Niqaab and rickets in the UK

Today I found a post at the blog The Answer’s 42 alleging that the so-called burqa was to blame for the increased incidence of vitamin D deficiency in Asian women in the UK and resulting rickets in their children. The author linked a discussion between Nigel Farage and Salma Yaqoob on the Radio 4 Woman’s Hour in which women’s health was not even discussed (I didn’t hear it, but if previous form is anything to go by, it hinged on social interaction and security). The theory is pretty simple: covering your whole body keeps the sun off it, which means you don’t get as much vitamin D as you need. However, the reality may not be quite as simple.

The author, Margaret Nelson, linked a number of articles, one of them a study of rickets in South Asia which indicated that it was very common in northern Pakistan, where women tend to spend most of their time in homes which are “almost closed to sunlight” and go out only in a burqa, and an article from the Lancashire Telegraph, issued in October 2007, which reported that 56 cases of the condition had been identified in the Blackburn with Darwen district, almost all among Asian families (and those that were not had some kind of underlying condition). The local primary care trust (PCT) was to introduce Vitamin D supplements, as was already being done in other parts of east Lancashire. The local director of public health, Dr Ellis Freedman, said that the cases were “caused by a combination of skin colouration, diet and dress, not poverty”, and that it wasn’t happening in deprived white communities. It is worth noting that vitamin D supplements are targeted at the Asian community generally, not just those who wear the niqaab.

I don’t dispute that lifestyle factors contribute to this problem, but niqaab alone cannot be blamed for it. The report doesn’t mention whether all the mothers of the children concerned wore the niqaab, for example. If the mothers are spending most of their time indoors, in a poorly-lit house or flat, they are surely more likely to be deficient than anyone with an active lifestyle. It is worth pointing out that many women who wear niqaab in the UK, at least, spend a lot of their time outside the home as they study or work, and that their veils do actually leave some flesh exposed (and their veils are usually not quite opaque, so some light will get through to the rest of their faces over time). There was a report (published here on the National Secular Society website) which noted a similar problem in “some minority ethnic communities” in Birmingham, but even that stipulated that “confinement in the home, diet, mal-absorption syndromes and liver or kidney disease” may also contribute.

The incidence mentioned in the report on Blackburn is fairly low, anyway — 56 cases, in a community of many thousands. Rickets seems to be a common weapon used by anti-religious activists, but if it were that common in Muslim countries, this would surely be well-known. Still, traditionally, houses in many Muslim countries had courtyards, which would mean that women would get plenty of sunlight even if they left the house fully covered, and the roofs were considered the women’s domain (and still are, even in the smaller blocks of flats in some Arab cities today). So a lifestyle that was healthy enough in 19th-century Morocco might not be so suited to modern northern England.

Still, I don’t believe that in the current political climate, a “full scale, in your face campaign to persuade Muslims to abandon the burqa” will have the desired effect; it will feed tabloid hysteria and far-right hostility and make Muslims feel more oppressed than they already do (consider the dawn raids on Muslim families after a few bottles and other missiles were thrown at a protest outside the Israeli embassy, and the draconian “deterrent” sentences handed down subsequently — [1], [2]). Far more effective would be to quietly encourage more active lifestyles among these women, to encourage uptake of vitamin supplements (freely provided or otherwise) and to stress the importance of getting at least some exposure to sunlight.

(More by sister Ayah on YouTube.)

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  • Umm Abdullah

    Vitamin D deficiency is fairly common amongst others in the Asian community including Hindus and Sikhs because of the traditionally indoors lifestyle led by a lot of traditional Asians, plus in some cases the traditional clothes being very covering (and this is also true for Hindus and Sikhs, often you cannot tell the difference between a traditional Muslim Pakistani elderly lady and a Sikh one). Also those with darker skin; who hail from originally sunnier climes; tend to be less able to absorb vitamin D than others and while they may not have full blown rickets I have been told of studies suggesting 80% of the population of some ethnic groups living in the Northern hemispheres have vitamin D deficiency to some degree. These studies do not mention clothing as the main or one of the main factors. There have recently been articles saying that rickets is now occuring amongst white non-Muslim kids again due to the lifestyle, particularly amongst the working and lower classes of staying indoors and not going out walking, to play in the park et al. I know Finland has serious vitamin D deficiency problems amongst the native population and it is one reason that scientists think the suicide rate there is one of the highest in the world. I am a niqaabi and I eat a lot of vitamin D rich foods as well as taking supplements; plus I try to get out and about in the summer months and if possible be outdoors in a situation where I can lift up my niqab, i.e. in a secluded country area.

  • Salaams:

    Not to mention that there is a difference between niqaab and burka! .-= Safiyyah´s last blog ..Istanbul =-.

  • As-Salaamu ‘alaikum sis. Safiyyah,

    That’s why I put “so-called burqa” (and then switched to niqaab) because women who wear the niqaab in the UK almost never call it the burqa. It’s a media term.

  • Salaams - when my mental health deteriorated due to the pressures of caring for my autistic son, I rarely left the house, and on the rare instances that the did, I was in shalwar kameez. My GP believes that’s why I ended up with a serious vitamin D deficiency (which itself may have further contributed to my poor mental health).

