Muslims get the UK to ban sniffer dogs? - Internet/Facebook Rumour

1 Oct 2014 - Article No: 1885. Filed under: General | Internet/Facebook Rumour

Rumours are spreading across social media that Muslims have managed to get UK security forces to stop using sniffer dogs at airports and train stations, or that they are campaigning against sniffer dogs because it “offends them”.

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Collected Oct 2015

This seems to be the latest in a string of “it offends us” hoaxes aimed at targeting the Islamic religion, of which most turn out to be totally false, or at least misleading.

In this instance pertaining to the use of sniffer dogs, it is untrue that UK security forces will stop using them at security checkpoints because it offends Muslims. This recent rumour seems to have started from a story dating back to 2008 when a small number of Muslims raised concerns about coming into direct contact with dogs during a rail security trial at Brighton train station

Dogs are seen as "unclean" by the Islamic faith, and physical contact with dogs would require a Muslim – in many cases – to wash themselves before being able to engage in worship. However the story was essentially ended when the police asserted that sniffer dogs would still be used despite the concerns raised, and that the police would be “sensitive to cultural beliefs” and that physical contact is not necessary for the dogs to do their job correctly regardless. This essentially put an end to the story back in 2008, and there have been no reports that any group of Muslims have since campaigned to have sniffer dogs banned.

Why this non-story is being dredged up many years later and reported as if it were a recent scandal of some kind is a mystery. We’ve seen plenty of “because it offends Muslim” stories break recently and most of them are false, exaggerated or based on isolated incidents. This rumour appears to be a mixture of all three.

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