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The dog, the hat, the police and Muslims in Dundee


Have you read about the puppy dog, the police in Dundee and the Muslims? Do you want to know what actually happened and what is going on? If so, you can continue to read my post. As an anthropologist working and living in this region of Scotland, I may clarify some points. However, before explaining what actually is going on, let me highlight some important aspects.  In a previous post I complained how the mass media paid attention to the most slight, trivial and ridiculous event involving Islam and Muslims in this country and in the world, but become shy and extremely politically correct (together with their readers) when reporting racial, nazi-inspired crimes, such as the case of the Nazi pedophile Mr Gilleard, a white, Christian, uber-British nationalist.


I did not need even one day to have another clear evidence of this fact. Today all the national newspapers are reporting the ridiculous story of the apologies offered by the Tayside police to the Muslim community for a postcard featuring a cute puppy sitting in a policeman’s hat issued for their new non-emergency telephone number. Of course, immediately the voices of the readers rise in indignation for such a ‘politically correct’ response of the police force. I leave it to you to read some of the comments, which also seem repetitive and similar from one newspaper to the other.  International broadcasters, such as Fox News, have reported this little ridiculous piece of news in sensationalist terms. 

 I remind you that no international TV news or newspapers had reported neither the Mr Sandalo ‘Love Jesus and kill Muslims’ terrorist network, nor the crusading nationalist plots of Mr Gilleard. 

Ask yourself why a stupid contested postcard should become an international case more than the evidence that dangerous, fanatic Nazi and Fascist movements are exploiting the much constructed fear of Islam in order to promote their ideology and find support among the general public by targeting Muslims? The reason is that the above news should be read within a meta-discourse which says ‘Here’s more evidence that we are becoming all Dhimmi’ as the new Christian prophets (among which we can mention Bat Ye‘or, andFallaci&co. This is the real reason for which newspapers should report such trivial stories (and possibly undermine others). 

Now, let me summarise the story. The police force in Tayside, of which Dundee is part, has issued a new card to be displayed in public places and shops to remind people of their new telephone number. Mr Mohammed Asif, the Muslim councillor of Dundee City, but also a member of the Tayside Joint Police Board, has advised the police force that the new card, because it displays the image of a black cute puppy dog,  ‘may be not be welcomed’ by some members of the Muslim communities owing shops, and consequently they may not display it.

Now this was the advice of a member of the Muslim community who had some knowledge of the community and was for this reason part of the Tayside Joint Police Board. As such, he had not only the right but actually the duty to advise the police on such a matter. 

I find interesting how the advice of a member of the Joint Police Board becomes the official complaint of an entire community, and how immediately newspapers remind their readers how Islam dislikes dogs. Again we are witnessing disinformation through essentialisation (for more you can read my book The Anthropology of Islam). First of all, Mr Asif was providing advice.

The reason for this advice is that the majority of the Muslim shopkeepers in Dundee are of South Asian background, particularly from Pakistan and Bangladesh. Without going too much into detail here, we can say that some Muslims from these areas dislike dogs, and see them as polluted (or are just scared of them, with some good reasons when we consider that many dogs in these countries are less than domestic). Yet the newspapers report that all Muslims dislike dogs because they are forbidden in Islam. Well, nothing is more easy to disprove than these misleading reports.

Muslims are different and likewise their Islam. I will use as an example to contradict the stereotype of Muslim-dog-hatred, not just some ‘soft-core’ Sufis, but nothing less than the most respectable Wahabi families: The Saudi family and their  love for  Salukis, read the article and laugh at those whom insist in claiming that all Muslims hate dogs! 

 I have not received any complaint about this card, and other sources have confirmed that many Muslims in Dundee have been very surprised about the scandal.  Clearly the Daily Mail and others are trying to use this ridiculous story for scare-mongering the Scottish population. 

