Friday, August 8, 2008
Will Teacup Yorkies be the Downfall of Islam?
As usual, I’m slightly ahead of the power curve in reporting how effed-up things are in IslamoLand. Back in March, I reported that a man in Iran had been beaten by Islamic Morals Police thugs for walking his dog, and that the government there considered dogs “impure”. (Read my pearls of wisdom here: (http://mojosteve.blogspot.com/2008/03/still-more-sharia-law-crapola.html)
Well, now the Saudis are getting into the mix, for even stranger reasons. It seems that the Mutaween are concerned that single men are using pets as bait to lure women into immorality, so they want to ban pets. What utter bullshit.
In Riyadh, the capital, Saudi Arabia's Islamic religious police, in their zeal to keep the sexes apart, want to make sure the technique of pets-as-babe-magnet doesn't catch on there. Their solution: Ban selling dogs and cats as pets, as well as walking them in public.
The prohibition went into effect last Wednesday in Riyadh, and authorities in the city say they will strictly enforce it, unlike previous such bans in the cities of Mecca (the holiest of holy cituies) and Jiddah, which have been ignored and failed to stop sales.
Violators found outside with their pets will have their beloved companions confiscated by agents of the Commission for the Promotion of Virtue and the Prevention of Vice, the official name of the Mutaween religious police, tasked with enforcing Saudi Arabia's strict Islamic code. After the Olympics, maybe China will buy them?
The commission's general manager, Othman al-Othman, said the ban was ordered because of what he called "the rising of phenomenon of men using cats and dogs to make passes at women and pester families" as well as "violating proper behavior in public squares and malls."
Dude…when’s the last time someone walked a cat on a leash through a shopping mall? Ever try to leash a cat? It’s not a wise move, Othie.
"If a man is caught with a pet, the pet will be immediately confiscated and the man will be forced to sign a document pledging not to repeat the act," al-Othman told the Al-Hayat newspaper. "If he does, he will be referred to authorities." (Those same authorities will no doubt declare an anti-kitty jihad, and strap a bomb to the cat for use as a kittybomb. The owner will then be flogged, stoned, and have a limb severed, ostensibly the limb most used to pet the pet.)
The Saudi-owned Al-Hayat newspaper announced the ban in its Wednesday edition last week, saying it was ordered by the acting governor of Riyadh province, Prince Sattam (Blessed Be His Name, of course), based on an edict from the Council of Senior Islamic Scholars and several religious police reports of pet owners harassing women and families.
C’mon. I’ve watched COPS for almost 20 years. I used to *be* a cop. In all my 39+ years of converting O2 into CO2, I have yet to run into dude harassing single women, let alone entire families, by waving a Cockapoo at them and making lewd suggestions. Sure, I’ve seen guys casually sit on benches with ferrets, yellow Lab puppies, an occasional snake, and maybe once a kinkajou, and girls would walk up to them and coo over the little beasties, but never have I seen the same people harass anyone with the animals. If they were bait, then it was subtle bait, not overt. Maybe the guys in Saudi Arabia haven’t learned subtlety yet?
Commission authorities often do not formally announce to the public new rules that they intend to implement. That way, you can stone and cane dozens to help get the word out, I guess. Officials from the commission and Riyadh city government could not be reached for comment on Thursday, which is a weekend day in Saudi Arabia. The English-language Arab News reported on the ban on Thursday. Wow…Thursday is a weekend day? When do these guys find the time to make billions of dollars? Oh wait, Sunday is a Christian thing…..Saturday’s a Jewish thing……Our weekends are Zionist Infidel days and therefore don’t count.
So far, the new prohibition did not appear to have any effect in Riyadh. It's extremely rare, anyway, to see anyone walking a dog, much less carrying a cat in public, in the capital, despite the authorities' claims of flirtatious young men luring girls with their pets in malls. Salesmen at a couple of Riyadh pet stores on Thursday said they did not receive any official orders from the commission banning the sale of pets. Cats and dogs were still on display.
"I didn't hear of the ban," said Yasser al-Abdullah, a 28-year-old Saudi nurse, who was at one pet store with his 3-month-old collie, Joe. Al-Abdullah, who also owns an 8-month-old Lab, said a couple of Western friends had been told to get off the streets by the religious police for walking their dogs. But of course. Harass the Western Infidels.
"I won't allow the commission to take my dogs from me," he said. Brave words, dude. Good luck.
The religious police prowl streets and malls throughout the kingdom, ensuring unmarried men and women do not mix, confronting women they feel are not properly covered or urging men to go to prayers. They also often make attempts to plug the few holes in the strict gender segregation that innovations bring. In 2004, they tried to ban cameras on cell phones, fearing that men and women would exchange pictures of each other, though the prohibition was quickly revoked. Every year, religious police warn against marking Valentine's Day, even trying to prevent people from wearing red clothing on the holiday, which they consider a Western creation that encourages vice. These dudes have WAY too much time on their hands.
There was no word whether commission authorities intend to expand the dog and cat ban beyond the capital. The prohibition may be more of an attempt to simply stop the owning of pets, which uber-conservative Saudi Islamists view as a sign of our insidious corrupt Western Infidel influence, like the fast food joints, shorts, jeans and pop music that have become more common in the kingdom. You’ll gladly take our money, but not anything else?
From what I gather, pet ownership has never been very common in the Arab world, though it is increasingly becoming fashionable among the upper class in Saudi Arabia and other countries such as Egypt. The rich and privileged can act decadently Western, but not the average everyday Achmed on the block.
In Islamic tradition, dogs are shunned as unclean and dangerous, though they are kept for hunting and guarding. Several breeds originated in Muslim countries, such as the Afghan Hound (Afghanistan), the Pharaoh Hound and Saluki (Egypt), the Sloughi Hound and Aidi (Morocco), and no fewer than twelve breeds from Pakistan. In large cities around the Middle East, stray dogs often wander the streets and are considered pests, the same as in almost any large city.
The ban on cats is more unusual, since there's no similar disdain for them in Islamic tradition. Cats are everywhere in ancient Egyptian art, although much of that predates Islam’s arrival. One of the Prophet Mohammed's closest companions was given the name Abu Huraira, Arabic for "the father of the kitten," because he always carried a kitten around with him and took care of it.
A number of hadithas, traditional stories of the Mohammed, show him encouraging people to treat cats well. Once, according to legend, he let a cat drink from the water that he was going to use for his ablutions before prayers.
So, contrary to public desires and modern sensibility, the clerics of Islam continue to keep the Muslim people locked in the Dark Ages out of zealotry. I wonder how the Brits will take to the curbing of pet walking and ownership once they start allowing more and more Sharia Law and Wahabism and Islamist control take a foothold in the United Kingdom.