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Iranian Ayatollah issues fatwa on 'unclean' pet dogs

Source: Ahlul Bayt News Agency (, Iran

A senior Iranian cleric, Grand Ayatollah Makarem Shirazi, has decreed dogs are "unclean" and should not be kept as pets - a move aimed at discouraging Western-style dog ownership in the Islamic state.

Dogs are considered "unclean" under Islamic tradition. Some people do keep them as pets but it is relatively rare.

By issuing a fatwa - a religious ruling - Grand Ayatollah Naser Makarem Shirazi has sent a message that this trend must stop.

"Friendship with dogs is a blind imitation of the West," he was quoted as saying. "There are lots of people in the West who love their dogs more than their wives and children."

dog owners at a pet clinic in Isfahan

Guard dogs and sheep dogs are considered acceptable under Islamic law but Iranians who carry dogs in their cars or take them to public parks can be stopped by police and fined.

The holy Quran does not explicitly pointed out any thing about contacting with dogs, Ayatollah Shirazi said, but Islamic tradition showed it to be so. "We have lots of narrations in Islam that say dogs are unclean."

... Payvand News - 06/23/10 ... --

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