Who Kicked The Dogs Out?

Man's best friend faithfully contributes to society in numerous ways. Some dogs help to enforce the law by detecting illegal drugs or locating bombs. Other dogs stand guard to protect our lives and property. A growing number of dogs help spread happiness by visiting nursing homes and hospitals. In the aftermath of 9/11 specially trained dogs helped in the frantic search for survivors.

For a sightless person a guide dog is a tremendous blessing. A specially trained seeing eye dog helps to provide their master with freedom, security and friendship. Imagine that you were blind and needed to go to the doctor's office, your guide dog would lead you to the bus stop and help you board the bus. Now, imagine that the bus driver forced you and your dog back off the bus.

Of course such a thing could never happen in a civilized society because there are laws which protect disabled persons and their service animals from discrimination and no person of good conscience would commit such a reprehensible act. Unfortunately civilized society isn't what it used to be.

In the United Kingdom, Muslim bus drivers and cabbies are turning a blind eye to the disability discrimination law and common decency by kicking guide dogs and their beleaguered masters to the curb. The U.K. Daily Mail reports that.

Blind passengers are being ordered off buses or refused taxi rides because Muslim drivers or passengers object to their ‘unclean' guide dogs.

One pensioner, a cancer sufferer, told how (he) had twice been confronted by drivers and asked to get off the bus because of his guide dog, and also faced hostility at a hospital and in a supermarket over the animal.

The problem to carry guide dogs on religious grounds has become so widespread that the matter was raised in the House of Lords last week, prompting transport minister Norman Baker to warn that a religious objection was not a reason to eject a passenger with a well-behaved guide dog.


Yesterday both the Guide Dogs for the Blind Association and the National Federation of the Blind confirmed the problem was common, and, according to the latter organization was ‘getting worse.'

The tension stems from a strand of Islamic teaching which warms against contact with dogs because the animal's saliva was considered to be impure, the Muslim Council of Britain said.

Legal action against drivers who refuse to comply with Britain's disability discrimination law is exceedingly rare due to the genuine fear of retaliation. It is a sad state of affairs when blind persons and their guide dogs are forced to cope with new barriers of discrimination placed in their path under the guise of religion.


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