Malaysian Islamic department says keeping dogs against religion's teachings

KUALA LUMPUR - The Malaysian Islamic Development Department (Jakim) has criticised a Malay woman over a video of her and her pet dog Bubu, calling her actions an affront to Islam, reported news site The Malay Mail Online.

In a posting on his Facebook page on Wednesday (July 5), Jakim director-general Othman Mustapha said intentionally touching dogs was "highly disturbing" and went against Islamic teachings.

"We find her actions to be highly disturbing to Muslims here as they contravene our culture and the tenets of our school of jurisprudence," Tan Sri Othman said on his page.

He explained that while the religion provides procedures for Muslims to clean themselves after coming into contact with impurities such as dogs, this does not mean they may adopt the animals as pets. "... it's as if someone intentionally commits a sin with the excuse that he can repent later," he posted.

"Therefore, Jakim hopes the individual will stop her actions and repent to Allah. Her actions suggests she is trying to start a new culture that can be insulting to Islam," Mr Othman added.

In the video, the head-scarved woman Nurhanizah Abdul Rahman talks about how she began feeding Bubu, a stray mongrel, and eventually adopted the dog after rescuing her from a mass culling operation in 2015. The video was entered in a competition by pet lovers group SmartHeart.