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Bomb-sniffing dogs on Vancouver transit worry Muslim leader
From CBC News
Specially trained bomb-sniffing dogs might soon be patrolling Metro Vancouver's buses and SkyTrains just in time for the Olympics, but that has some Muslims concerned.
The Metro Vancouver Transit Police Service is in the process of selecting the handlers and dogs that will be part of the two-year pilot project, said deputy chief George Beattie.
Once the teams are trained, the dogs will work on the entire transit system, including buses, SkyTrains and SeaBus ferries.
But the idea of being sniffed up and down by a slobbery pooch — no matter how well trained — has already raised concerns among some members of Metro Vancouver's Muslim community.
Some devout Muslims consider dogs to be unclean animals and try to avoid any contact with them. Some Muslim cab drivers in Vancouver have even refused to take guide dogs in their vehicles and will call for a second vehicle to take the fare instead.
Shawket Hassan, the vice-president of the B.C. Muslim Association, says he wants to make sure the dogs will not touch passengers during searches, which could lead to problems, particularly for Muslims heading to a mosque to pray.
"If they touch the body, then there is a probability they will leave some saliva on the clothes," said Hassan.
"If I am going to the mosque and pray, or doing something that way, and I have this saliva on my body … I have to go and change or clean," said Hassan.
He pointed out that devout Muslims pray five times a day, no matter where they are.
Hassan said he wants to work with the transit police to develop guidelines that would keep the dogs at least 30 centimetres away from passengers.
Must not let them get close enough to smell the hidden substance must we?
I know a couple of police sniffer dogs and delightful friendly creatures they are. A dog thst isn't good with people couldn't do the job.
Never forget it isn't what goes into (or onto in this case) a man that defiles him, but what comes out of him. That is, his words and deeds.