  • Thersites

    “Not to mention that there is a difference between niqaab and burka! ” Is there a difference in the amount of the body that they conceal and how they conceal it, which is relevant here? Rickets is the extreme, pathological end of vitamin D deficiency. Many people who don’t have rickets are still suffering from vitamin D deficiency. The other thing no-one has mentioned is that vitamin D is produced by the sun’s ultraviolet rays striking the skin and less UV rays reach the earth’s surface the farther from the tropics you go. Regardless of skin colour and clothing, behaviour which would enable people to produce sdequate amounts of vitamin D in the tropics will lead to a deficiency in the temperate or subarctic zones.

  • africana

    “rickets is most common not where sunlight is weak but where sunlight is quite strong—the Middle East and South Asia. The cause is dietary, specifically low consumption of calcium and high consumption of foods rich in phytic acid, such as unleavened bread or chapatti (Berlyne et al., 1973; Harinarayan, Ramalakshmi, Prasad, Sudhakar, Srinivasarao, Sarma, & Kumar, 2007). Phytic acid strongly binds to calcium and makes it unusable, with the result that less calcium is available to the body. It is this calcium depletion—and not lack of vitamin D—that causes rickets in the Middle East and South Asia.”

    http://evoandproud.blogspot.com/2009/06/pseudo-epidemic.html

  • africana

    The suggestion that Asian rickets in the UK might be related to the consumption of unleavened bread was supported by Mellanby’s (1949) earlier identification of an anticalcifying factor in oatmeal, subsequently shown to be phytic acid, and by evidence of ‘sunshine’ rickets in Iranian village children consuming large quantities of unleavened bread (tanok) with abundant exposure to UVR (Rheinhold, 1972).”[…]

    High-fibre and -phytate diets are potentially rachitogenic in children, particularly at the pubertal growth spurt, but appear relatively innocuous in adults.

  • LeedsLad

    Nothing new, but some people do not learn lessons. Same issues are happening even in Australia where there should be plenty of SUN. Vitamin D deficiency is dangerous and could even mess up the DNA to make life hell for future off springs.

    It is one ugly cycle where the person behind such behaviour cannot be convinced through reason because of the mental damage to the brain.

    Covering hair with a scarf from the sun is normal, because the sun damages the hair and scalp. But going ninja is a No No, even if you claim to be half ninja or mixed ninja. Ninjas will always be ninjas.

  • ali khan

    assalamualaykum

    @leedslad- Did you read africanas post? Loser.


    Alcoholism is a far more serious problem than any supposed rickets. Let people wear whatever they want.

  • Thersites

    Alcoholism is a far more serious problem than any supposed rickets.

    Alcoholism affects adults, not children, Ali Khan. In fact, some alcoholic drinks- notably beer- contain large amounts of vitamin D, which puts some of us in an enjoyable dilemma.

    Let people wear whatever they want.

    Does that include the right to go shopping in pyjamas or to go for country walks naked except for boots, rucksack and sunhat or the religious right of Jedi knights to keep their hoods up?

  • LeedsLad

    Typical self styled “Muslims”. Why divert problems caused by ignorant Muslims by invoking alcohol issues?

    Alcohol belongs to the UK more than immigrants, and nobody will ever do anything to ostracise such beverage. If there was a vote today on whether to ban pig farming or Muslims, the electors would choose the latter. But ofcos Mr Imuslim has other ideas about “Britain” and would even encourage such referendum believing pigs will be culled as if they have done a crime against humanity.

  • s.ali

    duh theresites children don’t wear niqab! Anyway lets face it, poor diet is a major contributing factor to many illnesses these days

  • Thersites

    duh theresites children don’t wear niqab!
    Quite right, Sally. However, children up to two years old- when rickets does most harm- are likely to live in the same conditions as their mothers and will probably be breast-fed, which means that if the mothers have vitamin D deficiency the children are more likely to get rickets.
    poor diet is a major contributing factor to many illnesses these days
    It always has been. Most poor diets now in developed countried are diets of surplus, rather than shortage. Vitamin D deficiency and rickets, however, are easily seen and cheaply treated, which is why they should be less common thanthey are.

  • Unimpressed

    This sounds politically motivated nonsense then science. Nuns, Buddhist monks, and Hindu pundits are all in deep trouble too I suppose. Dirty water kills more people then war and famine so they ought to get their priorities straightened out instead of obsessing what certain women choose to wear.

  • Thersites
    Dirty water kills more people then war and famine

    Fortunately, none of them kill many people in the U.K. Rickets and vitamin D deficiency, hosever, do affect people in the UK and can be easily dealt with. In fact,

    Dr Ellis Freedman, said that the cases were “caused by a combination of skin colouration, diet and dress…”… vitamin D supplements are targeted at the Asian community generally, not just those who wear the niqaab.
    My emphasis. The proposal is to supply dietary supplements and advice on diet and lifestyle to the people most at risk. This need not affect their sartorial eccentricities.

