Yesterday’s papers covered an ongoing spat about some Muslim bus drivers refusing to allow guide dogs belonging to their blind owners on to their buses. Some Muslim passengers are even said to have turned ‘hysterical’ when brought into contact with dogs.
This has been a recurring story over the years but The National Federation of the Blind has said that this problem is ‘getting worse’ which is a shame if it is true.
Many Muslims are taught that dogs are unclean animals and that their saliva should be avoided. This is based on a reported saying of the Prophet Muhammad.
There is a very funny (expletive-ridden) scene in Tarantino’s Pulp Fiction about the relative dirtiness of pigs and dogs.
Anyway, at a time when dogs were rightly suspected of helping spread rabies, a general advisory on avoiding contact with dogs was understandable, but that is hardly the case in today’s UK. As a spokesperson at the MCB sensibly responded, if anyone has a problem with being touched by a dog then they should just go home and have a wash.
Islam Online also features a recent fatwa which is not entirely loony in the advice it offers.