The event named “I Want to Touch a Dog”, was held in Central Park in Petaling Jaya.
For the longest time, Muslims believe that dog fur and saliva is unclean and preferred to stay away from them and not keep them inside of their homes.
Syed Azmi Alhabshi, the event organizer, spoke to Asia One on what it’s all about.
“This is just a baby step for us. I don’t know whether people will now understand not to throw stones at dogs, but we want people to know that if they are not knowledgeable or are curious about things, they should just ask. If we ask nicely, people will respond,” he said.
It turned out to be a fairly well-attended event. About 800 people came – some just inquisitive, some actual dedicated canine lovers and owners. The event was organized via Facebook, Asia One reported. Attendees were encouraged to wear colors to show their level of interest: yellow for those who wanted to pet a dog, orange for those who wanted to watch and red for those who had their own canine companions.
A religious leader also gave an informative lecture on an Islamicritual on how to cleanse their hands after touching a dog, called sertu or samak.
After the event, the hashtag #iwanttotouchadog popped up on social media showing many photos of people and pooches getting along and enjoying each other’s company.
Images: Aileen Chuah/Facebook, dhabitahzainal/Instagram