For much of the past decade, the Iranian government has tolerated what it considers a particularly depraved and un-Islamic vice: the keeping of pet dogs.Let me pause right there and say that if-- if-- I had any doubts about certain governments and their systems of belief, the thought that they'd label dog-ownership as depraved would be enough to make up my mind for me. Such a thing must be based either in ignorance or in evilness. Being familiar with good dogs and the intelligent, loving help they offer to any who seek it, I am convinced that such animals are one of God's most thoughtful gifts to mankind. How could owning a dog (responsibly and kindly, without intent to abuse it or other people through it) ever be an example of depravity? It's simply ridiculous.
During periodic crackdowns, police have confiscated dogs from their owners right off the street; and state media has lectured Iranians on the diseases spread by canines.But apparently, many Iranians have ignored this nonsense and gone on having pet dogs (good for them!), which the state has more or less allowed or pretended not to notice. However, that may change with the passage of proposed legislation that would criminalize dog ownership and introduce $100 - $500 fines for owners and confiscation of canine pets.
The article goes on, of course. Most of it is predictable or familiar (dogs are "unclean", they're a "vulgar Western habit", they're the thin edge of the wedge of Westernization, they're a sign of rebellion against the powers that be, blah blah blah), but it's still interesting. And sickening. It's not the most sickening thing about Iran (and similar), but still... it's bad enough. What is wrong with some people?