  • Unimpressed

    >My emphasis. The proposal is to supply dietary supplements and advice on diet and lifestyle to the people most at risk. This need not affect their sartorial eccentricities.<

    Nonsense. The number of alcoholics in the UK warrant far more intervention then a half baked hypothesis on Asians and rickets by racist control freaks. If you've ever seen anyone anyone with rickets you would know this is rubbish. Sounds more like an excuse to demonize women who don the burkha. And where does that put nuns, Buddhist monks and Hindu pundits?
    I enjoy a drink every now and then despite knowing the risks and damage associated with alcohol, its no one's business but my own what I do to my liver.

  • Thersites

    The number of alcoholics in the U.K. warrant far more intervention then a half baked hypothesis on Asians and rickets by racist control freaks.
    What is half=baked about ithe hypothesis? If you reject the evidence that diet and avoidance of sunlight combined with lowered ability to absorb U.V. rays explain the incidence of vitamin D deficiency and rickets among the Asian-descended population in the U.K., what is your explanation? A great deal of effort and a lot of money is used to deal with alcoholism in the U.K.; however, the populations liable to alcoholism and the populations liable to rickets are very distinct. Rickets is also much more easily treated. Education and dietary supplements are all it takes with rickets. I have worked with children suffering from severe rickets. the damage is irreversible.What makes you think that dealing with rickets and alcoholism are mutually exclusive medical policies?
    Sounds more like an excuse to demonize women who don the burkha. And where does that put nuns, Buddhist monks and Hindu pundits?
    In with the other religious maniacs, of course. However, none of these are likely to have children and harm their children as a result of easily-treated diet deficiency.
    I enjoy a drink every now and then despite knowing the risks and damage associated with alcohol, its no one’s business but my own what I do to my liver.
    Certainly. However, if you do things which will damage your childrens’ health it does become other peoples’ business.

  • Unimpressed

    >What is half=baked about ithe hypothesis?In with the other religious maniacs, of course. However, none of these are likely to have children and harm their children as a result of easily-treated diet deficiency.>Certainly. However, if you do things which will damage your childrens’ health it does become other peoples’ business.<<

    Then you would no problem removing millions of white children from their alcoholic parents thereby saying them from violence, sexual assault and other forms of abuse. We could also expand the discussion by the study of pregnant white alcoholic women and the severe damage their children(if they survive) have to suffer. Of course that would be racism and a conversation you would not want to be a part of. I would bet a bottle of Angostura Rum on that. The reality is that you are in no position whatsoever to lecture Asians or anyone else on how to raise their children since you are can't raise your own.

  • Unimpressed

    Sorry but the last last comment came out incomplete. Here it is again :

    “What is half=baked about ithe hypothesis?”

    It’s half baked because there is no rickets epidemic among the Asian population. Google a picture of anyone with the disease and find me how many of those you have in the UK. There is a clear difference between having less Vitamin D and having rickets. But as Smith has correctly pointed out this is more about an anti-religious agenda then any genuine concern about children’s welfare, by zeroing in on a specific religious group.

    “In with the other religious maniacs, of course. However, none of these are likely to have children and harm their children as a result of easily-treated diet deficiency.”

    You missed the point completely, or perhaps that was your intention. How many other traditional communities like the Hindu pundits, Buddhist monks and Nuns suffer from rickets despite having in many cases a more solitary life style then Muslims? Your atheist bigotry and dishonesty is showing. Anyone who is not a white westerner or doesn’t share your views is a “religious maniac” who wants to endanger the welfare of their children.

    “Certainly. However, if you do things which will damage your childrens’ health it does become other peoples’ business.”

    Then you would no problem removing millions of white children from their alcoholic parents thereby saying them from violence, sexual assault and other forms of abuse. We could also expand the discussion by the study of pregnant white alcoholic women and the severe damage their children(if they survive) have to suffer. Of course that would be racism and a conversation you would not want to be a part of. I would bet a bottle of Angostura Rum on that. The reality is that you are in no position whatsoever to lecture Asians or anyone else on how to raise their children since you are can’t raise your own.

  • LeedsLad

    Why would they care about your vitamin deficiency when they believe you have no right to exist in the first place; “a burden upon man, who have done nothing to advance the human race one iota”.

    Help yourselves by admitting to mistakes, and seek opportunities to better yourselves. You will waste time if you pay too much attention to them.

  • Thersites

    Rickets is not an infectious disease. Therefore a “rickets epidemic among the Asian population” would be impossible. However, there is an elevated rate of vitamin D deficiency in the Asian-descended population and of rickets among children in that community. This is serious and easy to deal with, so why the hysteria?