Yet to have a totally clear picture about this story, you need more relevant information. We have to go back to 2006, in December, when the Tayside Special Branch seemed to become over-zealous in its activities in Dundee. I have personally collected stories of frightened students being fully interviewed, without real reason, by officers, and even asked how many times they went to the mosque, to which mosque, and how many times they prayed: all useful questions to find and recognise terrorists! Of course, these useless interviews and the apparently clumsy start of the new police unit, did not win the hearts and minds of the Muslims in Dundee. The result was tension and lack of collaboration.

Mistake after mistake, the relationship between the Muslim communities in Dundee and the police in general were at the lowest level; this despite the fact the no evidence was ever found of criminal activities and the Scottish Muslim communities in Dundee are among the most law abiding in the country.  

Now, we can clearly understand what really has happened in the police-card affair.   One Muslim councillor, who happened to be also part of an advisory organ of the Tayside police forces, knowing of the very fragile relationship between the local police force and the overall Muslim community in Dundee, has advised the police about the possible reactions, from some members of the communities, to the advertisement. The police in Dundee, which cannot renounce the assistance of the Muslim communities to fight violent extremists, decide to take the safer route, and apologise for the eventual offence to some of the members. 

Hence, there are some important conclusions to be stressed. This ‘affair’ is a very local one and influenced by local politics and previous local situations. It has nothing to do with Islam disliking cute dogs (as I have clearly proved). The majority of the Muslims in Dundee are surprised to read this stupid and ridiculous story no less than you and will agree with the majority of the people living in this country that this is a trivial case. Finally, we have another example of how the mass media are manipulating (some for money, others for political ideology) reality in order to convince the majority of non-Muslims that we are ready for Dhimmitude and our politicians and even police forces are not really able to prevent this and defend the Christians values of this country as well as our (not-so Christian) ‘style of life.’  

Once again, thanks to the irresponsibility of the mass media and their partial (or misleading) reporting,  Muslims find themselves in the middle of a sensationalism which will even further damage their lives and will see even more, in Dundee, their children bullied at school and in the street. At the same time, the fantasy scaremongering of a Dhimmi conspiracy will offer the Sandalos and the Gilleards more hopes for their dream of a Nazi-Christian-Aryan nation. 

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32 thoughts on “The dog, the hat, the police and Muslims in Dundee

  1. Sana says:

    Gabriele, i recently stumbled upon your blog and I love your insightful posts! Literally, last night I had a two hour long discussion with my sister which included my ramblings about how it seems that no one takes to time to contextualize scripture, especially Quranic scripture. We came to the conclusion the only way to properly assess any culture, ESPECIALLY a religion, is to become an anthropologist or learned scholar of some sort!
    After saying that Islam is different to each believer, and exegesis is neccesary in learning and blah blah, so on and so forth, my sister said “There must be an anthropology to Islaam!”
    and so I did research and stumbled on your blog! I look forward to reading your posts, and I particularly found this one very interesting.
    Keep on posting and I can’t wait to read your books as well!

  2. Gabriele, tsfiles is right violent acts by Christians are not accordingly mandated by Christianity’s scriptures. Islamic Jihadists however do this all of the time.

  3. thabet says:

    Do a similar number of other young people think gang violence is “defensible”? How about violence related to (unecessary) warfare?

  4. Uh, when identity politics runs amok, this is what happens. The outrage should be towards the hyper-P.C. police, and I think most of it is. Secondarily, Muslims should be embarrassed that someone so lacking in common sense would use his position to bring something this trivial as a point of potential contention. But his power, his “authoritative” knowledge is based mainly on the sensitivities, real and imagined, of the Muslim community. It’s in his best interest to exaggerate them. On the other hand, polls show that a very large percentage of Muslim young people in GB think violent jihad is defensible. And maybe they don’t like dogs, either.

    He should have said, to “potential” complainers, “Just cut the dog off and post the sign. Or stay ignorant. Your choice.”

  5. Dear tsfiles

    thanks for your kind comments. I never said that ‘ the dog/police story is totally incorrect’ as you can read in my blog. I have only explained what has happened based upon the pieces of information I had. I am sorry that you feel so badly for what you call ‘liberal’ and for the basis of our ‘liberal’ democracy.

