Locals in the Greater Manchester area are outraged at a ‘pro-Muslim' leaflet that calls for banning dogs in public. The pamphlets State dogs must be limited out of respect for Muslims – but community leaders think it is just a ploy to incite hatred. Dog haters have blasted a leaflet campaign purporting to be from a pro-Muslim group which calls for the banning of all pooches in public.
The pamphlets state dogs are ‘impure' and should be ‘restricted' in ‘public places' out of respect for Muslim families. They've been received by families in Greater Manchester and are thought to be connected to a campaign group called ‘For Public Purity'.
Senior Cheetham Hill Councillor Naeem Hassan branded the pamphlets as nonsense. He told the Manchester Evening News he thought the messages were created to divide communities. Other residents in nearby Salford also aired their scepticism.
Fayyaz Ali, 39, is Muslim and has two dogs. He believes the leaflets are a scam to incite hatred in the community, and he said no Muslim business would place such leaflets.
He explained: “This has got to be a scam. I am a Muslim and the Muslim law states that in case you live in a nation that's not Muslim, that is England, you have to honour the law of this land. “The Muslim law doesn't apply in any different nation. For instance, my parents are from Pakistan. If I had a problem living here I must return to Pakistan and reside there. Fair enough that we live here but we should respect what other people want”. We ought to be a part of the society, rather than make up our own little society.”
The leaflets say: “This region is home to a large Muslim community.
“Please have respect for us and for our children and restrict the presence of dogs in the public world. “Maintaining the purity of this public space enables the Muslims to stay untainted and without blemish.
“As part of the effort, we've chosen to tackle one of those aspects that may have a harmful impact on the purity of their public space, with the aspect being the existence of dogs that are considered impure in Islam.”
Cheetham Hill councillor Naeem Hassan, who has lived in the community for over 30 years, called on the public to ignore the leaflets. He explained: “In our home in Pakistan we keep dogs and several of my friends here have puppies. “We keep ourselves clean and away from creatures before prayer but Muslim people do keep dogs in their houses.
“I think that is somebody trying to split the community. I don't see any problems in any way. I need to say to people to simply ignore this. “Nobody in 30 years has ever raised any issue relating to this with me and we don't impose our beliefs on anybody.” The family has a puppy.
He explained: “There are mixed messages on Facebook. There are those that are indicating that this has been done to get a rise out of people but it might be people which are against Muslims – to whip up problems. “We were a little bit concerned at first that it had been someone targeting us because we have a dog, but leaflets are posted to other homes on the street.
“I'm slightly concerned by it. I've got plenty of Muslim friends and people who I work with. “It's going down the road of telling people how to live their own lives and I don't think anyone should do that. I wouldn't impose my beliefs and my perspective of life on other men and women.”
Another resident, Emma Williams, 29, said: “Initially I thought it was a joke, is someone having a laugh? “Then you look at it, and go on the site it appears real. I just don't get how people think they can post that through your doorway. Organisers say the motion was created ‘as an effort to make life more accommodating'
“If we published that through another individual's door to this effect, we would be classed as racist. I know the issues Muslim individuals have with dogs, that they're unclean. “I have lots of Muslim friends so that I get the problem behind it, but they're living in our country. “We have a dog and he is on a lead and we clean him up. I don't see why we can not be allowed to get our dog in a public space. “I think it is real and it is the minority that are speaking now. I understand all Muslims don't feel that, but it just takes a lot of Muslim people to get behind it they will actually stop it.”