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Malaysia’s Islamic authority to investigate ‘I Want to Touch A Dog’ programme

KUALA TERENGGANU — Malaysia’s Islamic Development Department (JAKIM) will conduct a thorough investigation into the “I Want To Touch A Dog” event that took place at Central Park, One Utama near Petaling Jaya in Kuala Lumpur yesterday (Oct 19), Bernama reported.

Malaysia’s Islamic authority to investigate ‘I Want to Touch A Dog’ programme

Muslims and non-Muslims animal lovers attend the ‘I want to touch a dog’ event in Central Park, Bandar Utama, Oct 19, 2014. Photo: The Malay Mail Online

KUALA TERENGGANU — Malaysia’s Islamic Development Department (JAKIM) will conduct a thorough investigation into the “I Want To Touch A Dog” event that took place at Central Park, One Utama near Petaling Jaya in Kuala Lumpur yesterday (Oct 19), Bernama reported.

According to Bernama, director-general of JAKIM Othman Mustapha told reporters that “Jakim will investigate the matter immediately and any action will be referred to the existing provisions”. “We are Muslims and our religion has stated clearly the penalty regarding dogs,” Mr Othman added.

The programme had received overwhelming response from Muslims in and around Kuala Lumpur yesterday.

Mr Othman also added the programme should not have taken place and regretted the irresponsible attitude of the organisers who were not concerned with the sensitivities of Muslims in the country.

According to The Malaysian Insider, more than 1,000 people turned up at the event yesterday, which was aimed at making Malaysians more aware of the furry four-legged creatures and also to educate others on how to practise “sertu” (cleansing). This was the first time such an event was held and was organised to help people overcome their fear of dogs and bring Malaysians together to promote tolerance and understanding that goes beyond culture, race or religion.

The Selangor Islamic Religious Council (Mais) was earlier reported to have approved the programme but today, the Selangor Mufti denied that Mais had given its seal of approval to the event.

Mr Mohd Tamyes Abdul Wahid said the council did not issue any approval letter to the organiser and had referred the matter to the Petaling Jaya City Council as it involved the usage of a public field, reported The Malaysian Insider. “No approval was given on our part to hold the ‘touch-a-dog’ programme,” he said.

Religious preacher Ustaz Mohd Iqbal Parjin was present yesterday to give a talk on the touching of dogs in Islam. “Dogs are also God’s creatures. We need to overcome the mentality of seeing the animal as an offensive creature. Teach the young to love others but at the same time know the limit of touching one,” said Mr Iqbal.

Sources: The Malaysian Insider, Bernama

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