    I can see that you have strong convictions. Yet we can see clearly that your comments and your way of thinking are affected by the ‘wide brush’ approach. If this way of proceeding is certainly fine in discussions down at the pub, it certainly does not produce good scholarly debate or even comments.

    the English have become a nation of multi-cult cowards

    of course, you can provide us with strong evidence that all ‘English’ are ‘cowards’ and maybe explain a bit more what ‘multi-cult cowards’ are. I find this rhetoric and slogan interesting anthropologically speaking (i.e. its origin, the usage and so on).

    I am sorry that I have to repeat myself: religion in itself does not exist. Yesterday and today (although less today) people who declare themselves Muslims of different groups, Christians of different sects, Jews of different sects, Hindus of different sects, Buddhists of different origins and sects, kill others and justify their actions in many ways, some of which involve religion. This is a fact. If you want to show the opposite, please, offer us some clear evidence to the contrary.

    Best wishes
    Gabriele

  6. Even if we concede that the dog/police story is totally incorrect, anyone who has followed the news out of England (and you apparently have not) knows full well that the English have become a nation of multi-cult cowards who have long ago cast any common sense or reason in favor of pacifying the Muslims among them.

    While you write rambling posts bemoaning the awful stereotyping of poor Muslims, across the planet, thousands of men and women fully believe that detonating a bomb in your immediate pretense is perfectly legitimate and desired by Allah. Conveniently, you also ignore the little secret that Jews are more likely to be targeted for their religion than anyone else, but no matter. Apparently the browner the person’s skin, the more sympathy the liberal offers.

    Your relativism is also disturbing and stunningly incomplete:

    “All religions discuss violence, war or use of force against enemies or whoever challenges the religion. All of them have battles and killings. I am not surprised about that.”

    This line of reasoning (so to speak) is offered most by liberals who like to artificially equate religions (all in the cowardly effort to avoid judging Islam — judgment is to be directed toward Christians only). You neglect one inconvenient fact: Christians and Catholics don’t go around attacking people for religion, much less murdering them. (Nor do Jews. Nor do Hindus. Nor do Buddhists.) Muslims do this DAILY and have done so in some form or other since the 7th century. To equate “all religions” is obscene and ignorant.

  7. thabet says:

    James,

    Care to disprove it? All four Islamic schools of jurisprudence hold that apostasy (which is leaving the Islamic religion, not treachery) is punishable by death.

    We need to open the jurists texts and see what they say. In some cases it was seen as ‘treachery’. In other cases it is, indeed, ‘leaving’ the Islamic religion (even these paramaters, of what it means to ‘leave’, are defined, as I am sure you know). This is why I said you were being superficial and shallow rather than incorrect.

    The Qur’an is the authority for that…
    Merely quoting a verse or a hadith does not establish law. Take the Saudis, for example. Although their religious attitude suggests they want to bypass the “medieval” schools of law that you are referring to, they soon found out there was no such thing as a text without an interprtation. Thus, they ended up referring to various juristic texts in their constitution on which the law is meant to be based.

    Thus, you also seem to be suggesting a ‘wahhabi’ view of text and reader. But there is a huge gap between the two into which all sorts of views, assumptions, beliefs, etc enter which can be related to class, education, ethnicity, race, etc. That is why I said your view was superficial and shallow rather than incorrect (for I agree apostasy has been held to be a criminal offence by Muslim jurists).

    *I am glad you did say jurisprudence and not theology as lots of other people do. For you will recognise that a jurist is bound by his or her ‘context’, for they engage in answering questions about the world around them. This, despite insistence from some people, includes Muslim peoples from yesteryear to our present day.

  8. Jonathan says:

    Tolerance. It’s a very important word. Gotta love it.

    However, I would like to point out another word called “extremists”. There are , unfortunately, some extremists in the Islam religion.

    But that is not restricted to Islam, try Christianity as well.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christian_terrorism

    If you can’t tolerate human of another faith/race living together with you, then I suggest you learn another word, “racism”.

    Thanks.

