Monday, July 07, 2008


I'm told that this is "creeping shariah" in England, and the next step is that there won't be any more pork pies in the country, or Christian churches, and everyone will have to go around speaking Moslem all day:

Police sniffer dogs will have to wear bootees when searching the homes of Muslims so as not to cause offence.

Guidelines being drawn up by the Association of Chief Police Officers (Acpo) urge awareness of religious sensitivities when using dogs to search for drugs and explosives. The guidelines, to be published this year, were designed to cover mosques but have been extended to include other buildings.

Where Muslims object, officers will be obliged to use sniffer dogs only in exceptional cases. Where dogs are used, they will have to wear bootees with rubber soles....

Caroline Kisko, of the Kennel Club, said: "We would not condone any attempt to make search dogs wear special clothing, which could cause them distress."

Except, er, they were already wearing special clothing at times:

Police dogs at present are issued with footwear only at scenes of explosions to prevent them injuring their paws on broken glass.

Hmmm, explosions. Does this mean that dogs wore bootees at Ground Zero? On the most hallowed American ground imaginable? Yup.

Oh, and it's widely assumed here in New York that you have to put bootees on your dog all winter, because the salt tossed onto sidewalks to melt snow and ice is believed to be very irritating to dogs' paws.

So there may be some dispute about whether bootees are a necessary concession to religious sensitivities --

...Ibrahim Mogra, one of Britain's leading imams, said the measures were unnecessary: "In Islamic law the dog is not regarded as impure, only its saliva is. Most Islamic schools of law agree on that...."

-- but this strikes me as a minor adjustment at worst, more of a nuisance for dog handlers than dogs. And if it helps you get the job done, then do it.


...Oh, and I guess this all happened after an ad giving the new telephone number of the police in Tayside, Scotland, was rejected by a few Muslim shopkeepers -- they didn't want to put it in their shop windows because it depicted a puppy. Well, fine -- I think the ad is cute overload, but that's me. If you're the cops, and you're doing community outreach, do you want to communicate with diverse groups of people, or do you want to have a self-righteousnessgasm? My vote is for the former -- and if it were in my neighborhood or my nation, I'd say, Sure, accommodate the sensibilities of Hasidic Jewish shopkeepers or fundamentalist Christian shopkeepers or whatever group if you want them to pit your number in their shop windows.

So nix the dog in the ad, then wait for time to do its work and for the grandchildren of these shopkeepers to perhaps question the old folks' proscriptions and grow up to be champion dog breeders.

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