We already heard of the killing of people carrying out polio vaccinations in Pakistan because of alarmist fears raised by the Taliban that vaccination was part of a western plot, fears that were fuelled by the horrendous decision by the US government to use a fake vaccination scheme to try and unearth Osama bin Laden.
Now come reports that nine female polio vaccinators have been murdered at health centers in northern Nigeria. In this case the causes were myths propagated by Muslim clerics.
Some Nigerian Muslim leaders have previously opposed polio vaccinations, claiming they could cause infertility.
On Thursday, a controversial Islamic cleric spoke out against the polio vaccination campaign, telling people that new cases of polio were caused by contaminated medicine.
The world is very close to completely eradicating polio. Only three countries reported outbreaks last year: Nigeria (121), Pakistan (58), and Afghanistan (37). In all three countries, Islamic groups are the ones hindering the vaccination campaigns.
Global eradication of polio would be a monumental achievement, given how hard it is to reach remote parts of the world and carry out the proper regimen of doses. The people doing this work are often volunteers and often women and their heroic efforts to eradicate this dreaded disease should hailed and supported by everyone, not undermined by ignorant religious fanatics.