    There is a clear difference between having less Vitamin D and having rickets.
    But as Smith has correctly pointed out this is more about an anti-religious agenda then any genuine concern about children’s welfare, by zeroing in on a specific religious group.
    Then why is it “worth noting that vitamin D supplements are targeted at the Asian community generally, not just those who wear the niqaab”, as the original post says?
    You missed the point completely, or perhaps that was your intention. How many other traditional communities like the Hindu pundits, Buddhist monks and Nuns suffer from rickets despite having in many cases a more solitary life style then Muslims?
    Very few. Rickets has nothing to do with solitude. It is also a disease of children. Very few Hindu pundits, Buddhist monks and Nuns are children. As a result very few Hindu pundits, Buddhist monks and Nuns have rickets. That was my point.
    Anyone who is not a white westerner or doesn’t share your views is a “religious maniac” who wants to endanger the welfare of their children.
    Not at all. People- such as Hindu pundits, Buddhist monks and Nuns- who deliberately set out to impose a deranged regimen of life on themselves for religious reasons is a religious maniac. Most people follow religions because they are raised in them and accept the imagined truth and customs involved unthinkingly without trying to turn these absurdities and contradictions into coherent and rational wholes. Far from wanting to “endanger the welfare of their children”, most religious believers quite sincerely believe that they are doing their best for their children. One such couple sre serving sentences for manslaughter after starving their child to death from the best of intentions.
    Then you would no problem removing millions of white children from their alcoholic parents thereby saying them from violence, sexual assault and other forms of abuse.
    Millions of white children”? It seems a little exaggerated. What is your source for that claim? In fact- as with rickets among the Asian community- educational campaigns warning of the consequences
    of their behaviour and explaining how to deal with it are much more effective. You seem to think that the proposal is to force pregnant women to dress so that they receve sufficient sunshine to deal with vitamin D deficiency and stop their children getting rickets as a result. Apart from the aspects raised by Africana above, the actual plan is “to introduce Vitamin D supplements” “the Asian community generally, not just those who wear the niqaab.”
    Hardly a reign of terror. We could also expand the discussion by the study of pregnant white alcoholic women and the severe damage their children(if they survive) have to suffer.
    Are nonwhite women mysteriously immune to alcoholism then? As with vitamin D and rickets, questions of civil liberties and personal responsibilities come in here as well. However, women whose antenatal behaviour is likely to damage their children have been legally compelled to change that behaviour before now,
    The reality is that you are in no position whatsoever to lecture Asians or anyone else on how to raise their children since you are can’t raise your own.
    On the contrary, my children- who are partly Asian- have been very successfully raised. However, no-one is lecturing anyone here. The proposal is “to introduce Vitamin D supplements” to “the Asian community generally, not just those who wear the niqaab” for valid reasons of health. For some reason some lunatics think that this is a cunning ploy against muslims and that the next stage will be the complete extermination of muslims in the U.K.

  • Thersites

    What happened to preview?

    Rickets is not an infectious disease. Therefore a “rickets epidemic among the Asian population” would be impossible. However, there is an elevated rate of vitamin D deficiency in the Asian-descended population and of rickets among children in that community. This is serious and easy to deal with, so why the hysteria?

    There is a clear difference between having less Vitamin D and having rickets.
    Certainly. The children of mothers with vitamin D deficiency get rickets. That’s the difference, and very clear it is.
    But as Smith has correctly pointed out this is more about an anti-religious agenda then any genuine concern about children’s welfare, by zeroing in on a specific religious group.
    Then why is it “worth noting that vitamin D supplements are targeted at the Asian community generally, not just those who wear the niqaab”, as the original post says?
    You missed the point completely, or perhaps that was your intention. How many other traditional communities like the Hindu pundits, Buddhist monks and Nuns suffer from rickets despite having in many cases a more solitary life style then Muslims?
    Very few. Rickets has nothing to do with solitude. It is also a disease of children. Very few Hindu pundits, Buddhist monks and Nuns are children. As a result very few Hindu pundits, Buddhist monks and Nuns have rickets. That was my point.
    Anyone who is not a white westerner or doesn’t share your views is a “religious maniac” who wants to endanger the welfare of their children.
    Not at all. People- such as Hindu pundits, Buddhist monks and Nuns- who deliberately set out to impose a deranged regimen of life on themselves for religious reasons is a religious maniac. Most people follow religions because they are raised in them and accept the imagined truth and customs involved unthinkingly without trying to turn these absurdities and contradictions into coherent and rational wholes. Far from wanting to “endanger the welfare of their children”, most religious believers quite sincerely believe that they are doing their best for their children. One such couple sre serving sentences for manslaughter after starving their child to death from the best of intentions.
    Then you would no problem removing millions of white children from their alcoholic parents thereby saying them from violence, sexual assault and other forms of abuse.
    Millions of white children”? It seems a little exaggerated. What is your source for that claim? In fact- as with rickets among the Asian community- educational campaigns warning of the consequences
    of their behaviour and explaining how to deal with it are much more effective. You seem to think that the proposal is to force pregnant women to dress so that they receve sufficient sunshine to deal with vitamin D deficiency and stop their children getting rickets as a result. Apart from the aspects raised by Africana above, the actual plan is “to introduce Vitamin D supplements” “the Asian community generally, not just those who wear the niqaab.” Hardly a reign of terror.
    We could also expand the discussion by the study of pregnant white alcoholic women and the severe damage their children(if they survive) have to suffer.
    Are nonwhite women mysteriously immune to alcoholism then? As with vitamin D and rickets, questions of civil liberties and personal responsibilities come in here as well. However, women whose antenatal behaviour is likely to damage their children have been legally compelled to change that behaviour before now,
    The reality is that you are in no position whatsoever to lecture Asians or anyone else on how to raise their children since you are can’t raise your own.
    On the contrary, my children- who are partly Asian- have been very successfully raised. However, no-one is lecturing anyone here. The proposal is “to introduce Vitamin D supplements” to “the Asian community generally, not just those who wear the niqaab” for valid reasons of health. For some reason some lunatics think that this is a cunning ploy against muslims and that the next stage will be the complete extermination of muslims in the U.K.

