As India gears up for vaccination drive against Coronavirus, the debate over the alleged use of pork in the COVID-19 vaccines has intensified amongst various Muslim scholars and organisations. Today, Maulana Noor-ur Rehman Barkati, the Shahi Imam of Tipu Sultan Masjid in Kolkata, West Bengal, has come out to argue against the coronavirus vaccine.
The Imam said that though the entire world is facing the scourge of coronavirus, the Muslim community is not afraid of the virus and will not take the vaccine. “I am saying in clear words that Muslims will not use the vaccine”, said the Imam in an interview to the Hindi news channel TV9 Bharatvarsh.
“No Corona and the need for vaccination for MusIims” – Maulana Barkati, Mamata’s khaas— INFERNO (@TheAngryLord) December 25, 2020
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“Corona a threat to Hindus, not Muslims’: Kolkata Shahi Imam Maulana
Calling it a conspiracy of the Jews to kill the Muslims of India through this vaccine, Maulana Barkati said that coronavirus was never a threat to the Muslims. “Corona is a threat to Hindus, not to Muslims. The virus has not affected the Muslim localities. We have such blessing of Allah, that we remain unaffected”, said the Maulana.
Imam Barkati cleared that none of his Muslim brothers should get this vaccine until the “formula” of the vaccine is revealed before the Islamic scholars. “It is harmful to us. Eating pork or using it in any way is considered ‘haram’ in Islam, so the formula of this vaccine should be put before the Islamic scholar and then this vaccine should be given to the people of Muslim community”, opined the Imam.
For the unversed, Shahi Imam Noor-ur Rehman Barkati, once a close aide of West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, had, in 2018, stirred controversy when in a sting operation he admitted that he can fix Muslim votes for parties. The cleric is also caught confessing that he can ‘influence’ 25 lakh votes for Rs 5 crore. In 2017, an FIR was lodged against the Maulana for refusing to comply with the Centre’s ban on the use of lal batti (red beacon). “I don’t follow the orders of the Centre. Who are they to order me? Didi (Mamata Banerjee) asked me to use it”, the Maulana had then said, defying the central government’s orders.
Meanwhile, a Muslim cleric from UP’s Darul Uloom Deoband has also urged Muslims to wait for fatwa before taking coronavirus vaccine. The cleric said before taking the vaccine Muslims should check whether the ingredients used to make the vaccine are permissible in Islam or not.
Whether the vaccine is safe for Muslims will be decided by the head of the Fatwa department, he said.
Fatwa issued by Muslim scholars over rumours of pork being used in Corona vaccines
Yesterday we reported how Sunni Muslim scholars from Raza Academy, Mumbai, and All India Sunni Jamiyyathul Ulama have issued a fatwa against the ‘Chinese vaccine’ that allegedly contains pork gelatin. The Raza Academy scholars claim that the pork gelatin component of the vaccine makes it “haram” for the Muslim community.
Meanwhile, spokesperson for Pfizer, Moderna and AstraZeneca have said that pork products are not part of their COVID-19 vaccines.