As Jihad Watch reported Saturday, the Mayor of Hebron, Tayseer Abu Sneineh, has hit upon a way to rid his city of stray dogs. He didn’t give a thought to a humane method of dealing with the problem, by rounding up stray dogs, putting them in kennels and offering them for adoption. Instead, he has offered his citizens a reward of 20 shekels ($5.65) for each dog they kill. The Hebronites have gone about their ghastly work with great enthusiasm, not just killing the dogs but also, and at no extra cost to the mayor, torturing them – what fun! – and the killers have shared the footage of the whole ghastly business on social media, so proud are they of their cruel handiwork. A fuller account can be found here: “Terrorist mayor of Hebron offers reward for killing of stray dogs,” Jerusalem Post, November 4, 2022:
The mayor of the Palestinian West Bank city of Hebron announced on a radio broadcast earlier this week that Palestinians who capture or kill stray dogs will receive NIS 20 shekels from the municipality, local and foreign Arab media reported.
Mayor Tayseer Abu Sneineh, a convicted murderer of six Israelis, proposed this bounty on stray dogs in the Hebron area as a solution to the overpopulation of stray dogs in the city, which Palestinian media say is “haunting the lives of Hebron residents.”
The mayor of Hebron is a convicted murderer of six Israelis, who had been serving a life sentence, but then was freed in one of those grotesquely lopsided prisoner exchanges, where Israel would free hundreds of Palestinian prisoners for one or two Israelis held captive in Gaza. The worst of these swaps was the exchange concluded in 2011 with Hamas, whereby Israel freed 1.027 imprisoned terrorists for exactly one Israeli soldier, Gilad Shalit.
Some Palestinian residents soon complied, with footage shared on social media of Hebron residents taking to the streets to torture and kill dozens of dogs.
Torturing the dogs was a pleasure for some of these Palestinians, who grow up in a world saturated in violence and hate. And they were proud of their handiwork; they wanted others to see the torturing and killing on videos uploaded to the Internet.
In response to the bizarre municipal campaign, the Animal and Environment Association in Bethlehem, the only animal shelter in the West Bank, issued a statement attacking Abu Sneineh, calling for him to “cease the bloody campaign.”
“This bloody campaign resulted in killing many dogs, [by] shooting, hanging, abusing [i.e., beating to death], running over them by cars. What happened today is beyond humanity and ethics,” the association wrote on Facebook. “No religion would accept such barbaric actions toward innocent animals.“
“No religion would accept such barbaric actions toward innocent animals”? That’s not true.
In Islam, fear and hatred of dogs is rooted in a famous hadith, in which “The Prophet said, ‘Angels do not enter a house in which there are dogs or pictures.” (Sahih-Al-Bukhari, 7.833, Narrated by Abu Talha).
Two other hadiths, found in the collection of Muslim, vividly convey Muhammad’s murderous hatred of dogs::
First, “Abdullah (b. Umar) (Allah be pleased with them) reported: Allah’s Messenger (may peace be upon him) ordered the killing of dogs and we would send (men) in Medina and its corners and we did not spare any dog that we did not kill, so much so that we killed the dog that accompanied the wet she-camel belonging to the people of the desert. (Sahih Muslim 3811)
Second, Ibn Mughaffal reported: The Messenger of Allah (may peace be upon him) ordered killing of the dogs, and then said: “What about them, i. e. about other dogs?” and then granted concession (to keep) the dog for hunting and the dog for (the security) of the herd, and said: “When the dog licks the utensil, wash it seven times, and rub it with earth the eighth time.” (Sahih Muslim 551).
Dogs are to be shunned, according to the hadith of Bukhari; dogs are to be killed, on Muhammad’s express orders, according to two hadith of Muslim, with the only exception made for those that are used for hunting or to guard a herd of cattle.
These hadiths help explain the willingness, even the eagerness, of so many Muslims in Hebron to go on a dog-killing spree. The torture of the dogs, before killing them, is just a little extra fun for some Palestinians.
These hadiths have given rise to nearly fourteen centuries both of shunning, and of mistreating, dogs, by Muslims. Muslims now living in the West, many of whom are taxi-drivers, have chosen to break the law in their refusal to accept passengers with seeing-eye dogs. A representative Muslim taxi-driver in England, one Abandi Kassim, was fined for refusing to take on a blind passenger’s seeing-eye dog because, as Kassim claimed: “For me, it’s about my religion.”
There have been many such cases in the U.S., the UK, and Canada of Muslims refusing to pick up fares with seeing-eye dogs. Many of the Somali taxi drivers who made up three-quarters of the 900 taxi drivers at the Minneapolis airport have refused to pick up blind passengers because of their dogs. When forced to do so, some of them simply quit.
In Toronto, a guide dog’s owner was refused taxi service by a Muslim driver. In Saskatchewan, the same problem. In Montreal, in Ottawa, and all across Canada, Muslim drivers have refused service to seeing-eye dogs. In London, in Nottingham, in Reading, and in Tunbridge Wells, taxi drivers have refused service to fares with dogs.
Blind or poorly sighted people with guide dogs have been forced by Muslim bus drivers to get off — often to calm the hysterical reaction of other Muslim passengers. Much worse, killings of dogs, chiefly by poison, in areas populated mainly by Muslims has been reported in Spain, Sweden, France, and Great Britain. These were not stray dogs, but dogs who had non-Muslim owners able to take care of them. Nonetheless, Muslims who found their mere presence offensive are known to have killed them, usually by poison.
Which brings us to other questions. Why would Muhammad have wanted his followers not to enter houses where dogs were found? And why would he have ordered the killing of dogs?