  • Unimpressed

    Now you’re just being plain silly and manipulative with your replies, thersites.

    “Rickets is not an infectious disease.”

    No one claimed it is. The hysteria is from those like you who’re advancing bogus claims about Asians and rickets as IF its an epidemic. I’ll ask you again, how many bow legged Asian children do you have in the UK?

    “The children of mothers with vitamin D deficiency get rickets. That’s the difference, and very clear it is.”

    Wrong. I just checked up on this. The vast majority of rickets cases are not inherited, those that are come from genetic mutations. I’m not a doctor but a quick search on inherited modes of rickets reveals that you have no clue what you’re talking about.

    “Very few. Rickets has nothing to do with solitude. It is also a disease of children. Very few Hindu pundits, Buddhist monks and Nuns are children. As a result very few Hindu pundits, Buddhist monks and Nuns have rickets. That was my point.”

    LOL the level of dishonesty and ignorance you display is appalling. Spending almost all day in a temple or monastary significantly reduces sunlight exposure thereby putting them at risk for vitamin D deficiency. The adult form of rickets is called Osteomalcia. Look it up. Why don’t just come out and say it, you’ve got an unhealthy obsession with Muslims. Speaking of which, how many children wear niqabs?

    “People- such as Hindu pundits, Buddhist monks and Nuns- who deliberately set out to impose a deranged regimen of life on themselves for religious reasons is a religious maniac.”

    As opposed to atheist fanatics who want to criminalize the spiritual way of life and play amateur doctor diagnosing diseases in the faithful based on unfounded hysteria over clothing and lifestyle. All this while having no decent healthy lifestyle of their own. Secular maniacs and fanatics really do say the most stupid things.

    ““Millions of white children”? It seems a little exaggerated. What is your source for that claim?”

    No it is not an exaggeration. Simply google “Britain alcoholism.” For you to even question the rampant alcoholism amongst Brits show how far removed from reality you are. Guess you need to spend less time obsessing on the supposed shortcomings of racial and religious minorities and more on the majority. Self criticism isn’t easy.

    “Are nonwhite women mysteriously immune to alcoholism then?”

    Did I say that? No, you’re being defensive because you have no answer. Alcohol abuse is rampant among whites, and you know it. It’s a pathetic sight.

    “As with vitamin D and rickets, questions of civil liberties and personal responsibilities come in here as well.”

    Oh so now you bring up “civil liberties” once your racial group is brought under scrutiny. How convenient lol.

    >However, no-one is lecturing anyone here.The proposal is “to introduce Vitamin D supplements” to “the Asian community generally, not just those who wear the niqaab” for valid reasons of health.For some reason some lunatics think that this is a cunning ploy against muslims<

    Yeah sure. lol Given the sort of retarded "debates" prevalent about Muslims, amid the racist discourse about their "otherness," its all a "ploy."

  • Thersites

    “Rickets is not an infectious disease.”

    No one claimed it is.Precisely. So why deny there was an “epidemic” of rickets, except to imply that some people said there was?

    The hysteria is from those like you who’re advancing bogus claims about Asians and rickets as IF its an epidemic. I’ll ask you again, how many bow legged Asian children do you have in the UK?
    Again? You haven’t asked before. Bow legs are among the most extreme symptom of rickets; even with less serious or noticeable cases there can still be damage to the bones that lasts for life. The claims made are that vitamin D deficiency and rickets are more common among the Asian-descended community whatever their religion; the proposals are to make dietary supplements available to deal with the problem. Precisely what is paranoid or hysterical about the evidence or the proposed remedy?
    “The children of mothers with vitamin D deficiency get rickets. That’s the difference, and very clear it is.”

    Wrong. I just checked up on this. The vast majority of rickets cases are not inherited, those that are come from genetic mutations. I’m not a doctor but a quick search on inherited modes of rickets reveals that you have no clue what you’re talking about. You should have checked further. As I said:

    children up to two years old- when rickets does most harm- are likely to live in the same conditions as their mothers and will probably be breast-fed, which means that if the mothers have vitamin D deficiency the children are more likely to get rickets.
    The adult form of rickets is called Osteomalcia.
    So it isn’t rickets, which is defined as deformity of the bones in childhood. Serious enough, however, I agree, and, given the shortage of vitamin D among people of Asian descent in the U.K., worth dealing with by offering dietary supplements to sufferers, don’t you think?
    atheist fanatics who want to criminalize the spiritual way of life and play amateur doctor diagnosing diseases in the faithful based on unfounded hysteria over clothing and lifestyle
    Who has proposed making “the spiritual way of life”- whatever that is- illegal? The information cited comes from directors of public health and other medical sources. What makes you think they are “amateur”?
    ““Millions of white children”? It seems a little exaggerated. What is your source for that claim?”

