Spanish authorities are investigating the recent deaths by poisoning of more than a dozen dogs in Lérida, a city in the northeastern region of Catalonia. Local residents say Muslim immigrants killed the dogs because according to Islamic teaching dogs are "unclean" animals. Over the past several months, residents taking their dogs for walks have been harassed by Muslim immigrants opposed to seeing the animals in public. Muslims have also launched a number of anti-dog campaigns on Islamic websites and blogs based in Spain. In July, two Islamic groups based in Lérida asked city officials to regulate the presence of dogs in public spaces so they do not "offend Muslims." Muslims in Lérida say the presence of dogs violates their religious freedom and their right to live according to Islamic principles.

In response to the "lack of sufficient police to protect the neighbourhood," 50 local residents have established alternating six-person citizen patrols to escort people walking their dogs.

COMMENT: Burning down churches, blowing each other up, killing dogs. There comes a point when, no matter how liberal and inclusive you regard yourself, you have to accept that some things are simply a bad idea. Quite honestly, at this moment in time, Islam is one of them.



  1. And because of blowing up buildings and cheering the death penalty and hating gays and blocking good clergy from their vocation – Christianity is a bad idea? I am sorry you are so anti-Islam and use sweeping generalities to condemn a whole religion.

  2. Ann has a point, but the real problem is the way religions are lived, not what is in their holy books. Fundamentalism of any stripe is the enemy, and at present, far fewer Islamic fundies seem to have the social/cultural restrictions needed to prevent excesses than the Christians. Christian fundies may hate, and yes, they have killed gays, but they are not doing that in wholesale lots like the Islamists. The tragedy is that the excesses of the Islamic extremists will serve to keep most Muslims poor and backward, since half the population has almost no rights and education for all is not valued – they succeed in their ignorance, as in the re-emergence of polio in Nigeria ad central Africa because many of the Muslim imams have told their women not to have the children vaccinated. Considering the declining levels of education in the USA and some other western countries, we seem to be following their example….

  3. I think I am prepared to condemn the whole of Islam. I cannot see anything good about it and if there is it would be far outweighed by the bad. The irony is that the reason I am so anti-Islam is exactly the same reason why I am prepared to sacrifice everything for freedom for gay people and women. Islam is so oppressive to so many people both within and outside of its own culture that any “liberal” who defends it is obviously more interested in saying “the correct thing” than doing the correct thing.

  4. Oppression is simply wrong. As it is practiced by way too many fundamentalist Moslems, Islam is oppressive. Therefore, Islam is wrong.

    I think there may, somewhere under the oppressive crap practiced by the fundys, there may actually be a viable religion. It is not unfortunately, visible.


  5. Islam is primarily about submission to God. I think this is the cause of it’s anti-human ethos. When Christians pervert the words of Jesus and insist that Christianity is all about submitting to God they always end up creating injustice and oppression. The anti-gay stuff always comes from those parts of the church which have a fetish about a dominating God. PersonallyI think evangelicalism is more closely related to Islam than it is to Judaism.

  6. It’s kinda odd too…because Joe has said that if he could jump into a time machine and go back to the 1500s (which is part of the Empire of Adria re-enactment period – 1066-1603 AD) one of the places he’d go would be Baghdad – this is because they actually had some measure of “civilization” there, such as real medicine, education, mathematics, science, poetry, art, etc.

    He wouldn’t want to be in places like Scandinavia or northern Europe or the British Isles because life in those areas during that time was rather dirty and barbaric, quite frankly. 😉

    Of course, some other medieval-era places he’d like to go to, if he could travel back in time, would include Bejing, Kyoto, Toledo, Granada, Florence, Venice, etc. Civilized places. 🙂

    wv: rance

    Just one letter away from France!


  7. This is ridiculous, and not at all typical of Islam as I know it. I’ve been married to a devout Muslim for sixteen years, so I get plenty of opportunity to see how the Muslim mind works. Very much the same as the Christian mind, in fact; they both have their share of loonies, and by and large, they both ignore them.

    Muhammad said that angels won’t go to a house where there are dogs or images. That’s in the Hadith, so it’s important. It says nothing about dogs outside the house. We wouldn’t have one in the house, ever, with a possible exception for a guide dog if we ever had a friend with one. I don’t know how we’d work that one out. But we’d never disrespect anyone else’s right to have a dog.

  8. And the problem is that your wife is atypical. Typical Islam is that which is practiced by most Muslims in the world. A few slightly enlightened, but still very much second class in life, female Muslims in America do not offset the millions of Muslims in the world who have committed genocide against Christians for 1500 odd years. And who are still driving them by violence out of the countries they worshipped in 400 years before Mohammed started listening to cynophobic angels.

  9. “[Christianists in wherever] say the presence of [married gays] violates their religious freedom and their right to live according to [Christianist] principles.”

