Islamic Group Backs Service Dog Owner Threatened by Muslim Students

May 14, 2008


Source: Star Tribune

When it comes to the rights of the people with service dogs vs. the tenets of Islam, a leading Islamic group in Minnesota is encouraging Muslims to be tolerant.

The Minnesota chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-MN) today is expressing support for a St. Cloud State University student's right to his service dog after he left the school in late April because he says he feared for the safety of the animal.

"The moral and legal need to accommodate individuals using service dogs far outweighs the discomfort an individual Muslim might feel about coming into contact with a dog, which is one of God's creatures," said CAIR-MN Communications Director Valerie Shirley.

CAIR-MN explains that Muslims believe the saliva of dogs invalidates the ritual ablution performed before prayer. Therefore, it has become a cultural norm for individuals not to have dogs in their houses -- not because the dog is unclean.

The Prophet Mohamed allowed the use of dogs for protection and for hunting, CAIR-MN added.