    No it is not an exaggeration. Simply google “Britain alcoholism.” For you to even question the rampant alcoholism amongst Brits show how far removed from reality you are. I said nothing about the level of alcoholism in the U.K. I merely question your arithmetic. What is your evidence that “millions of white children in the U.K.” have alcoholic parents and that those children suffer “from violence, sexual assault and other forms of abuse”? One of the problems with alcoholism is that sufferers are often able to function perfectly well for a great many years, as parents as well as in other areas.

    “Are nonwhite women mysteriously immune to alcoholism then?”

    Did I say that?…Alcohol abuse is rampant among whites You implied it by specifying “white alcoholic women”. What is your evidence that alcoholism is more “rampant” among whites than non-whites?

    Oh so now you bring up “civil liberties” once your racial group is brought under scrutiny. How convenient lol. You know no more about my “racial group” than I do about yours. In fact, I made it plain above that I thought the right for people to wear what they liked included

    the right to go shopping in pyjamas or to go for country walks naked except for boots, rucksack and sunhat or the religious right of Jedi knights to keep their hoods up
    as well as the right to wear other silly clothes inspired by religious delusions.

    Yeah sure. lol Given the sort of retarded “debates” prevalent about Muslims, amid the racist discourse about their “otherness,” its all a “ploy.” I take it you wouldn’t object if non-muslims liable to vitamin D deficiency and rickets were informed of it and offered dietary supplements then- or would that be a racist discourse about their “otherness” too or an anti-muslim “ploy” too?

  • Unimpressed

    It’s safe to say thersites that you are a shameless liar and uninformed idiot grasping for straws playing internet doctor. I did some more reading on vitamin D deficiency, and simply put, you have no case.

    “So why deny there was an “epidemic” of rickets, except to imply that some people said there was?”

    Look up the definition of epidemic. It has nothing to do with infectiousness but prevalence of a disease. According to the BBC news headlines today, there is a diabetes epidemic amongst Chinese. Is diabetes infectious? No. You don’t what your talking about.

    “Bow legs are among the most extreme symptom of rickets”

    No they are not the “most extreme symptom” of rickets. It is the most common presentation of the disease.

    “So it isn’t rickets, which is defined as deformity of the bones in childhood.”

    It’s the the result of same vitamin deficiency. Lack of vitamin D in children is called rickets, in adults it’s called osteomalacia. Both have the same clinical presentation. All I had to do was do a search on it, what’s preventing from doing so? I’ll tell you what : cowardice.

    “I merely question your arithmetic.”

    Talk about not seeing the forest for the trees. I question your denial of rampant alcoholism and it’s violent after effects in the UK. But hey, why bother dealing with real problems when you can make up rubbish about brown people? Consider yourself lucky I didn’t go into STDs.

    “You know no more about my “racial group” than I do about yours.”

    Oh please. You’re an insecure white male. I could see that from a mile away.

    “The information cited comes from directors of public health and other medical sources. What makes you think they are “amateur”?”

    It’s amateurish because their hypothesis is BS and inconclusive, not that that would stop trolls like you from exploiting and trying to gain traction from it. How many pundits, monks and nuns do you see moving about with bowed legs and other symptoms of vitamin D defiency? None. End of story.

    “as well as the right to wear other silly clothes inspired by religious delusions.”

    Aha, so that’s what this is REALLY about(I knew that anyway but thanks for revealing your true intent). And just who the f*** are you to call their clothes silly and inspired by religious delusions? A nobody, a petty insecure atheist racist loser who delights in looking down on others while having no culture or accomplishment of his own.

    “I take it you wouldn’t object if non-muslims liable to vitamin D deficiency and rickets were informed of it and offered dietary supplements then- or would that be a racist discourse about their “otherness” too or an anti-muslim “ploy” too?”

    I don’t see the world in terms of Muslim or non-Muslim. My family background is Hindu even though I don’t practice any of the rituals. I don’t have to be a Muslim to see that you’re have a clear racial and political agenda. And yes, it’s an transparent anti-Muslim ploy amid so much racial tension and all this talk of banning burqas and such. Admit it, you are obsessed with Muslims. Asians are fully capable of taking care of, and raising their children to excellence, which more then I can say for the failed parenting skills of your ilk. Clean up your backyard before arrogantly lecturing others. Heck, learn to hold your liquor for starters.
    As much of a live and let live kind of guy that I am, I have zero tolerance for convoluted, evasive crap you type spews. Take your alarmist propaganda and vitamin D supplement and shove it up your backside, you detestable racist prick.