  9. Dear James

    Although your generalization on ‘all the School of thought’ is a rather misinformed generalization (by the way schools are more than four, but now it is a kind of standard to say that they are four, they are not unified at all and divided in many factions), it is true, totally true that those verses can be interpreted as ‘kill everybody who disagrees with you” or ‘ kill every Christian, Pagan or Jew or whatever and whoever is not Muslim’ or ‘Muslims had to defend themselves against certain Arab pagan tribes, and some Christian and Jew tribes, which tried to kill them and suppress their religions at the time of the Prophet”. I can go on with thousands of different interpretations and you can pick up the one which you prefer the most .

    A couple of sentences, even from a Holy book (The Qur’an, The Bible or whatever) possess no meaning at all without the mind whom interprets it. So scriptures are the mirror of whomever reads them (I say ‘read’ not believe, so this apply to non-Muslims as well) .

    All religions discuss violence, war or use of force against enemies or whoever challenges the religion. All of them have battles and killings. I am not surprised about that.

    Religions discuss about the human condition and violence, killing and war are very much part of it. Yet people interpret passages and scriptures. For this reason I am an anthropologist instead of an Islamic philologist 🙂

    We should deal with people and their ideas. Texts remain silent without people reading and interpreting them. I am sure that you will agree on it (or you may show me the opposite, i.e. texts speak by themselves).

    By the way, since you like to quote the Qur’an, could you tell me what the entire Sura is actually addressing? Is not this sura about a particular historical time of the first Muslim community?

    People not only (and among them surely many Muslims) decontextualize the ayat from the rest of the sura but also from the historical context. Yet some Muslims do so with the Qur’an, some Christian do so with the Bible and so on. Again it’s a matter of minds.
    .

    Thanks for reading
    Gabriele

  10. James says:

    ‘Lisa, with respect you could not be more wrong.

    James, that was a shallow and superficial discussion of warfare and apostasy in Islamic law.’

    Care to disprove it? All four Islamic schools of jurisprudence hold that apostasy (which is leaving the Islamic religion, not treachery) is punishable by death.

    All four Islamic schools of jurisprudence hold that it is the duty of Muslims to spread Islam by force until Islam rules over Christians and Jews and the latter are ‘subdued’. The Qur’an is the authority for that:

    009.029
    YUSUFALI: Fight those who believe not in Allah nor the Last Day, nor hold that forbidden which hath been forbidden by Allah and His Messenger, nor acknowledge the religion of Truth, (even if they are) of the People of the Book, until they pay the Jizya with willing submission, and feel themselves subdued.
    PICKTHAL: Fight against such of those who have been given the Scripture as believe not in Allah nor the Last Day, and forbid not that which Allah hath forbidden by His messenger, and follow not the Religion of Truth, until they pay the tribute readily, being brought low.
    SHAKIR: Fight those who do not believe in Allah, nor in the latter day, nor do they prohibit what Allah and His Messenger have prohibited, nor follow the religion of truth, out of those who have been given the Book, until they pay the tax in acknowledgment of superiority and they are in a state of subjection.

    I suppose what I am saying is perhaps shallow however it is also true.

  11. Pingback: » Ask yourself why a stupid contested post … Talk Islam

  12. thabet says:

    Lisa, with respect you could not be more wrong.

    James, that was a shallow and superficial discussion of warfare and apostasy in Islamic law.

  13. thabet says:

    However lets be frank here Liberal democracy is not threatened by people like Mark or even racists. It is not they who produce placards saying ‘behead those who insult Islam’.

    Can a handful of unpleasant people like those showed those placards overcome an entire nation (with a highly sophisticated police and military)?

  14. Dear Jennifer,

    thank you for your comment.
    You are right when you say that, ‘Islam is contradicting’ but as a religion, it is not more contradicting than others. All religions have contradictions and this is particularly true because they are fundamentally based on interpretation: in the case of Muslims there is not even a centralised ‘church’ for them to follow. There is no ‘pure’ religion in general, otherwise one needs to declare himself a prophet (something that few today do) or God himself.

