Do Muslims Have a Problem with helping Blind People with Guide Dogs?
After a overly reported incident in right-wing UK media about a Muslim cab driver who reportedly refused to drive a blind man with a Guide Dog.
LBC’s Shelagh Fogarty interviews MDI’s Abdullah al Andalusi, asking him whether Islam has a problem with helping blind people with guide dogs.
This topic was important to be explained in light of the story, since right-wing media in the UK publishing this story will likely generate increased antipathy towards observant Muslims. A Muslim made a personal choice not to allow a dog into his taxi cab out of his personal preferences. The driver reportedly cite religion as the reason.
Abdullah stated in the interview that there were ‘two’ schools of thought within Islam about dogs, one that believes dogs are completely ritually clean, and the others who believe that parts of the Dog are ritually impure (although technically the later are more than one school, but considered ‘one group’ in agreeing that the dog has some aspects of it that are impure). However, Abdullah stressed that neither of these schools prohibit a Muslim from touching a dog, owning a dog (if for a specific purpose), nor allowing a dog to use the carriage or form of transport – especially in matters of necessity. A discussion of Islamic opinions can be read here.
It is important that Muslims know what is prohibited and permitted in Islam, and also that Islam allows mercy and compassion. Although the driver could have been more compassionate and wiser, it is important to state that this whole story is not an example of Islam being devoid of compassion, but a Muslim exercising his personal preferences with his property. Islam shouldn’t be blamed, nor should Westerners keep assuming that everything a Muslim does or says is necessarily dictated to by the texts of their belief.