Monday, August 4, 2008
Very Odd News Stories Involving Dogs
I was reading through the paper this morning and there were 3 stories that caught my eye - 2 of them involved violence against family members where the violent person first killed the family members dog and THEN killed the family member the same way. It's like as if they were saying - I'm going to kill the thing that's most important to you - and then I'm going to do it to you - which they then did.
And then the 3rd story really shows how dogs are treated differently in different cultures around the world - Saudi Arabia has banned walking dogs in public because they think it will attract mixing of the sexes - because after all - dogs are a "chick magnet". It's like the ultimate macho thinking in a patriarchal society.
Here are the stories - and they're a bity gory, so avert your eyes if you have to:
Man beheads girlfriend in Greece
Mon. Aug 4 - 4:31 AM
ATHENS, Greece (AP) — A 31-year-old man killed his girlfriend on the Greek island of Santorini on Sunday, beheaded her, then fled in a patrol car, a local official said.
During the ensuing chase, the suspect was shot five times by police and ran over two women who were riding a motorcycle before he was caught, the official said.
The suspect, Athanassios Arvanitis, a cook at a local restaurant, is undergoing surgery at an island hospital, said Chrysanthos Roussos, head of the Santorini district on the island.
Neighbours said that, following a heated argument, Arvanitis beheaded his girlfriend’s dog with a butcher knife, then killed and beheaded the woman.
The victim, 25-year-old Adamantia Karkali, worked as a teacher at a local village.
Saudis ban sale of dogs, cats; say walking a pet could attract women
By DONNA ABU-NASR The Associated Press
Mon. Aug 4 - 4:31 AM
RIYADH, Saudi Arabia — Every single man knows: Walking a dog in the park equals sure babe magnet. Saudi Arabia’s Islamic religious police, in their zeal to keep the sexes apart, want to make sure the technique doesn’t catch on here.
The solution: Ban selling dogs and cats as pets, as well as walking them in public.
The prohibition went into effect on Wednesday in the Saudi capital, Riyadh, and authorities in the city say they will strictly enforce it — unlike previous such bans in the cities of Mecca and Jiddah, which have been ignored and failed to stop sales.
Violators found outside with their pets will have their beloved poodles and other furry companions confiscated by agents of the Commission for the Promotion of Virtue and the Prevention of Vice, the official name of the religious police, tasked with enforcing Saudi Arabia’s strict Islamic code.
The commission’s general manager, Othman al-Othman, said the ban was ordered because of what he called "the rising of phenomenon of men using cats and dogs to make passes at women and pester families" as well as "violating proper behaviour in public squares and malls."
"If a man is caught with a pet, the pet will be immediately confiscated and the man will be forced to sign a document pledging not to repeat the act," al-Othman told the Al-Hayat newspaper. "If he does, he will be referred to authorities."
The Saudi-owned Al-Hayat announced the ban in its Wednesday edition, saying it was ordered by the acting governor of Riyadh province, Prince Sattam, based on an edict from the Council of Senior Islamic Scholars and several religious police reports of pet owners harassing women and families.
Commission authorities often do not formally announce to the public new rules that they intend to implement. Officials from the commission and Riyadh city government could not be reached for comment on Thursday, which is a weekend day in Saudi Arabia. The English-language Arab News reported on the ban on Thursday.
So far, the new prohibition did not appear to have any effect in Riyadh. It’s extremely rare, anyway, to see anyone walking a dog — much less carrying a cat in public — in the capital, despite the authorities’ claims of flirtatious young men luring girls with their pets in malls.
Salesmen at a couple of Riyadh pet stores on Thursday said they did not receive any official orders from the commission banning the sale of pets. Cats and dogs were still on display.
"I didn’t hear of the ban," said Yasser al-Abdullah, a 28-year-old Saudi nurse, who was at one pet store with his three-month-old collie, Joe.
Al-Abdullah, who also owns an eight-month-old Labrador, said a couple of Western friends had been told to get off the streets by the religious police for walking their dogs.
"I won’t allow the commission to take my dogs from me," he said.
The religious police prowl streets and malls throughout the kingdom, ensuring unmarried men and women do not mix, confronting women they feel are not properly covered or urging men to go to prayers.
They also often make attempts to plug the few holes in the strict gender segregation that innovations bring. In 2004, they tried to ban cameras on cellphones, fearing that men and women would exchange pictures of each other — though the prohibition was quickly revoked. Every year, religious police warn against marking Valentine’s Day, even trying to prevent people from wearing red clothing on the holiday, which they consider a Western creation that encourages vice.