Iran moving to outlaw dog ownership

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Evo
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Yet another attempt to increase contol over the personal lives of Iranians.

For much of the past decade, the Iranian government has tolerated what it considers a particularly depraved and un-Islamic vice: the keeping of pet dogs.

During periodic crackdowns, police have confiscated dogs from their owners right off the street; and state media has lectured Iranians on the diseases spread by canines. The cleric Gholamreza Hassani, from the city of Urmia, has been satirized for his sermons railing against "short-legged" and "holdable" dogs. But as with the policing of many other practices (like imbibing alcoholic drinks) that are deemed impure by the mullahs but perfectly fine to many Iranians, the state has eventually relaxed and let dog lovers be.

Those days of tacit acceptance may soon be over, however. Lawmakers in Tehran have recently proposed a bill in parliament that would criminalize dog ownership, formally enshrining its punishment within the country's Islamic penal code. The bill warns that in addition to posing public health hazards, the popularity of dog ownership "also poses a cultural problem, a blind imitation of the vulgar culture of the West." The proposed legislation for the first time outlines specific punishments for "the walking and keeping" of "impure and dangerous animals," a definition that could feasibly include cats but for the time being seems targeted at dogs.
Continued...

http://news.yahoo.com/s/time/20110419/wl_time/08599206587300 [Broken]
 
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Answers and Replies

  • #2
Borek
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Not even Saluki?
 
  • #3
jhae2.718
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The Iranian government has to be one of the nuttiest.

It's 2011, why do theocracies still exist??
 
  • #4
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I can not even imagine, what a shame.
 
  • #5
Astronuc
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I wonder how the people will put up with the nonsense of the government.
 
  • #6
Evo
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Considering that the Government successfully used violence to squash a recent protest, not much chance for the people.

Religion as law is just wrong, IMO, throwing people back to the dark ages is wrong IMO, taking away personal freedoms is wrong IMO, preventing people from choosing their government is wrong, IMO.
 
  • #7
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Beyond describing it as right or wrong, most important question is so what. There are too many ugly things all over the world.

It's not long ago since last Iranian Revolution and I don't really look for a new one neither believe that it would solve anything. Middle East is already unstable enough.
 
  • #8
Evo
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Beyond describing it as right or wrong, most important question is so what. There are too many ugly things all over the world.
The problem is that it's all of these little oppresions that turn into huge oppressions.

I'm against intolerant religious rule and domination of people.
 
  • #9
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The problem is that it's all of these little oppresions that turn into huge oppressions.

I'm against intolerant religious rule and domination of people.
If you are simply expressing an opinion about intolerance towards religious rule, that's fine but I don't under few subtle indications in this thread that if people overthrow their government, these problems will disappear. I also don't find it convincing that it's the government fault, to me that's bit too simple to pass all the blame on current government.
 
  • #10
Evo
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If you are simply expressing an opinion about intolerance towards religious rule, that's fine but I don't under few subtle indications in this thread that if people overthrow their government, these problems will disappear. I also don't find it convincing that it's the government fault, to me that's bit too simple to pass all the blame on current government.
Do you blame it on the religious oppression? What do you think is to blame for the oppression of Iranian people?

Human rights activist tries to stop death by stoning for Iranian woman

http://articles.cnn.com/2010-07-05/world/iran.stoning_1_stoning-death-sentences-human-rights?_s=PM:WORLD [Broken]

Iran Amputates Thieves Hands For Second Time In One Month

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/10/25/iran-amputates-thiefs-han_n_773221.html [Broken]
 
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  • #11
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One thing to note is that Iran didn't just started to hate dogs out of the blue. Islam in general considers dogs as being unclean and impure and dirty. The reason is simple, in the accounts of prophet Muhammad in Hadith, Muhammad made alot of negative comments about dogs, and even advocated and ordered killing dogs.

Today, many Muslims don't adhere to this part as much or at all, except the fundamentalists who interpret everything that Muhammad said as true. And so, when Iran outlawed dogs, that means they've taken a deeper lapse into the fundamentalist territory. That is worrisome especially when they get their hands on nuclear weapons. Why? Because guess what, Muhammad said alot more about infidels and other people than about dogs.
 
  • #12
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Do you blame it on the religious oppression? What do you think is to blame for the oppression of Iranian people?

Human rights activist tries to stop death by stoning for Iranian woman

http://articles.cnn.com/2010-07-05/world/iran.stoning_1_stoning-death-sentences-human-rights?_s=PM:WORLD [Broken]

Iran Amputates Thieves Hands For Second Time In One Month

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/10/25/iran-amputates-thiefs-han_n_773221.html [Broken]
I was also looking at the women rights before you posted your links. It's a long struggle and we should not expect to see reforms in one night ... I see them more of social problems than religious.
http://go.owu.edu/~aamahdi/Iranian Women Movement A Century Long Struggle.pdf

These reforms are more of an internal matter but I think externally, best thing is not to isolate Iran.