  10. Yes, JCF. And we condemn them for it. And I condemn the religion that supports their bigotry. And I am a tidy person so I condemn the Islamic religion that supports the oppression of women, gay people and Christians in predominantly Muslim lands. If there is an equivalent of our gang in Islam I haven’t come across it yet. I guess the reason for that is that if there was its members would be dead within weeks.

  11. Actually, Jonathan, Joe tells me he has reason to believe he was a Roman soldier back in the 1st century or so…that whole “past life” thing…how did you know??


  12. I condemn the Islamic religion that supports the oppression of women, gay people and Christians in predominantly Muslim lands.


    Basically the same reasons many people abandon all Abrahamic religions altogether.

    And ya know what? It’s just plain heartbreaking.


  13. If there is an equivalent of our gang in Islam I haven’t come across it yet. I guess the reason for that is that if there was its members would be dead within weeks.

    They’re there, but they do have to be underground (like ChinWag but moreso!). If they try to poke their heads above-ground online, they get slapped down (the organization of LGBT Muslims I know about, Al-Fatiha *, has gone radio silent publicly). Even the domain “” turns out to be phobic: the website’s name actually puts “Gay Muslims” just like that: in scare quotes! :-0

    * Met a Muslim transman who first told me about Al-Fatiha back in 1999.

  14. Tracie,

    One of my favorite lines about the “Glorious Empire” (thinly-veiled Rome) in the game Overlord II, comes from a rather squalid peasant:

    “Don’t see how they reach such a size, they’re so fond of bathing! Sitting in your own filth . . . it’s just not hygienic!”

  15. There is a VERY large Muslim population in Cape Town where I used to live. I would not consider them to be “exceptions”. I found them to be delightful, responsible, kind people who were earnest about living out their faith. I had some very moving encounters with several members of the Muslim community while I was there. (I may possibly share more about this at a later time but that would require a lot of writing!)

    Just thought I’d add that bit…

  16. The only colleague who kept in touch after the bishop of Newcastle sacked me was an evangelical. I have often found that the pastoral sensitivity of evangelicals beats the hell out of anything Catholics and liberals would offer. But I still think their beliefs are harmful.

  17. With reference to your recent post on Scottish former SNP leader Gordon Wilson’s call ‘for a referendum on government proposals to allow same-sex marriage,’ I assume Wilson is a Christian, since he is so intent on defending ‘Christian values’. And Wilson is hardly the worst example of ‘Christian’ anti-gay bigotry in word and deed. Call to mind certain countries in Africa. Call to mind the hateful anti-gay bigotry so often on display by so-called ‘Christians’ in my own country, the US.

    Should we therefore draw the following conclusion?

    There comes a point when, no matter how liberal and inclusive you regard yourself, you have to accept that some things are simply a bad idea. Quite honestly, at this moment in time, Christianity is one of them.

    Yes, MadPriest, those are your words on Islam with Christianity substituted for Islam.

    If an entire faith is to be condemned for the actions of individual members or groups of the religious community, then we Christians are sinners, indeed. To speak for myself, I could not condemn an entire religion, because, at the same time, I would pronounce a blanket condemnation on my own religion.

    Of course, the despicable words and deeds of individuals or groups within a faith community are to be called out as evil, but is it right to condemn an an entire religion because of the actions of certain of the members?

  18. I said that Islam is a bad thing not that Muslims were bad things. I studied Islam as an undergraduate and I have privately studied the history and theology of the Eastern and African churches. It is my considered conclusion that Islam is an inherently oppressive and violently proselytising religion. I think that their prophet’s teachings were dualist and legalistic. He also massacred and enslaved many thousands of Jews and Christians (something that Jesus did not do). Over the last two thousand years Islam has been responsible for more acts of genocide and ethnic cleansing than all other religions and nations put together and more Christians were murdered or displaced from their homelands during the 20th. Century than in any previous century, so Islam’s followers are not getting less violent. It is so tied in with Arab politics that you cannot separate political actions from religious actions in the Muslim world.

    There are, no doubt, many Hindus, Buddhists etc. adherents who would like to see gay people strung up from trees but their religion does not insist on it and they do not impose their faith, by military and judicial force, on believers of other faiths. But most of all, the suppression of women is so entrenched in Islam that I am simply unable to carry on insisting on the ending of misogyny in my own church (something for which I do not risk my life) whilst hiding behind politically correct liberalism and refusing to speak out against it in situations where I may get murdered.

    To be honest, Mimi (and remember you attacked my integrity first) I think your knee-jerk liberal cliches are worthy of gumby status they are so not thought through.

  19. I struggle with my frustration with the Likud government of Israel and the behavior of the settlers as well as the intense support of the State of Israel (no questions asked) by much of the American Jewish community. However, I try very hard to keep this frustration separate from Judaism itself.

