them and say, ‘Peace be with you,’ to avoid bodily contact, or one might wave slightly at the other person.
But Catholics, according to Republican Faith Chat, deserve to be struck down by the virus:
Those people [Catholics] have always provoked the Lord with their â€˜veneration’ of Mary to the point that she has supplanted Jesus and become the Diana Ross of their religion, with Jesus relegated from THE Supreme to simply a Supreme. The cultists in the country just south [Mexico] claim to see Mary in everything from a stucco wall to an enchilada. They worship mortal â€˜saints’ and pray to statues. It was only a matter of time before Jesus became fed up and released the Trinity’s holy wrath on those dog-eaters.