Monday, August 05, 2013

An offense to Islam: Woman arrested after video surfaces of her washing her dog's feet

Maznah Mohd Yusof
Muslim dog trainer Maznah Mohd Yusof was arrested in Malaysia after a Youtube video of her with her dogs went viral. According to Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Shabery Cheek, the arrest was because the “issue raised here could be very sensitive to a majority of our citizens..."   At issue is the section 298A of the Malaysian Penal Code.  The Malay Mail reports that:
Section 298A includes a variety offences, namely causing “disharmony, disunity, or feelings of enmity, hatred or ill-will, or prejudicing, etc., the maintenance of harmony or unity, on grounds of religion.”

If convicted under Section 298A, Maznah, better known as Chetz Yusof, can be sentenced to a jail term of not less than two years and not more than five years.
Her offense reportedly was that her video showed "a dog being washed that mimicked Muslim ablutions with Eid prayers and a Hari Raya song playing in the background." At issue is whether, under Islam, dogs are haram (forbidden) or merely salmak (wet):
After the video started making its rounds on the Internet, local news site quoted Chetz as saying that she made the video in 2010 to show that dogs are not “haram” (forbidden) as widely-believed, and that Muslims could keep canines as pets.

“Dogs are not ‘haram’; if they are wet, just ‘samak’,” she was quoted as saying.

“Samak” is the ritual cleansing performed by Muslims when they come into contact with items considered ritually unclean, of which wet dogs are considered to be by some followers of the faith.

Maznah had also told news site Free Malaysia Today in a 2011 interview that she follows the Shafie school of thought in Islam that does not deem dogs as “haram”, but merely requires believers to cleanse themselves after touching a wet dog.
If so, it is possible that the whole of the Shafie school would be guilty under Section 298A.

In the US, Democrats often want both freedom of speech and freedom from offense.   The two are, of course, contradictory and one suspects that liberals have no idea how many things there are that are sacred to them but offensive to Islam.

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