Leaflets calling for a ban on dogs in public because they are ‘impure’ are posted to houses in Cheetham Hill

This was in the Manchester Evening News first but other newspapers are taking the story up; it has also been reported by individuals in the area who received the leaflet through their letterbox. Some say it is a right-wing fabrication to stir discord. That the website is hosted in the US and has a high level of security has prompted one reader of the MEN to suggest the hand of Donald Trump or one of his supporters. I don’t think that’s likely somehow.  I have even seen a suggestion that it is a left-wing project designed to throw suspicion on the right-wing. However whoever has set up their website and Facebook page knows their Islamic prohibitions on dogs and what to do when contaminated with naajis. They have spent 5 months building a Facebook page with links to Islamic preachers and websites, with Koranic authority and precedent fatwa. Then the cost of printing leaflets and their delivery. Their FB page has over 2000 people liking it over a period of several months; I can’t get to see who they are. I even temporarily ‘liked’ the page myself to get a look at the list to no avail.  If it is a hoax it is a very painstaking and expensive one. 

Community leaders and residents have criticised leaflets being posted to homes calling for a ban on dogs in public. The pamphlets say dogs are ‘impure’ and should be ‘limited’ in ‘public spheres’ out of respect for Muslim families. They have been received by households in Cheetham Hill and Salford and are believed to be connected to a campaign group called ‘For Public Purity’.

Senior Cheetham Hill councillor Naeem Hassan branded the idea nonsense and told the M.E.N he believed the messages were designed to divide communities. “I think this is somebody trying to divide the community. I do not see any problems at all. I want to say to people to just ignore this…we do not impose our beliefs on anyone.”

Fayyaz Ali, 39, who lives on Pentlands Avenue in Salford, is Muslim and has two dogs. He thinks the leaflets are a scam to incite hatred in the community, and he said no Muslim organisation would post such leaflets. He told the M.E.N: “This has got to be a scam…”

The leaflets say: “This area is home to a large Muslim community. Please have respect for us and for our children and limit the presence of dogs in the public sphere. Keeping the purity of the public space enables the Muslims to remain untainted and without blemish. As part of this effort, we have chosen to address one of the aspects that can have a detrimental effect on the purity of the public space, with the aspect being the presence of dogs who are considered impure in Islam.”

Another resident, Emma Williams, 29, said: “At first I thought it was a joke, is someone having a laugh? Then you look at it, and go on the website it seems real. I just don’t get how people think thy can post that through your door. 

“If we posted that through another person’s door to that effect, we would be classed as racist. I understand the issues Muslim people have with dogs, that they are unclean. I have a lot of Muslim friends so I get the issue behind it, but they are living in our country.

“We have a dog and he’s on a lead and we clean up after him. I don’t see why we can’t be allowed to have our dog in a public space. I think it’s real and it’s the minority who are speaking now. I know all Muslims don’t think that, but it only takes so many Muslim people to get behind it they will actually stop it.”