    So, why are you speaking about islam? There are some people who feel to be Muslims and kill in the name of Islam, or interpret Islam in a violent way.
    Of course, the issue of killing within both secular and religious traditions is a complex one. All nations, human groups (with religion or without) accept that killing humans may be necessary.

    Indeed, some nations, such as the US, have death penalty, or concept of ‘just war’.

    Now, whether to apply the death penalty or not, or consider a war ‘just’ or not is just a matter of opinion – and for what one person is justice another may consider injustice.

    I agree with you on one point: to blandly say that Islam is peace is misleading, as to say that Christianity is peaceful (soldiers still have their weapons blessed) or Judaism is peaceful, or secularism or atheism or whatever.
    Only people kill and justify it in different ways.
    So for one person Islam is peaceful, for another it is not, or it is not in certain circumstances.
    You will agree with me that the decision is taken by each individual brain (which may be influenced by ideas and so on).
    To blame all Muslims or a faith for the actions of singles (or groups of singles) is irrational.

    Yet this does not mean that for you Islam cannot be violent and you read it as such or you tend to agree with some extreme interpretations (often minority) or you wish to see it as such.

    Islam seen as religion, or way of life (for whom believes it), or cultural object, or just cultural talk (for whom just wishes to criticize or just support it) is nothing more than a mirror: it tends to represent the person behind the reading.

    I hope that this may help
    Gabriele

  15. Jennifer says:

    What? Islam is so contradicting, how can you be all about peace when you want to kill the people that turn away from Islam that doesn’t sound peaceful to me-and i don’t understand how Islam says that all of Allah’s craetions are supposed to be loved and respected,but not humans,why do they kill what they love,it doesn’t make any sense

  16. James says:

    Gabriele, I like your last comment and dislike the racist attitudes one of the commentators here has shown. However Mark has not said he is against western democracy. He is against the privileging of religious groups as am I (even though I am a practising Christian). Why is that? Well of course you already know that keeping religion out of politics and thus law is a cornerstone of liberal democracy. However lets be frank here Liberal democracy is not threatened by people like Mark or even racists. It is not they who produce placards saying ‘behead those who insult Islam’. Rather what we see is elements of a religious minority seeking to impose their societal mores on the west. That is why they support the killing of authors like Salman Rushdie and demonstrate violently against harmless cartoons.

    Certainly the media is responsible for much disharmony; the matter is hardly helped by statutory authorities renaming Christmas winterval and such nonsense. I accept the latter perhaps had little to do with Islam in site of how it was reported in the tabloid media.

    The problem remains however that militant Islam is here and seeks to transform our society. Islamist groups have said so quite openly and it is they and not the media and not racist white groups that bear the responsibility for whatever ‘Islamaphobia’ is.

    Lisa, with respect you could not be more wrong. The media has never misrepresented what Jihad and Sharia is. If anything they have not told the whole truth. Sharia is a complex legal system but it is fundamentally archaic and anathema to western values. The death penalty for apostasy for instance is in Sharia and all four schools of Islamic jurisprudence support it. The Islamist groups also quite openly talk of this. Jihad is an obligation on Muslims, the idea that it is a peaceful inner struggle is nonsense. Again all for schools of Islamic Jurisprudence support the spread of Islam by force. Indeed violent Islamist groups hive themselves names like ‘Islamic Jihad’ and Ansar al Sunna. We’re fortunate that not all Muslims follow this interpretation of their faith which is rooted in their scriptures. Liberals like our friend Dr Marranci actually do know this but it is rarely acknowledged.

  17. Dear Mark,

    thank you for your comments. I feel that you may be tiered of liberal democracy. Yet this is still the best system we have. I have not seen great results neither with Fascism, Nazism or Communism. Liberal democracy is based on respects of different values (included the religious one) and even when this values might by respected by other countries towards us.
    To tell the truth, nobody in this case, other than an elected members of Dundee Council and advisor to the police, had complained.

    At the same, I remained you that in a democracy, people can ‘complain’, express their views, protest, and also ask for what they thing or assume is their rights.