Sidenote:

I found that article extremely good but something interesting why secular women suffered in the last revolution while they were also involved in that revolution:
Although the Iranian Revolution was a popular revolution based on the
aspirations and participation of various social classes for overthrow of a
dictatorship, it was the clerical leadership that could successfully mobilize even
the most conservative and traditional sectors of the society against the Shah.
In the past century and a half of social movements in Iranian history, no
secular political party has ever been able to mobilize traditional women as
extensively as religious leaders have. Religious leaders mobilized the largest
demonstrations against the Shah — demonstrations that included not only
secular female activists, who had been in forefront of opposition to the Shah
all along, but also large number of religious women who often avoided
participation in the public sphere. Ayatollah Khomeini was able to successfully
unite various segments of Iranian society against the Shah.
However, these diverse cultural, ideological, class, ethnic, and religious
segments participated in the revolution, each with a different vision of post revolutionary
Iran. Islamicist women participated in the revolution for bringing
about the establishment of an Islamic state based on Sharia. Secular women
participated in the revolution in opposition to the Shah’s dictatorship. Women
associated with Marxist organizations hoped for the end to the Shah’s regime
as a puppet of Western imperialist powers and the establishment of a socialist
state. The majority of women, not devoted to any ideology or political
orientation, joined the movement against the Pahlavi regime in the hope that
their country would be free of dictatorship, foreign domination, and alienating
cultural attitudes adopted by the Pahlavi regime.35 Given this diversity of
expectations and orientations and the strength of religious leadership and
organization, it is obvious that the strongest party in the coalition would take
the lead in imposing its own agenda on the revolution. That is exactly what
Ayatollah Khomeini did, despite his earlier promises of working for a future
democratic Iran.36
The most important division contributing to conflicting expectations
from and outcome of the revolution is the division between secular and
religious women. Secular women, mostly of middle and upper classes,
were the major losers of this revolution.
 
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  • #13
Evo
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I feel terrible for the people of Iran and countries in the Middle east. They are victims of a religion imposed on them that went out of control. I don't know that they will ever be able to escape the oppression, too many people are too scared or have been brainwashed into becoming fundamentalists, and that's not counting the violent radicals or terrorists.

We have Christian fundamentalists that have killed for crazy reasons, mostly targeted at abortion doctors. But these are usually crazy people that do these things and are few. We just don't have Christian terrorists today like in history. Luckily, common sense and disgust for mass killings & torture prevailed.
 
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  • #14
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I don't know that they will ever be able to escape the oppression, too many people are too scared or have been brainwashed into becoming fundamentalists, and that's not counting the violent radicals or terrorists.
As far these children keep on going into wrong hands, future is quite scary.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-south-asia-12846841
An amateur video posted on YouTube that shows young boys acting out a suicide attack has been condemned by UNICEF and by children's charities in Pakistan.

Some of the participants appear to be as young as three or four.
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-south-asia-13111948

Even his family didn't know about that.
Umar told me that nobody from his family had got in touch with him since the attack

"I know my mother and my younger sisters, in North Waziristan, would know what's happened and they must be very upset. I just want to apologise to my mother. But at the time I detonated myself, thoughts of my family were not in my mind, I was only thinking about what the Taliban had taught me."
 
  • #16
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This is good - one more reason to keep Sharia Law out of the US court system.
 
  • #17
BobG
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This is good - one more reason to keep Sharia Law out of the US court system.
Given that Muslims make up 0.6% of the US population and that over 70% of American mosques feel the Koran should be interpreted with consideration of its purposes and modern circumstances, how big a chance do you think there is of Muslims getting dogs banned in the United States?

Especially via some sort of court action, which I guess would be more likely than via legislative action given their small minority.

Note: I have some problems with that 0.6% number. That refers to Muslims that actually belong to a mosque. There's actually 3 times that number that identify themselves as Muslim even if most them don't belong to a mosque. I guess that's pretty much in line with other religions, as 76% of Americans are Christians, but only about 26% of Americans attend church regularly. If the 40% that attend church once a year or less think they belong to a church, it's probably news to that church. In other words, Christians and Muslims are being counted differently.
 
  • #18
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On the other hand https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/ir.html" reports that
Muslim 98% (Shia 89%, Sunni 9%), other (includes Zoroastrian, Jewish, Christian, and Baha'i) 2%
It might be a fair assumption that minorities (which includes secular people) are the losers.

Other Islamic country to look at is http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-pacific-12443104" [Broken] who often comes up with really stupid laws.
From CIA:
Muslim 60.4%, Buddhist 19.2%, Christian 9.1%, Hindu 6.3%, Confucianism, Taoism, other traditional Chinese religions 2.6%, other or unknown 1.5%, none 0.8% (2000 census)
We might be able to tell from CIA religions statistics that Malaysia doesn't have as many Islamic laws as Iran, I have never compared two countries. It might be worthwhile to consider.
 
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  • #19
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Given that Muslims make up 0.6% of the US population and that over 70% of American mosques feel the Koran should be interpreted with consideration of its purposes and modern circumstances, how big a chance do you think there is of Muslims getting dogs banned in the United States?

Especially via some sort of court action, which I guess would be more likely than via legislative action given their small minority.

