Pair face sedition charge over net commentsSome may remember an older post I have made about Muslims, taxis and dogs:
Norway: Blind People Rejected by Muslim Taxi Drivers
Blind people with their guide dogs are finding it increasingly difficult to get a taxi ride, and not just in the capital. In Oslo, Muslims make up such a high percentage of cab drivers that it can be hard to obtain a taxi during Islamic holidays. The following example is from the city of Drammen outside Oslo, one of the Norwegian municipalities where the number of Muslim immigrants is now so large that the conflicts are becoming significant. A lady in Drammen ran into some unexpected difficulties when travelling to visit another town: Grethe Olsen, accompanied by her guide dog Isak, experienced being rejected by no less than 21 taxis before finally getting a ride. Olsen thinks the taxi drivers said no for religious reasons. The Norwegian Blind Association confirms that this is a well known problem all over the country, especially in cities with many immigrants. It arises when a blind person accompanied by a guide dog wants to take a taxi from a stand, instead of ordering one in advance.
Dogs, although considered extremely dirty animals and greatly disliked, are permitted for certain limited uses, such as guarding your property. I have never seen anything mentioned about guide dogs included in these few exceptions. At best, it is a matter of a great deal of interpretation. And core Islamic texts do reveal a strong distaste for dogs, going back to Muhammad himself.
Seems like this problem exists in Asia, too:
Pair face sedition charge over net comments
Two Singaporeans have been charged with sedition for making inflammatory anti-Muslim postings on the internet over the issue of allowing uncaged dogs in taxis, police said today. The case was triggered by a letter to the Straits Times newspaper from a Malay Singaporean woman, Zuraimah Mohammed, who in a query to taxi firms said uncaged dogs may drool on taxi seats or dirty them with their paws. Under the Syafie school of thought to which most members of the local Muslim community belong, contact with dog saliva is prohibited, the Straits Times on Tuesday quoted a Muslim cleric as saying. Both the accused, who were charged in court on Monday, are ethnic Chinese, who constitute three-quarters of the multi-racial, immigrant-based population. Malay Muslims make up 13.7 per cent, ethnic Indians 8.4 per cent and the rest are from a wide variety of racial groups including westerners. Singapore, which experienced bloody Chinese-Malay racial riots in the 1960s together with neighbouring Malaysia, considers racial harmony as one of its fundamental social principles. However, it bans Muslim girls from wearing veils at government-run schools, saying the institutions must remain secular.
Political and religious content on the internet is closely monitored in Singapore. Nicholas Lim, a 25-year-old assistant marketing manager, allegedly posted anti-Muslim remarks on an online forum for dog lovers and faced two charges under the Sedition Act of 1948, the newspaper said. Benjamin Koh, a 27-year-old employee at a dog kennel, faced three charges under the same law for allegdly making expletive-filled postings on his blogsite, it added. "Two men have been charged for allegedly posting those comments on the internet," police spokesman Stanley Norbert said. The Sedition Act imposes a maximum penalty of three years and a fine of 5000 Singapore dollars ($A3871) per offence. The accused are out on bail of 10,000 Singapore dollars each and their case will be heard again on September 21. According to the formal charges, Lim's postings "had a seditious tendency to promote feelings of ill-will and hostility between different classes of the population in Singapore".