    I often think that it is strange that the same people whom accuse 1.9% of ‘Muslims ‘ of changing or threaten our ‘Values’ rejects the main pillars of those values: freedom, representation, and democracy.

    The more I observe the attitude of European in general and British people in particular about Muslims, the more I have
    the impression that many people are very tiered of Western democracy and Western freedom, which grantee that also members of what you have, with sarcasm, called the ‘bronze-age’ religious beliefs have their spaces and rights of expression.

    Best wishes
    Gabriele

  18. Mark Payne says:

    Who cares?I’m sick of religious ‘communities’ getting offended at the slightest thing and demanding that their beliefs are respected without reciprocating.
    Can anyone not see how deranged all of this is becoming?Quite frankly,as a society,I think our energies would be better channeled into just about anything else other than catering to and supporting these stupid,bronze-age religious beliefs.

  19. Nick says:

    Nice article. As a white Brit, I ‘should’ feel Bill Corr is speaking for me. But then he does sound like an utter fool. Maybe because I read the Guardian on occasion, and am therefore morally and intellectually redundant. Ho-hum.

  20. Lisa says:

    Many thanks for your insightful article. Of course, all stories like this should be exposed where possible and the press held to account. Complaining to the PCC is rarely effective, as it is run by the same newspaper editors publishing these stories, and even when newspapers do print retractions it is rarely remembered over the story itself, so blogs like yours serve a valuable purpose.

    I am not a Muslim, but have at least informed myself to some extent about Islamic beliefs and history and I would suggest others do the same before they allow themselves to be brainwashed by a national press who try to generalise an entire religion and tis members, who consistently attribute incorrect meanings to Arabic words such as “jihad” and “shariah”, and whip up the kind of hate stories based on trivial or non-existent incidents which seem determined to fashion all Muslims as the bogeyman of the modern age, stepping into the shoes of the recognisable propaganda vehicles of the past: sex offenders, Communists, the Hun.

    As for Bill, what a sad reminder of the disgusting knee-jerk racism that is still out there, thanks in part to the actions of the press in running stories like this and in part to people’s own gullibility in believing the same propaganda the public has been force-fed time immemorial. It goes to show exactly why we need to keep fighting these lies.

  21. Salaam Gabriele,

    Well done for yet another insightful article, this time clarifying some aspects of the story that would otherwise not be understood by many, perhaps not even Muslims.

    In my article on the SIF blog, I took a slightly different angle, which included lamenting the over-sensitivity of some of our community to such matters, and the resultant exploitation by parts of the media.

  22. To Bill,

    I don’t know whats wrong with you, we as a muslim never hate your religion (if you were a good christian), we never hate Yesus (Isa AS) but why a guy like you hate Muslim and Islam.
    “sorry and tired of pandering to Muslim “sensitivities” – enduring the spectacle of Muslims howling and yelping about a book they never read and cartoons they haven’t seen”
    And what about you, you have same attitude just like they do, have you ever read Quran, learn Islam story with pure mind not from media or news paper or western orientalist.

    To Dr Marranci
    Salam from me in Indonesia, nice articles and nice blog.

  23. wendy mann says:

    so why arent you advocating the use of the press complaints commission and ofcom.

    every little slight has to be met with an avalanche of response from those who do know better than the distortions and lies meted out by the media and of course the government.

    these organisations exist, just waiting for complaints with regard to wrong doing. so why not use it. make it work for muslims and islam (and in fact any misreporting in the media).

    it takes very little time and they are obligated to respond to your complaint.

    so get to it!

  24. Dear Bill,

    I can understand that people can be tiered of some actions of some Muslims and some trivial debates; but I was wondering in another post (that it can find below this one) why ‘normal Brits’ do not feel the same anger against a Nazi-pedophiles such Mr Gillerad, which is receiving, even in many websites and blogs, support for his actions.

    I wonder why the mass media seems to be ready to report whatever a single Muslim says and does, but newspapers and TV are very ready to cover and hid the advance of a new Nazism which is not less dangerous than the historical one.

    I understand the concerns of many non-Muslims about some people whom declare themselves Muslims and commit criminal actions, but I can grantee that the majority of Muslims feel exactly the same about those people.

