For most of the people who read this blog, touching a dog isn’t a big thing. In fact, touching dogs is one of the selling points of bringing one home to become part of your family.
But in Malaysia, a huge controversy has boiled up around exactly that issue. Touching dogs is not seen as such a benign act in certain schools of Islam. According to some clergy, dogs are impure animals and touching them is taboo.
Last week, Muslim activist Syed Azmi Alhabshi triggered furious discussion of the taboo by organizing an event called “I Want to Touch a Dog,” inviting people to gather in a public park and pet dogs.