July 31, 2008

Dogs and cats banned in Saudi Arabian capital

This just in from the Commission for the Promotion of Virtue and the Prevention of Vice: on Wednesday it became illegal to walk dogs [or cats!] in public in Riyadh.
The commission's general manager, Othman al-Othman, said the ban was ordered because of what he called "the rising of phenomenon of men using cats and dogs to make passes at women and pester families" as well as "violating proper behavior in public squares and malls."

"If a man is caught with a pet, the pet will be immediately confiscated and the man will be forced to sign a document pledging not to repeat the act," al-Othman told the Al-Hayat newspaper. "If he does, he will be referred to authorities." The ban does not address women.
Only dogs and cats.

You remember the Commission for the Promotion of Virtue and the Prevention of Vice -- they're the same religious policemen who locked schoolgirls inside a burning building to protect Saudi passers-by from... girl-cooties, or whatever. Seriously, these are grown men who think they have a better chance of going to heaven because they locked a group of terrified children in a burning school.

Similar bans on pet dogs and cats in Mecca and Jiddah have been ignored. Read all about the latest ban here. And for a clear-eyed Muslim take on the whole thing, check out this editorial from the Arab News.


Bill Fosher said...

Girl cooties are a very dangerous thing. Most of the bad things I've done in my life can be traced, one way or another, to exposure to (or my efforts to be exposed to) girl cooties. The rest can be traced to dogs. So, I say, "Go, CFTPOVATPOV! Go!"

Luisa said...

Bill - I LOL'ed :~))) As Gandhi said, you can tell everything you need to know about a society by the way they treat dogs and girl-cooties.

Heather said...

Seems that a significant portion of the US has reached the same level of animal banning, allegedly without recourse to the religious police.

Really. In my former township, there is not one public space where one can walk a dog. Not in any of the three township parks, not on the township golf course, not on school grounds, not at the municipal building -- in none of the spaces I pay taxes to support. There is no Main Street or walking commercial district at all -- plenty of strip malls, no dogs allowed. Most streets have no sidewalks.

Where does one socialize a puppy? In a big-box pet store, while the employees try to sell you crap and give propylene glycol treats to your dog without permission. That's it.

Riyadh is looking pretty good in comparison.