In the UK a Muslim taxi driver recently refused to give a lift to a disabled woman's dog, alleging that it broke the rules of Ramadan. Despite the fact that by law no taxi driver can refuse to carry a disabled passenger or assistance animal unless he is medically exempt, the man has not lost his taxi licence and has not been fired. The owner of the taxi firm said he would respect the driver's religious beliefs.
This is not the first time and won't be the last that Islamic and Western attitudes to dogs conflict.
There have been many cases, both in Europe and North America, of Muslim taxi and bus drivers refusing to let dogs in (even guide dogs for the blind); of police not letting dogs near Muslim suspects or prisoners; of Muslim prison inmates being given new clothes and bedding after police sniffer dogs search their cells; of dogs being banned from touching copies of the Quran and other Islamic items in prison cells; of sniffer dogs trained to spot terrorists at train stations no longer allowed to come into contact with Muslim passengers and fitted with leather bootees to cover their paws when searching mosques and Muslim homes; of blind or disabled people accompanied by dogs facing Muslim hostility in hospitals, supermarkets and from Muslim bus passengers or turned away from restaurants; of Western citizens being handcuffed and threatened with arrest for walking leashed and well-behaved dogs close to Muslim rallies — the list could go on.