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Iran cleric says dogs "unclean" and not to be kept as pets

TEHRAN | Sat Jun 19, 2010 5:33am EDT

Banner(Reuters) – A senior Iranian cleric has decreed dogs are “unclean” and should not be kept as pets — a move aimed at discouraging Western-style dog ownership in the Islamic state, a newspaper reported on Saturday.

Dogs are considered “unclean” under Islamic tradition but, while relatively rare in Iran, some people do keep them as pets.

By issuing a fatwa — a religious ruling — Grand Ayatollah Naser Makarem Shirazi has sent a clear message that this trend must stop.

“Friendship with dogs is a blind imitation of the West,” he was quoted as saying in Javan daily. “There are lots of people in the West who love their dogs more than their wives and children.”

Guard dogs and sheep dogs are considered acceptable under Islamic law but Iranians who carry dogs in their cars or take them to public parks can be stopped by police and fined.

The Koran does not explicitly prohibit contact with dogs, Shirazi said, but Islamic tradition showed it to be so. “We have lots of narrations in Islam that say dogs are unclean.”

The interpretation of religious rules on personal conduct is a constant source of debate and potential conflict in Iran which has been an Islamic republic since a revolution ousted the Western-backed Shah in 1979.

In a television interview last week, President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad weighed in on the issue of the Islamic dress code, saying women who fail to cover their hair completely should not be harassed by the police.

Morality police are conducting their annual crackdown and women who reveal strands of hair are liable to be stopped in the streets for failing to respect the dress code, or “hijab.”

Ahmadinejad’s surprisingly liberal view was condemned by fellow hard-liner politicians and senior clerics “I wish he had not said those words about the hijab,” Grand Ayatollah Ahmad Jannati told the faithful during the week’s Friday prayers, in a rare criticism of the president.

“We are grappling with many problems including economic and political ones but the issues of morality and ethical security are among the important issues that cannot be ignored,” he said.

Tehran University has set up a thinktank “to investigate the problems related to hijab,” the representative of Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei to the university announced on Monday.

By Robin Pomeroy – Reuters

(Editing by Matthew Jones)


–> 1 Million Stray Dogs in Iraq to be Culled <–

–> Operation Bagdad Pups –  No Buddy Gets Left Behind  <–

Posted:  Just One More Pet –  Cross-Posted:  Marion’s Place

Penny was shot and survived…

July 17, 2010 Posted by | Adopt Just One More Pet, Animal or Pet Related Stories, Animal Rights And Awareness, animals, Just One More Pet, Pet Owner's Rights, Pets, Stop Animal Cruelty, Unusual Stories, We Are All God's Creatures | , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments

1 Million Stray Dogs In Iraq To Be Culled

Baghdad, Iraq (June 30th, 2010)

Iraq’s chief veterinarian has told news agencies that authorities intend to kill up to 1 million stray dogs in Baghdad alone.

1 Million Stray Dogs In Iraq To Be Culled

During the rule of Saddam Hussein, Iraq’s authorities sent veterinary teams out to kill stray dogs on a nightly basis. Since the fall of his regime, for several years the lack of security and threat of violence has prevented these teams from patrolling Iraq’s capital Baghdad. During this time, the stray dog population has exploded to the point where almost 1 million stray dogs are thought to be living in the capital alone – a population density that is the equivalent to Washington, D.C., having almost 100,000 stray dogs roaming the streets. Locals are blaming the dogs for an increase in litter and animal waste around the capital’s streets, as well as increase in disease among humans and domestic animals.

Now, as violence on the streets subsides, authorities have begun trying to tackle the over-population problem again. Twenty 4-person teams are now in action every night, consisting of 2 vets and 2 armed marksmen. As dogs are shot or poisoned, they are loaded into tractor trailers in their masses and transported to Baghdad’s refuse tip. This “public service” is costing the mayor’s office 35 million Iraqi dinars ($30,000). The process of reducing the stray dog population to a “manageable” level is expected to take approximately a year.

“We could consider this the biggest campaign of dog execution ever,” Baghdad chief veterinarian Mohammed al-Hilly told Reuters. He said the campaign had so far killed 42,000 dogs since it started two months ago – of which more than half were poisoned. “This can be considered a victory,” he continued.

The local authorities are not the only organization attempting to tackle the stray dog population. “Operation Baghdad Pups” is a program run by the SPCA International, in which U.S. troops in Iraq and Afghanistan befriend local animals as a way to help cope with the emotional hardships they endure every day while deployed in a war zone. The Operation Baghdad Pups program provides veterinary care and coordinates complicated logistics and transportation requirements in order to reunite these beloved pets with their service men and women back in the U.S.

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July 2, 2010 Posted by | animals, Just One More Pet, Pets, Political Change, Stop Animal Cruelty, Stop Euthenization, Unusual Stories, We Are All God's Creatures | , , , , , , , | 10 Comments