Rebel The Dog

I’ve always been one to assume that most religious idiocy was confined to my wonder country.  However, it seems as if I have been ignorant of just how insane the entire world can be when it comes to religious sensitivity.  

Recently in Tayside Scotland a storm of controversy has erupted because of a new advertising campain by the local police in which they deliver postcards with a picture of their local and somewhat internationally well known police dog in training Rebel.  

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1030798/Muslim-outrage-police-advert-featuring-cute-puppy-sitting-policemans-hat.html

For those of you who do not wish to read the article, it says that Muslims have become offended that the postcard featuring the police department’s new phone number, has a picture of a dog, which they consider to be unclean.   The article reads that the postcards have sparked so much anger that some shop keepers refuse to display the card.  

I want to know why it is such a big deal.  The police department issued the standard “Were sorry for upsetting your beliefs.” statement, but really, how can anyone from any religion expect someone that is not a member of their religion to know every single nuance of it?  Shouldn’t they be a tad bit more understanding when someone who is not a Muslim makes the mistake of not knowing that Muslims consider dogs to be unclean and therefore unfit to be pet.  Oh right, there is that point as well which needs to be brought up.  It is OK for dogs to be used for hunting and guarding ones property, Which is quite similar to what the Police use dogs for.  

(The majority of both Sunni and Shi’a Muslim jurists consider dogs to be ritually unclean, though jurists from the Sunni Maliki school disagree.[13] However, outside their ritual uncleanness, Islamic fatwas, or rulings, enjoin that dogs be treated kindly or else be freed.) (Though dogs are not allowed for pets, they are allowed to be kept if used for work, such as guarding your house or farm, or when used for hunting purposes.

According to a generally unaccepted Sunni tradition attributed to Muhammad, black dogs are evil, or even devils, in animal form. This report reflects the pre-Islamic Arab mythology and the vast majority of Muslim jurists viewed it to be falsely attributed to Muhammad.) -Two exerts from Wikipedia concerning views on dogs in Muslim culture.

It also tends to bother me that this wouldn’t be an issue if they had offended someone who happened to be the president of the “I hate dogs in advertising club”.  Nor would it be important if someone who just was afraid of dogs had a problem with it.  But as soon as you bring religion into it, suddenly unreasonable opinions and hurt feelings have to be 100 percent taken care of and addressed.  Did anyone who was offended offer up a suitable replacement image?  Most likely not, we live in a world where people have nothing better to do then be offended by petty images, so I’m assuming that any attempt to change the image came from the police department, who has already demonstrated that they do not know enough about Muslim culture to know that dogs were an offensive animal that should never be used in civilized advertising.  Perhaps a snail would be a better animal, they seem innocent enough, though they might a hated animal of another religion, so it might just be best to ignore all images of animals completely and just use a blank white postcard that has the word POLICE spelled out in all capital letters followed by a phone number to be sure not to offend anyone.  

It is impossible to completely avoid offending every single religion on Earth.  Granted I don’t think anyone should be blatantly offensive to any one specific group of people, but mainly people need to just simply get over themselves in how easily they are enraged over trivial things.  It’s black puppy not an image of the Prophet.  

People like to complain just because they can.  Nobody should be upset by an image of a cute black puppy, especially not Muslim shop keepers that stock dog food and accessories.  Since the story was first picked up various people looked into it, and out it came that there is no real outrage about this image, most stores in Tayside have no problem with the postcard and are quite willing to distribute it to help the local police.

http://www.thecourier.co.uk/output/2008/07/02/newsstory11590817t0.asp

So all in all, this story is just a good example of how stupid things can get in a society that takes every single complaint under the protection of the taboo subject of religion so seriously.  

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