Now, dog lovers to face 74 lashes in Iran

Hindustan Times (Lucknow) - - WORLD - Agence France-Presse let­ters@hin­dus­tan­times.com

TEHRAN: Dog lovers in Iran could face up to 74 lashes un­der plans by hard­line law­mak­ers that would ban keep­ing the pets at home or walk­ing them in pub­lic.

A draft bill, signed by 32 mem­bers of the coun­try’s con­ser­va­tive-dom­i­nated par­lia­ment, would also autho­rise heavy fines for of­fend­ers, the re­formist Shargh news­pa­per re­ported.

Dogs are re­garded as un­clean un­der Is­lamic cus­tom and they are not common in Iran, although some fam­i­lies do keep them be­hind closed doors and, es­pe­cially in more af­flu­ent ar­eas, walk them out­side.

Iran’s moral­ity po­lice, who de­ploy in pub­lic places, have pre­vi­ously stopped dog walk­ers and ei­ther cau­tioned them or con­fis­cated the an­i­mals. But if the new bill is passed by par­lia­ment then those guilty of dog-re­lated of­fences could face lashes or fines rang­ing from 10 mil­lion ri­als to 100 mil­lion ri­als ($370 to $3,700 at of­fi­cial rates). Pat­ting dogs or com­ing into con­tact with their saliva is seen as “na­jis” — di­rect con­tact and be­hav­iour that leaves the body un­clean — in the Is­lamic repub­lic. Hard­lin­ers are wor­ried about an “in­va­sion” of Western cul­ture, in­clud­ing the In­ter­net, with dog own­er­ship also be­ing seen as un-Is­lamic.

Il­lus­tra­tion: JAYANTO

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