Religion News Service 
photo courtesy of Saudi Information Office, Washington.

Pork-free vaccine wins cheers from Hajj pilgrims

(RNS) The nearly 3 million Muslims who will make next week’s annual hajj pilgrimage to the sacred Saudi Arabian city of Mecca are required to be vaccinated against meningitis. Swiss pharmaceutical giant Novartis claims to have developed, in 2010, the first anti-meningitis vaccine without pork, which Muslims are forbidden to consume under Islamic law. Many religious authorities have already certified the Menveo vaccine as “halal,” or permitted under Islamic law. Not all Muslims, however, believe the vaccine is truly halal. Anti-meningitis vaccine was developed in the 1930s, and pork derivatives were and remain an important part of the compound today.

Shariah or not, Muslim divorces can get tricky

(RNS) Islamic marriages typically include a basic marriage contract — but when it comes time to divorce, some judges see the dowry as a simple contract, others as a prenuptial agreement, and others as a strictly religious matter in which they don’t want to get involved. By Omar Sacirbey.

Anti-Shariah demonstrators rally against a proposed mosque near Ground Zero in New York. RNS photo courtesy Asterio Tecson

Study says U.S. Muslims don’t want Shariah either

 (RNS) When asked whether they thought American courts should apply Shariah to non-Muslims in the legal system, all of the respondents answered no. Just three of the 41 imams said they wanted parallel Shariah tribunals where Muslims could handle civil issues like marriage, divorce, and inheritance. By Omar Sacirbey.