    Much of the Islamist behavior that exists is state sponsored behavior – either by direct rule over subject peoples or by indirect sponsorship of “terrorist” organizations around the globe (e.g., Saudi support of extremist organizations). In fact, Saudi money backing up the Wahabbi sub-sect of Islam is primarily responsible for much of the extreme Islamist behavior around the globe. There money is funding the schools that are teaching this extreme version of Islam.

    Imagine if Rev. Phelps had the financial backing to open “Schools of Christianty” around the globe…

    Just sayin…

  20. Agreed, Renz. But I don’t think you can separate religion and politics in Islamic countries. They don’t even manage it in secular Muslim countries like Turkey and Malaysia. The spread of Islam was a religious, military campaign in a far more organic way than even the Portuguese invasion of the Americas. Muhammad invented his religion to bring the Arabic tribes together in order to be a strong military force.

    Phelps is somebody who acts in ways abhorrent to his professed faith. That evil bastard in Iran acts as he does because of his faith and that is why he is not condemned by Muslims.

  21. The main reason Islam went through a golden age of learning was because the first thing it’s adherents did when they invaded the surrounding nations was to ransack the Eastern and African Christian foundations and steal all the books. If they had not done so then it would have been Syrian Christianity that went through a golden age and given the rest of the world Indian mathematics.

    Even western protestants are completely unaware of that the Eastern Church was far more vibrant, learned and numerous than the Western Church for more than 1000 years. This is because the papacy wanted to be regarded as the centre of Christianity and deliberately acted as if the Eastern Church did not exist.

    Know your history before coming at me with your post-modern, western liberal cliches.

  22. Wasn’t trying to separate the political from the religious in those countries…in fact, that was my point in referring to it as state sponsored. To what end the man or woman in the street in those nations upholds the extreme views of their government is difficult to ascertain given what they do to dissenters in those countries.

  23. “Know your history before coming at me with your post-modern, western liberal cliches.”

    (channeling DeNiro) Are YOU talkin to ME?

  24. I am talking about today. I am using the past to show why Islam is a bad idea. The one thing you cannot accuse Muslims of is acting contrary to their religion, not in the past and not in the present.

  25. I vote for making the skunk the Spanish national pet. You want offensive? Here’s offensive!

    (handraised skunks can be good pets)

  26. I don’t see what kindness has to do with it. The Church of England is going to adopt a covenant that will make homophobia the default position of the church because of all the kind vicars we’ve been lumbered with due to years of wet liberalism. What we need is more people with enough backbone and belief in the words of Jesus Christ to condemn injustice and oppression wherever it is found. At the moment Christian liberals have got a massive case of Stockholm Syndrome.

  27. MP, it’s too bad that you don’t see the boring American Midwestern Muslims. The ones I know are ordinary people, if you count gearheads and docs as ordinary.

    Grade A Photoshopping!

  28. I think I’ve said this before but it obviously still hasn’t sunk in…


    Islam is bad.
    Muslims are just humans.

  29. I don’t think being a Muslim is a sin. I think that Islam is an overwhelmingly oppressive religion. So far the only argument I have been given to this statement is “some Muslims are nice.”

  30. My puzzlement with what you’ve said has to do with how certain Muslims manage to overcome what you say is the pernicious influence of the overwhelming oppressiveness of their religion and be good people, who don’t want to oppress others, and still remain devout Muslims.

    You probably think I’m trying to annoy you, but I just don’t understand.

  31. I can’t imagine defending a religion, any religion, that would teach that dogs are not welcome in the house. Seriously, I’m not joking here. Dogs evolved with human society, they are as much a part of human society as we are, and dogs are intelligent and kind creatures. Any religion or religious leader who thinks that angels or God won’t come near a dog is deluded and lying. If there is a holy book of any faith that teaches these things then it has no respect from me. Period or full stop or whatever.

    Dogs are far holier than any human being. They are loyal, kind, and loving; humans should be admonished to follow their example. A religion of peace and love, a religion of God, would praise and not condemn these animals who want nothing more than to love and be loved by humans.

    Robert (in the comments above): I am very sorry that you and your wife are so deluded. It is a shame that you are unable to experience the love and kindness of dogs in your life. If a religion condemns you to such an existence then so much the worse for that religion. It has no respect from me.

  32. The irony here (IMHO) is that the relationship of dogs to their “masters” – the existence that Dennis says we should model ourselves after (and I completely agree – when I am at my worst I shut off everything and spend time with my back trying to be like a dog)but that canine way of being seems remarkable similar to the relationship between Muslims and God – the “oppressiveness” that MP is responding to in their faith…handing oneself over to Allah…just sayin…it’s ironic.