Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Mutual respect : 'I Want To Touch A Dog' event


I was a bit surprise to see this photo circulated in Facebook.

Growing up in Malaysia, I know that my Muslim counterparts are not supposed to touch dogs. Their religion considers that dogs are unclean. If one has to be in contact with a dog, one needs to clean himself in a certain way. Therefore, seeing a Muslim Malaysian getting closed to a German Shepherd with her kid got me curious.

Reading further I found out the 'I Want To Touch A Dog' event recently organized in a park in Kuala Lumpur. Malaysians from different races and religions showed up. The goal was to help address animal cruelty and overcome prejudice and fear towards dogs.

Anyway, no matter what my Muslim counterparts decide, touching or not touching, this is their choice, and I learn to RESPECT. Just like they respect other Malaysians to own a dog at home. If one chooses to stay away from dogs due to religious aspect, one shouldn't be reprimanded.


Living in France, I learn that believers from different countries have different practices even though they are from the same religion. For example, I talked to a coworker from Algeria. She was surprised to hear that my Muslim counterparts in Malaysia do not touch dogs, as she doesn't practice the same things. The same goes to Buddhism: Buddhists / Taoists in Malaysia do not eat beef in general , but Buddhists in Taiwan do. How about Christian? My Christian friends here were so surprised that some Christians in Malaysia do not drink alcohol. They told me that Jesus drank wine at his last supper (in the photo above there is some red liquid in a wine container on the table). People just have different beliefs and practices and what is important is that we learn to RESPECT their choice.

Coming from France, hubby and his friends discovered that Muslims in France and Muslims in Malaysia live a different life. They were charmed by the colourful traditional baju kurung (costumes) and the friendliness of my Muslims counterparts. One commented that the female workers in Carrefour looked so cute with their blue uniform and blue head scarf. Hubby loves to go to Hari Raya open houses.

In my opinion, Malaysians, regardless of race and religion background, could live in harmony as long as we show mutual respect. I missed those days when we got invited to Raya open house for some satay and ketupat; and Deepavali open house for some Indian breads.

By the way, Happy Deepavali to all Malaysians at home!


  1. Anonymous3:23 AM

    I had never heard that (some) Muslims weren't allowed to touch dogs!

    Malaysia amazed me when I visited because of the mix of cultures and beliefs. And generally speaking, it seemed to work for everyone. I found a lot of respect there. I actually asked to visit a mosque we passed in front of every day (Masjid Jamek in KL) and I was welcomed there as an atheist woman (!). It was great, I learned more about Islam.

    1. It's good they allowed a non Muslim like you to visit their mosque cos not many
      in other countries do not allow "unbelievers" to visit their place of worship.

    2. Anonymous4:49 AM

      This was my understanding as well, so I was honored.

  2. I don't know much about Muslim beliefs and practices, so I appreciate your sharing this. You have a very nice blog. Warm greetings from Montreal, Canada.