PETA seeks equal time for dogs on cable reality show "All-American Muslim"

The People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals seek free ad time after a Beagle named Wrigley is sent to an animal shelter.

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PETA is upset enough about the episode to send a letter to David Zaslav, the head of TLC, asking him to broadcast free of charge a PETA commercial featuring Muslim-Americans asking viewers to consider the words of the Prophet Mohammed: "All creatures are like a family of God; and He loves the most those who are the most beneficent to His family."

PETA's TV spot would inform viewers about a website devoted to Muslims and animal issues, and would feature Muslim-Americans discussing how their religious beliefs have influenced their decision to go vegetarian or to make a lifelong commitment to their companion animals — a commitment that many people with allergies have been able to make by toughing it out or taking medication. PETA's letter is signed by Hanif Akhtar, former president of the Pakistan American Business Association.

"Maybe if more American viewers realized that teachings of compassion for animals are common to all the major faiths — including Islam — they'd be interested in learning what else we all have in common," says PETA President Ingrid E. Newkirk. "Promoting understanding is never a bad thing: An individual's race, religion, gender and species should not be a factor in deciding how to treat him or her."

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PETA, of course, believes animals should have equal rights with humans. To deny them solely because they aren't humans is "speciesism" -- which PETA ranks right up their with racism.

An Arab and His Dogs, oil painting by French artist Jean-Léon Gérôme (1824-1904)

"So, what is the Islamic position about dogs?" asks Islamic scholar Ingrid Mattson in the Huffington Post. "In fact, there are a variety of opinions according to different legal schools. The majority consider the saliva of dogs to be impure, while the Maliki school makes a distinction between domestic and wild dogs, only considering the saliva of the latter to be impure. The question for Muslims observant of other schools of law is, what are the implications of such an impurity?

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Rob Kerby
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