Muslim customers also have the right to eat and shop in a dog-free environment!

cass dog

Aiseyman! Just because someone is visually impaired, does it gives her the right to demand access for herself and her guide dog to wherever? And when she is denied access to a shop because of her anjing she plays the victim by using her handicap status to call out the shop for discriminating her. If like that also can, then can Muslims walk into a bar and demand that they are served halal food and drinks, and when they are denied that, call the bar out on religious discrimination? If we really did that, many people will not be sympathetic to us, but they will criticise us and say that we are difficult to integrate with.

This is not the first time that the guide dog and its owner have made a big fuss over denied entries into shops and eateries. She has complained about and shamed the staff at Macdonalds, Haagen Daz, Forever 21 and now Zara. Yet her sense of entitlement is so huge that she forgets that in every transaction, there is both a buyer and a seller, and that both players have the right to accept or refuse each other. She may think that she has a right to be in the shop with her dog, but so do the Muslims who also have the right to patronise the shop. If the shop allows her dog in, what about Muslims who are averse to any contact with dogs? What about people with allergies who cannot be in contact with animal fur and dander? Can they also say that they are being discriminated against if guide dogs are allowed on their premises?

It is the shop's perogative to control the human traffic that flows into their premises, and staff they should not be shamed for doing so in order to protect their other customers. To give another relevant example, many people don't scream discrimination when a club bouncer refuses entry of a drunk person (to protect the drunk and others in the club) or a person who is underdressed (to maintain the club's image).

This is not to say that people should totally turn a blind eye to those with handicap, but there should be mutual respect and give and take also right? If she really wanted to be in the shops so badly, why couldn't she park her dog with the friend outside or use a walking stick to help her get around? Like that, I think the shops will be more than happy to serve her. But no, it seems she only wants everyone to accomodate her and her dog without sparing a thought for anyone else.

4 comments

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  • mfahmih

    Dear writer, thank you for your concern for the Muslim community. However, Muslims do not require a dog free environment to eat. We certainly do not need a dog free country to live in. To also say that a Muslim should be able to demand for halal food in alcoholic and non-halal serving bar is irresponsible. It is up to the Muslim to patron other halal serving stalls.

    Cassandra Chiu is a known Counsellor and contributes to the handicap community – Muslim and Non-muslims. I have personally interacted with her and she constantly has the welfare of the handicap and non-handicap community at mind. She has helped countless number of patients overcome their psychological problems and hlep them lead a better life.

    More importantly, it is this misinterpretations and reckless statements of Islam that tarnishes its good name. While it has minimum significance on the radicalising of Muslims we often here today, we surely do not appreciate the spreading of rumours and misconceptions in Islam (although we would gladly do so). But the wide use of social media and internet may not allow us ensure that we can reach out to everyone as much as we would like.

    Islam pays high regard to knowledge. Allah warns every Muslim against speaking without knowledge, as He says (interpretation of the meaning):

    “And follow not (O man, i.e., say not, or do not, or witness not) that of which you have no knowledge. Verily, the hearing, and the sight, and the heart of each of those ones will be questioned (by Allâh)”

    [al-Israa’ 17:36]

    Also, debate is regarded the lowest level of knowledge finding and should be avoided if possible. My final advice would be seek to clarify than making assumptions and following rumours. Thank you again for your concern of the Muslim community. It would be a shame that this good intention causes more harm than good.

    Wallahu’alam. (And Allah knows best)

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  • Shariff Fudin

    Show me one verse in the Book of Allah which tells you that dogs are feces and should be avoided. And please, do not quote from the Hadiths.