It is heartening to read news reports that the Islamic authorities have been forgiving to the organiser of the controversial “dog-patting” event. The organiser, Syed Azmi Alhabshi, was cautioned and advised by the religious authorities not to upset the religious feelings of the Muslim community in the country. Syed Azmi, in return, had apologised for the uneasiness and anger he had caused.
Syed Azmi Alhabshi may have good intentions in organising the event but he failed to take into consideration the feelings of the majority of the Muslim community. Being a non-Muslim, I was taken aback with the event, especially when it was held at a time when we are facing several religious issues which threaten to tear our society apart.
As an ardent animal lover, I am of the opinion that Syed Azmi should not have proceeded with the event, in the first place.
Muslims in the country are generally caring for all animals, including dogs, although they don’t touch or have them as pets. If there is a need to clear any negative perceptions about dogs, hold a forum on the subject instead.
The event did more damage to the image of the poor creature, judging by the many negative comments in the social media. It was exploited by extremists to the fullest to create unnecessary animosity towards non-Muslim animal lovers.
Some events may appear harmless but they may have other implications and consequences.