    I am however very concern of comments like yours, which shows that rational concerns, which however are giving up to irrational imaginary fears, are full of old -fasion racism, which denys those British (or American or as some people call it, western) values which you seems to protect and consider superior to others.

    I do not see how your above comment can fit within British Values (even less Christian British Values).

    I wonder whether it is not exactly those ‘normal Brits’ the issue for which today British values (and even more the Christian values) are fully betrayed not by Muslims living in this country but by ‘normal Brits’ the 98/% of people living in this country.

    Scapegoating the Muslims, I am afraid, would not stop the decadence of the UK and the rest of Europe.

    ” History repeats itself, and that’s one of the things that’s wrong with history.” ( Clarence Darrow)

    Best wishes
    Gabriele

  25. “It’s true if you believe it”

    The point is that most normal Brits – NOT ‘Guardianistas’, of course – are now so suspicious of Muslims and so sick, sorry and tired of pandering to Muslim “sensitivities” – enduring the spectacle of Muslims howling and yelping about a book they never read and cartoons they haven’t seen – that they dearly wish all Muslims would relocate to Pakistan, Bangladesh, Somalia or some other vile Turd World hellhole at the earlist possible moment.

    Yes, Mohammmed, please go and try living on Benefit Fraud in Peshawar with your veiled Fatimah and your litter of woglets. Ha Ha.

    Bill Corr
    Dhahran
    Saudi Arabia [a country in which Pakis and curry-scented Bengalis are very well aware of their proper place!]

  26. tahir says:

    I’m just surprised it wasnt on the front page of The Sun (or was it?) and wasnt the headline story for Sky news and bbc news with a live report from the dog’s owner.

    Good article and thanks for the background info.

  27. This reminds me of the furore over a book containing reference to the Three Little Pigs being seen as just ‘potentially’ offensive. What was interesting is, as per now, some Muslims (as well as non-Muslims) jumped up and down, yelling, “Ridiculous!” But I worked in a school where that WAS such a sensitivity, but it had arisen – as here – in the context of a local dispute, where the school’s previously crass behaviour had included a bunch of music-reviling Deobandi parents to a Summer fayre where the star attraction was a Yorkshire brass band!!

  28. such wonderful posts you have. there are way ridiculous things the media purports.
    For the sake of argument I would actually like to take this a bit further. Muslims (as a community) are obviously being disadvantaged in many ways due to such ignorant views about them. But I suspect that this phenomenon of ridiculing a group of people (be them Muslims, aboriginals, the uneducated etc…), peoples’ obsession in such minute and trivial matters could be a huge indicator for the psychological state we’re in globally. I would like to call it a pacifier, for it takes us away from the reality we’re faced with each day. It might also be the direct result of what we ought to face from Globalization. Some were worried that economic and political realities would be undermined, but I think it is undermining the very essence that makes us seek the truth in everything; our natural tendency to be curious. SO much can be argued about this point, but I guess what I’m trying to say is a number of things are at play that is desensitizing us from being human beings as we ought to be. Instead of being attracted to goodness and understanding of who we’re, a celebration of our differences, it has become rather a life time career for us to just keep chasing a figure, a mirage that the systems (the media, the government, our families, our customs) create for us. The end seems to be all that matters, though we’re living the miserable means. I wish our education systems could tickle the cocoon every mind has retrieved to, the cocoon that made a shield between what is right and wrong, between what is and the illusion. I once heard a quote (the source I can not remember) “The cost of our competence is Humanity.”

    Peace Be Unto You prof.

  29. it drives me absolutely crazy when people say such ludicrous things. Many muslims may not like to keep dogs in the house for reasons of hygeine but how can we hate a creation of Allah. It is the same as tha fact that muslimd don’t eat pork but we shouldn’t hate pigs. And also to say that dogs are forbidden in islam, does that make sense? how can an animal be forbidden? Maybe eating the flesh of an animal is or the keeping of an anilmal is but we can’t actually forbid an animal because what are we forbidding it from?

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