The answer, I suggest, can be found in the history of the early Muslim conquests.
The earliest conquests of the Muslims were to the north and northwest of Arabia, Egypt, Syria, and Mesopotamia: places populated by Christians. To the northeast, Muslims conquered the Sassanian Empire, which was peopled by Zoroastrians.
It was easy to distinguish the Christians, and to prevent fraternizing between Muslims and Christians. Christians had paintings, icons, and statues in their homes — the very things which, according to the hadith of Bukhari quoted above, the angel Gabriel said would prevent him from entering a house. That led Muhammad to command the same for his followers.
If Muslims were told that Muhammad, the Perfect Man (al-insan al-kamil) and Model of Conduct (uswa hasana), would not enter a house that had “pictures” (paintings, icons, statues) in it, then no faithful Muslim would do so. And if Christians, precisely in order that members of the ruling Muslim class might enter their houses — which for those Christians could be a desirable thing, for surely they would want to curry favor with the Muslims who now ruled over them — they might find themselves more willing to do away with statues, paintings, and icons.
But dogs? Well, dogs are revered in Zoroastrianism.
The conquest by the Muslim Arabs of the Sassanian Empire (Persia) by 651 made the Muslims masters of the Persian Zoroastrians. And just as the Muslims could use Muhammad’s ban on “pictures” to distinguish themselves from the Christians they conquered, a similar ban on dogs would help Muslims to distinguish themselves from the Zoroastrians they conquered:
“Ehtirám-i sag,” or “Great respect for the dog,” is a command among Zoroastrians. The dog is regarded as an especially benevolent and virtuous creature, which must be fed and lovingly taken care of. The dog is praised for loyalty, intelligence and having special spiritual virtues.
It is precisely because dogs were prized by Zoroastrians, and treated with great affection and reverence, that Muslims would want to clearly distinguish themselves from the inferior Zoroastrian infidels by treating dogs with contempt and even hatred.
Muslim attitudes toward dogs, and the fiendish cruelty with which, in Islamized Iran, both Zoroastrians and their dogs are treated by Muslims, have been described by the celebrated scholar of Zoroastrianism, Mary Boyce, who lived with Zoroastrians in 1963-64:
In Sharifabad the dogs distinguished clearly between Moslem and Zoroastrian, and were prepared to go … full of hope, into a crowded Zoroastrian assembly, or to fall asleep trustfully in a Zoroastrian lane, but would flee as before Satan from a group of Moslem boys …
The evidence points … to Moslem hostility to these animals having been deliberately fostered in the first place in Iran, as a point of opposition to the old (pre-Islamic jihad conquest) faith (i.e., Zoroastrianism) there. Certainly in the Yazdi area, Moslems found a double satisfaction in tormenting dogs, since they were thereby both afflicting an unclean creature and causing distress to the infidel who cherished him. There are grim stories from the time (i.e., into the latter half of the 19th century) when the annual poll-tax (jizya) was exacted, of the tax gatherer tying a Zoroastrian and a dog together, and flogging both alternately until the money was somehow forthcoming, or death released them.
I myself [Mary Boyce, the scholar of Zoroastrianism] was spared any worse sight than that of a young Moslem girl standing over a litter of two-week old puppies, and suddenly kicking one as hard as she could with her shod foot. The puppy screamed with pain, but at my angry intervention she merely said blankly: “But it’s unclean.”
In Sharifabad I was told by distressed Zoroastrian children of worse things: a litter of puppies cut to pieces with a spade-edge, and a dog’s head laid open with the same implement; and occasionally the air was made hideous with the cries of some tormented animal. Such wanton cruelties on the Moslems’ part added not a little to the tension between the communities.
The extreme cruelty of the Muslims — even Muslim children — to dogs should not surprise us. Nothing in the behavior of Muslims toward the most helpless of non-Muslims, the Zoroastrian remnant in Yazd, should surprise us, as it did not surprise the learned Mary Boyce.
So the next time you read about Muslim taxi drivers refusing to pick up passengers with dogs, or about Muslims in the Middle East fiendishly torturing dogs to death, look for the explanation in the conquest by Muslims of the Sassanian Empire, and the desire to distinguish themselves, nearly 1400 years ago, from the Zoroastrians, the dog-worshipping “infidels” whom they conquered.
The mayor of Hebron, Tayseer Abu Sneineh, is a deeply committed Muslim. He was one of four Palestinians behind the murder of six Israeli yeshiva students and injuring of 16 others in a 1980 Hebron attack. The students killed included two American citizens and a Canadian national. The four terrorists were convicted and sentenced to life in prison, but were all released during various lopsided prisoner exchange deals carried out by Israel in the 1980s. Not only was he freed, but Israel placed no restrictions on his occupation, and now he is the mayor of the second largest Palestinian city In the West Bank. He’s shown himself to be an obedient Muslim, following Muhammad’s command to his followers to “kill dogs.” The rest of the world is horrified at the spectacle – the torture and then the killing of inoffensive dogs, without any attempt to find a nonviolent solution to their existence as strays, such as holding them in kennels until they can be adopted – but the Palestinians in Hebron don’t care. Indeed, they have been taking selfies of themselves torturing and killing stray dogs and posting the pictures on social media. Clearly, they are not embarrassed.
And just think: this hatred of dogs exhibited in Hebron today can be traced all the way back to the Muslim conquest of Sassanian Persia in 651 A.D., and the felt need to distinguish the newly-conquered Zoroastrians, who so revered dogs, from their Muslim conquerors, who were taught to fear and hate them.