Note: I have some problems with that 0.6% number. That refers to Muslims that actually belong to a mosque. There's actually 3 times that number that identify themselves as Muslim even if most them don't belong to a mosque. I guess that's pretty much in line with other religions, as 76% of Americans are Christians, but only about 26% of Americans attend church regularly. If the 40% that attend church once a year or less think they belong to a church, it's probably news to that church. In other words, Christians and Muslims are being counted differently.
Have you ever heard the phrase "the tail wags the dog"? How many US court decisions - that affected everyone - were based on a single and isolated suit?
 
  • #20
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From the OP:

...state media has lectured Iranians on the diseases spread by canines.
Really? All four diseases we share with man's best friend? We share dozens, if not hundreds with pigs, which is why they, and not dogs, are used in various animal tests. Given that we're more genetically similar to pigs than dogs, and the pigs are considered unclean, I wonder what that says in the minds of the clerics about us?

BTW, the only distinction in the old texts with respect to clean and unclean animals had to do with what was clean to eat. It says nothing about pets.
 
  • #21
BobG
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From the OP:



Really? All four diseases we share with man's best friend? We share dozens, if not hundreds with pigs, which is why they, and not dogs, are used in various animal tests. Given that we're more genetically similar to pigs than dogs, and the pigs are considered unclean, I wonder what that says in the minds of the clerics about us?

BTW, the only distinction in the old texts with respect to clean and unclean animals had to do with what was clean to eat. It says nothing about pets.
This is true. There's nothing officially wrong with dogs in the Muslim religion, but Mohammed seemed to dislike them and consider them unclean. He never went so far as to suggest banning them (as some current Muslim leaders would), but he strongly suggested they shouldn't be kept as pets; that the only legitimate to reason to own dogs was for hunting or herding.

And pigs were the key to Europeans colonizing the Americas so easily. The fact that diseases could migrate back and forth between pigs and humans and mutate between migrations was a key reason for Europeans having a more robust immune system than Native Americans (not to mention that Europeans had developed some immunity to the specific diseases they tended to bring with them).
 
  • #22
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The West should undo the folly of Jimmy "I shot you cat" Carter by invading Iran and returning the heirs of the Sha to their rightful place of power.

I'm quite sure dog ownership was legal before.
 
  • #23
alt
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This is true. There's nothing officially wrong with dogs in the Muslim religion, but Mohammed seemed to dislike them and consider them unclean. He never went so far as to suggest banning them (as some current Muslim leaders would), but he strongly suggested they shouldn't be kept as pets; that the only legitimate to reason to own dogs was for hunting or herding.

And pigs were the key to Europeans colonizing the Americas so easily. The fact that diseases could migrate back and forth between pigs and humans and mutate between migrations was a key reason for Europeans having a more robust immune system than Native Americans (not to mention that Europeans had developed some immunity to the specific diseases they tended to bring with them).

but he strongly suggested they shouldn't be kept as pets;..


He probably got bitten by one as a kid and developed a childhood hatred toward them.
 
  • #24
SamirS
Why is it hard to understand? I mean, the US has a lot of Christianity-based nonsensical laws (about gay marriage for example, or abortion, or euthanasia; don't tell me about intrinsic moral values, there are countries that implemented those and it works well) and wages whole wars rooted in concepts that itself root in religion or irrational morality (war on drugs for example). Iran happens to have more of them; but I fail to see how that feeling can not be understood as analogous. From my (purely atheistic) point of view, dog owners in Iran and gay couples intending to marry are under the same kind of governmentally, yet ultimately religiously created pressure.

Also, of course sometimes minorities override majorities. Ensuring this is basically one of the main reasons to have a constitution in a democracy.

As for the pigs and why to have or not to have them, the issue is, stripped of religious ideas, more complex than presented here. One of the factors for NOT having pigs in the muslim world is because large part of muslim coreland are hot and dry. Pigs are animals that don't do any work - they're the analogue of a plant for farmers, it just happens that they are made of meat. Other animals work much better in their environment. This is one of many, many reasons.

I'm not trying to start a flame war, or to insinuate that two wrongs make a right. However, from an outside point of view, outside of religion, the US and Iran, there essentially isn't much difference in these points. It is however, of course true that Iran is more oppressive in more areas, no questioning that. Don't take this as anti-US either; in my opinion, the US has separated state and church better than the country I live in (Germany), and I could rant how just the same things are happening here, too.

Basically, the same concepts pressed into different shapes by culture/religion. That's also the answer why Iranians put up with it for the most part.
 
  • #25
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Why is it hard to understand? I mean, the US has a lot of Christianity-based nonsensical laws (about gay marriage for example, or abortion, or euthanasia; don't tell me about intrinsic moral values, there are countries that implemented those and it works well) and wages whole wars rooted in concepts that itself root in religion or irrational morality (war on drugs for example). Iran happens to have more of them; but I fail to see how that feeling can not be understood as analogous. From my (purely atheistic) point of view, dog owners in Iran and gay couples intending to marry are under the same kind of governmentally, yet ultimately religiously created pressure.
Welcome to PF - care to provide support your comments?
 

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