Liberal Americans are going apoplectic because another state has made abortion illegal. Reading the comments of those “shocked” by it, is to encounter some of the most profound cognitive dissonance I have observed in a while. The right to abortion hinges on the right to bodily integrity. What precisely did this dumbest of countries think would happen when it ran roughshod over that most crucial and fundamental of human rights by mandating vaccines? Human rights are hard lines. You do not cross them. Once you do, they cease to be rights and become perspectives. And look what happens when people don’t share yours. You reap what you sow.
When 9/11 happened, I was living in America and became increasingly distressed, alarmed, and angered by the rise in Islamophobia, and disgusted by the general apathy of ‘good’ people’s response to the ‘war on terror’. I chose to move to France when the opportunity arrived as it was the one western country that was resisting the US/UK axis of evil nonsense. So when, after some time in France, I decided to a degree, it felt right to study religions at SOAS. There I focussed on the histories of the religions of the near and Middle East, and I chose that subject at that university so that I could arm myself with knowledge and expertise to argue against Islamophobic people. This same motivation to counter discrimination underscored my decision to do a masters in Iranian Studies (one of the most misunderstood countries in the world), and formed the crux of my PhD
I think that bodily integrity / autonomy is a human right. I think that I am the only person with the right to make a decision about my body and what happens to it, just as you are the only person who has the right to make decisions about your body. We each are our bodies, and no one should have supremacy over someone else. If bodily integrity is a human right, it is a right at all times and for all people, irrespective of whether you agree with, or approve of, them. Rights are hard lines that are not crossed. They either are, or they are not. If bodily integrity is a human right, then mandatory vaccinations are a violation of that right. If you support mandatory vaccinations outright, or by remaining silent, or by supporting coercive measures designed to take away the civil rights of unvaccinated people by disallowing them access
I am writing this because I don’t think there is any sensible, middle-ground opposition to the COVID-19 vaccine programme. Because ordinary people who simply choose not to have the vaccine have to speak in hushed whispers to one another for fear of being shouted down by angry pro-vaccine zealots, for fear of being quietly disowned by people they have known for years, or for fear of being associated with conspiracy theorists who think there are microchips in the vaccine. So I am writing this for you, friend. For the person who simply is reluctant to have the vaccine for their own sensible reasons. For me, that is because I intensely distrust the government, both local and national, because I know they do not have our best interests at heart. By “our”, I mean the proles, the workers, the people who are not rich, the people who are less than not rich,