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Iran's Islam-Inspired Brutality Toward Dogs

Highly disturbing video footage has recently emerged of Iran's systematic brutality toward dogs, in which the unfortunate animals are injected with acid. Stella Morabito, of The Federalist, describes the gruesome brutality of this footage:

“Dejected and terrified, a stray dog whimpers as a man methodically injects her hindquarters with acid. The creature then writhes and shrieks in agony for interminable minutes. The animal is not dead yet when the executioner tosses her sobbing body onto a mass of carcasses. Next, a puppy is injected.

There are more such reports out of Iran. The utter helplessness of dogs pictured in a pit, huddled together whimpering as they try to escape being shot and or buried alive, is disturbing. What kind of a person stands by such scenes, much less creates them?

Even if the guys who injected the dogs with that torture serum were outsourced and paid by the government to get rid of strays, why would they use such a horrendously inhumane method?

This even goes beyond hatred for dogs. It’s a rejection of the idea that there should be any bond of friendship between a dog and a human being, or any bond of human relationship that the rulers do not dictate and control.”

The brutish treatment of such defenceless animals is indicative of a cultural/theological mindset that created a new type of child martyr to protect the country’s limited military infrastructure during the Iran-Iraq war. The torturous treatment of animals also has an antecedent in Islamic theology:

“Muhammad made strange and harsh statements about dogs and these edicts affect dogs in a tragic way. His teachings may have come from cultural bias, Pagan concepts, or his own imagination, but wherever they came from they led to the cruel treatment of dogs.

None of the statements regarding dogs are found in the Quran but they abound in the various collections of traditions (hadith). These traditions are a primary foundation of Islamic theology and are the basis of many Islamic laws. They render dogs as "impure" and worse. Per Muhammad’s orders most dogs were to be killed and all dogs of a specific color (black) had to be killed.”

Stella Morabito describes a society where merely walking one’s pet dog is a sign of civil disobedience:

“Just knowing that the authorities disapprove of dogs cultivates the sense that the suffering of those animals does not matter. Iran’s theocratic rulers prefer to adhere strictly to the hadiths that designate dogs as a polluting presence. This legalism would mean that having a dog’s fur or saliva on one’s person or in one’s home would interfere with the five-times-daily prayer life of a Muslim.

Thus, stray dogs in Iran are easy and fair game for police to shoot indiscriminately on sight. The government also outsources the killings, and localities can pay individuals for their aid in eliminating canine populations.

Just knowing that the authorities disapprove of dogs cultivates the sense that the suffering of those animals does not matter. In fact, anyone who might take perverse pleasure in tormenting dogs would have an out when those hadiths are reinforced by mullahs, particularly if a cleric such as Ayatollah Makarem Shirazi issues a fatwah against owning dogs.”

Last year, Ahmad Salek, a parliamentarian, sponsored a further religiously inspired suppression of dogs which may in time also apply to other animals kept as pets. When asked in an interview why was there a wish to ban people from walking their dogs, and keeping pets at home, Salek responded:

“In the name of God. Our Islamic Revolution is based on religious, divine and humane values. ... Look, people who keep dogs do not believe in these values. They don’t get enough affection, are lonely or want to imitate Europeans and a Western way of life. Naturally this behavior is not appropriate for the social environment of our cities.”

Thus, according to this sickening mindset, it is somehow inhumane to possess pet dogs, but, ironically enough, those who buy or sell dogs will face up to 74 lashes – nigh on a death sentence for some.

When asked why did some Iranians supposedly wish to follow a Western lifestyle by having pets (a rather absurd opinion given the long-standing prevalence for keeping pets the world over) Salek claimed that the ‘horrid’ Western media was somehow entrapping poor Iranians to obtain dogs as pets:

“Cyberspace and foreign media—radio stations and websites—try to teach people many things, including association with dogs. Some people in Iran are influenced by these teachings and think that keeping animals such as dogs will give them peace. This belief is very wrong. […]

Some domestic media outlets are influenced by foreign propaganda and produce content that is not appropriate for the Islamic Republic. They promote this unconsciously. If a punishment is stipulated, then they will smarten up and not fall into the trap set by foreigners.”

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