  • Thersites

    Come, come, where have i told a lie? Not what you would like to be a lie or something you disagree with or an error, but an actual demonstrable lie? You looked up a definition of “epidemic”. You didn’t say where you looked, but in most dictionaries the main definition would be something like:

    a disease spread rapidly by infection and affecting many members of a population at the same time
    with your use a secondary metaphorical derivation from that one. I do not think you a liar for your mistake, however.
    {Bow legs] are not the “most extreme symptom” of rickets. It is the most common presentation of the disease.
    They are not the most common presentation of the disease. Fortunately it is now usually noticed and dealt with long before it gets to that stage. They are the most commonly ssociated image of the disease and an extreme symptom. There are even worse kinds of spinal damage, however, so I apologise formy overstatement.
    It’s the result of same vitamin deficiency. Lack of vitamin D in children is called rickets, in adults it’s called osteomalacia. Both have the same clinical presentation. All I had to do was do a search on it
    You should have searched more carefully. The symptoms and consequences are much more severe in children- as with many deficiency diseases- and so the two are separately categorised, as are other diseases.
    I question your denial of rampant alcoholism and it’s violent after effects in the UK.
    Where have I denied that alcoholism is “rampant” in the U.K.? I merely questioned your claim that “millions of white children” have “alcoholic parents” and suffer from “violence, sexual assault and other forms of abuse” as a result. You still haven’t produced any evidence to substantiate your figures.
    Oh please. You’re an insecure white male. I could see that from a mile away.
    You might find it useful to consult an optician. And an atlas, as you’re actually several thousand miles away.
    [The local directors of public health and other reseachers]’re amateurish because their hypothesis is BS and inconclusive
    What is the evidence that “their hypothesis is BS and inconclusive” except that you’d prefer it not to be true? And what of their data- from several sources- which shows an “increased incidence of vitamin D deficiency in Asian women in the UK and resulting rickets in their children” and “that [vitamin D deficiency] was very common in northern Pakistan”? Do you reject that too? On what grounds? If you do not reject it, what do you think is the cause of vitamin D deficiency and rickets in these populations, then and what should be done to ameliorate it?
    Aha, so that’s what this is REALLY about(I knew that anyway but thanks for revealing your true intent). And just who the f*** are you to call their clothes silly and inspired by religious delusions? A nobody, a petty insecure atheist racist loser who delights in looking down on others while having no culture or accomplishment of his own.
    The important question is not who I am, or who you are, but whether people should be allowed to do as they please if it does no harm to others, regardless of our opinions of their motives. It looks rather as though you would only tolerate people dressing in ways others might think unusual if they are following “the spiritual way of life”. You still haven’t said what “the spiritual way of life” actually is, by the way.
    I don’t see the world in terms of Muslim or non-Muslim.
    Then why do you claim that the proposal to provide dietary supplements to people of any religion who in the opinion of the people who are apparently suffering from pathological shortages of vitamin D is a sign of “islamophobia”?
    My family background is Hindu even though I don’t practice any of the rituals.
    Why not? After all, if you are so keen on “the spiritual way of life”, surely you ought to follow it yourself. Or is it that you don’t actually believe in the truth of the claims underlying the rituals? If you do believe those claims, then why do you think the consequently untrue claims of muslims are also part of “the spiritual way of life”? And if you think the claims underlying the behaviour of both muslims and hindus are untrue, surely you think they are “religious delusions”, so why object to the term?
    And yes, it’s an transparent anti-Muslim ploy amid so much racial tension and all this talk of banning burqas and such.
    Where have I spoken of “banning burqas and such”? In fact, I made it plain I have no objection to people wearing burkas or such other clothing or lack of clothing as they desire, regardless of their motives. You seem to disapprove of my tolerance just as much as you disapprove of others’ intolerance.

  • Unimpressed

    You protest a bit too much thersites, you are the most ignorant and obstinate fool I’ve run across on blogs in recent memory. This past weekend at my cousin’s engagement party I had a very interesting conversation with my uncle, a retired GP who practiced in Britain for almost 25 years before returning back home to Trinidad. Catching up on good times over some Angostura rum, the topic shifted to medicine. Turns out you’re more full of crap then I suspected. Did you know the number one cause of vitamin deficiency in the UK was excessive drinking yet you will rarely find a bow legged Briton. The number one cause of mental retardation amongst children is alcohol poisoning thanks to their mothers drinking. When I asked about this covering up the body equaling rickets theory, he rubbished it as nonsense. In all his years of practicing medicine he did not encounter a single Asian with rickets. Turns out devout Hindus have been haphazardly subjugated to similar rubbish about lack of protein in their diets since they don’t eat meat, yet most vegans in the UK are whites who do fine. The only people who he’s ever had to recommend vitamin D supplements are post-menopausal women. The rest is just political noise masquerading as meaningful discourse about minorities. Lets be dead honest, Asians are miles ahead when it comes to parenting, working their fingers to the bone, dotting over their kids, raising them well and pushing them to academic excellence. Contrast this with the pathetic state of white parenting where they can’t even raise a single child properly. Face it thersites, you have an unhealthy obsession with Muslims, you’re not a doctor but a clueless, petty, insecure, stupid white man grasping for straws, with too much time on your hands dabbling in alarmist conspiracy theories about minorities. What exactly is an obnoxious atheist d1ckhead like you doing on a religious themed blog? Piss off and take your negativity and racist bulls*** elsewhere. Either way, I’m not wasting any more time with you.

