JERUSALEM (AP) â€” The outbreak of swine flu should be renamed “Mexican” influenza in deference to Muslim and Jewish sensitivities over pork, said an Israeli health official Monday.
Deputy Health Minister Yakov Litzman said the reference to pigs is offensive to both religions and “we should call this Mexican flu and not swine flu,” he told a news conference at a hospital in central Israel.
Both Judaism and Islam consider pigs unclean and forbid the eating of pork products.
Scientists are unsure where the new swine flu virus originally emerged, though it was identifed first in the United States. They say there is nothing about the virus that makes it “Mexican” and worry such a label would be stigmatizing.
Two Israelis who recently visited Mexico have been hospitalized with symptoms of the flu. Health authorities have not yet confirmed whether they actually have the virus.
The current strain of swine flu is thought to have originated in Mexico where more than 100 people have been killed by the disease so far.
Laboratories in the U.S. and Canada have confirmed that of the samples tested so far, the swine flu virus in Mexico and U.S. appear to be the same.
Â God hates dogs and cats. He especially hates you and I. I wonder when God will ban eyeballs, you know, we can’t have people looking at each other, it simply leads to promiscuity.
RIYADH (AFP) – Saudi Arabia’s religious police have announced a ban on selling cats and dogs as pets, or walking them in public in the Saudi capital, because of men using them as a means of making passes at women, an official said on Wednesday.
Othman al-Othman, head of the Commission for the Promotion of Virtue and the Prevention of Vice in Riyadh, known as the Muttawa, told the Saudi edition of al-Hayat daily that the commission has started enforcing an old religious edict.
He said the commission was implementing a decision taken a month ago by the acting governor of the capital, Prince Sattam bin Abdul Aziz, adding that it follows an old edict issued by the supreme council of Saudi scholars.
The reason behind reinforcing the edict now was a rising fashion among some men using pets in public “to make passes on women and disturb families,” he said, without giving more details.
Othman said that the commission has instructed its offices in the capital to tell pet shops “to stop selling cats and dogs”.
The 5,000-strong religious police oversees the adherence to Wahabism — a strict version of Sunni Islam, which also forces women to cover from head to toe when in public, and bans them from driving.