Tuesday, April 19, 2011
IF A DOG BARKS IN IRAN, CAN ANYONE HEAR IT?
I saw today that Iran is proposing to outlaw the ownership of dogs. As they mull this measure, I can envision the squads of basij dogcatchers roaming through the suburbs in search of muslim mongrels. Apparently not only are clerical authorities concerned about the threat pets pose to the faith, but the keeping of dogs (and cats, I understand) is apparently deemed too Western for their tastes. No doubt there is a class element at work here as well (as wealthy Iranians supposedly took up the ownership of lap dogs). I can almost see in my mind the cartoons forming in the minds of political pundits and critics of this oppressive regime!! Immediately I envisioned a possible cartoon of an Iranian woman wearing a burkha walking down the street, with a little dog (also wearing a beaded veil) tucked under her arm, and a basij confronts her, and the caption reads: "But Brother, this is not a dog. . . " In America, next to even considering restricting any aspect of gun ownership, people would simply be apoplectic if someone proposed taking away our pups. People would rebel, they would fight. I wonder if this measure is also aimed at those who are not Muslim (will they be allowed to own dogs), or if this is another way to isolate the few that still live there. I don't quibble with someone of faith choosing not to own a dog, but to impose the restriction on everyone is exactly why I quibble with governments control by religious zealots. As long as one is not imposing on one's neighbor (say, their dog barked all night or deposited gifts in their yard), they should be left alone. I don't believe ownership of dogs is that widespread in Iran, but I wouldn't be surprised if there are 500,000 to 1,000,000, so will there be a terrible slaughter of animal innocents. Maybe a grandfather clause can be established that would allow dogs to live out their natural lives (yeah, can't see that happening, cause it would just give malcontents the opportunity to thumb their noses at the clerics). Personally, I think Allah will be bit irritated, as he stretches down and scratches the heads of his greyhounds.