  • Thersites

    Your uncle’s anecdotes were no doubt very entertaining, Unimpressed, but they are still anecdotes, and unless you can provide more detail they are useless as evidence and leave me…well…unimpressed. For example, where was he practising medicine; how many Asian patients were there in his practise; did he look for signs of vitamin D deficiency in his patients; what was his opinion of the evidence cited by Africana, that vitamin D deficiency among Asian-descended families is a result of their diets and not lack of exposure to sunlight? These- and a great many other factors- would need to be considered before we could regard his claims as statistically useful.

    Did you know the number one cause of vitamin deficiency in the UK was excessive drinking yet you will rarely find a bow legged Briton[?]
    Of course not. Bow legs are mainly caused by rickets or other childhood ailments. Most people do not take up excess drinking until many years later. Another imprecision here: does your uncle mean general vitamin deficiency or pathological deficiencies of particular vitamins? Because it is the latter that is in question here. The evidence is that Asian-descended women and their children in Britain are particularly at risk of vitamin D deficiency, possibly as a result of their life-style, possibly as a result of their diet, quite possibly as a result of both. It’s been suggested that as they are an easily identified group, that the remedies can be easily and cheaply supplied, that- given the concern for their children you cite- there would be little difficulty in persuading them to follow these beneficial practises which do not go against any of their religious prejudices and yet you are convinced that it is somehow racist to suggest doing it and that it is some kind of consiracy.
    The number one cause of mental retardation amongst children is alcohol poisoning thanks to their mothers drinking.
    No it isn’t. The most common cause of mental retardation in children worldwide is probably malnutrition before and after birth; however, most cases of mental retardation, in the U.K. and worldwide, have unknown aetiologies.
    most vegans in the UK are whites who do fine.
    They do fine if they take dietary supplements. Many vegans in the U.K. actually suffer from varying degrees of malnutrition. In the case of Hindus, who have been following such a diet for generations, it is likely that the ones who couldn’t live on it were removed from the gene pool. The couple I cited above who are serving sentences for manslaughter after starving their child to death from the best of intentions were dedicated vegans.
    Lets be dead honest, Asians are miles ahead when it comes to parenting, working their fingers to the bone, dotting over their kids, raising them well and pushing them to academic excellence.
    No doubt that explains the difference in death rates- especially with girls- between Asia and the U.K. Where have i suggested any conspiracy at all? As for my being here, followers of the spiritual way- you still haven’t said just what it is and why you don’t follow it or them, if you admire it so much- tend to think that they are entitled to force other people to behave in ways that suit the followers unspiritually as well as spiritually and I think it handy to remind people of that fact. As for I.J.’s toleration of me- and others who disagree with him, probably he agrees with me that
    “The peculiar evil of silencing the expression of an opinion is that it is robbing the human race; posterity as well as the existing generation; those who dissent from the opinion, still more than those who hold it. If the opinion is right, they are deprived of the opportunity of exchanging error for truth: if wrong, they lose, what is almost as great a benefit, the clearer perception and livelier impression of truth, produced by its collision with error.
    even if we disagree about what is truth and what error.

  • Greengrass3

    I have come across your blog for the first time. You seem like an intelligent soul. It was only the last part of your post that had me a little distracted,

    ‘Far more effective would be to quietly encourage more active lifestyles among these women, to encourage uptake of vitamin supplements (freely provided or otherwise) and to stress the importance of getting at least some exposure to sunlight.’

    I think I would have been more content if you had added, ‘encourage their menfolk to promote more active lifestyles too…’

  • Unimpressed

    My Uncle’s “anecdotes” were not meant to entertain but to inform, thersites. He’s a doctor with over 25 years of experience in family medicine. You on the other hand are a non-entity, an atheist troll with an obnoxious anti-religious agenda grasping for straws online.

    His words based on decades of medical practice over your white supremacist tinged nonsense? No competition. Simple as that.

  • Thersites

    As I said:

    Your uncle’s anecdotes were no doubt very entertaining, Unimpressed, but they are still anecdotes, and unless you can provide more detail they are useless as evidence and leave me…well…unimpressed. For example, where was he practising medicine; how many Asian patients were there in his practise; did he look for signs of vitamin D deficiency in his patients; what was his opinion of the evidence cited by Africana, that vitamin D deficiency among Asian-descended families is a result of their diets and not lack of exposure to sunlight? These- and a great many other factors- would need to be considered before we could regard his claims as statistically useful.

    On the one hand, we have your rum-assisted recollections of your uncle’s anecdotes at a bibulous party, on the other hand we have several academic studies. Family loyalty is a virtue, no doubt, but when it’s taken to the level of “Who are you going to believe, what I said my uncle said or the evidence?” it’s going a bit far, I think.

  • Unimpressed

    Rum assisted recollections? Is that an attempt at humor? Trinis could be drunk out of my mind and still make more sense then you, thersites. This has nothing to do with “family loyalty,” it’s simply the knowledge of a medical doctor verses that of an lonely atheist dickhead grasping for straws online.

    Drink responsibly now.