NEWS AND COMMENT – UAE: There is a tweet on the internet that has no comments and no shares. It is almost invisible. But it tells a profound story of the ignorance of some UAE Muslims who are blatantly going against the wishes of their Prophet, the founder of the Muslim faith, the Prophet Muhammad. Because of the well-publicised story of his love of cats, particularly his favourite, Muezza, Muslims are by tradition, encouraged to cherish cats.
— UAE News | أخبار الإمارات (@EmiratesNews) September 13, 2021
Note: This is an embedded tweet. Sometimes they are deleted at source which stops them working on this site. If that has happened, I apologise but I have no control over it.
And yet, there are disturbing reports coming out of the UAE of kids shooting at community cats with airguns for the fun of it causing serious, life threatening injuries. We are told that kids are doing this. What are their parents doing? Are they encouraging them in buying airguns for them? It looks like that. The attitude and behaviour of these people flies in the face of the Prophet’s wishes. Not a good optic.
“The federal Constitution declares that Islam is the official religion of the country; the Government does not recognize or permit conversion from Islam to another religion” – Wikipedia. It seems that all UAE citizens, or almost all, are Muslims – “According to the 2005 census, 100% of the citizens are Muslim”.
All the cats living in the country should be automatically protected by the country’s official religion if it counts for anything. Westerners are given the impression that Muslims are very committed to their religion unlike Christians; a religion that is dying out. So where is the commitment to animal welfare as espoused by the Prophet?
And it is getting worse according to Fawaz Kanaan, an animal rescuer in the UAE. The UAE National News reports that Kanaan has rescued 2 cats in Dubai shot with airguns and 4 more previously in Dubai and Abu Dhabi. All of them had metal airgun pellets inside their bodies. One of the cats died. In some cases the surgery was very difficult.
Kanaan said that “It’s really out of control at the moment. It’s easy to get these weapons. They’re having fun, these children – they’re just shooting everything. If we keep quiet, no one will know about it. We must spread the word … it’s happening a lot. It looks like children are telling other children.”
Kanaan has reported 12 cats in all in the UAE shot with airguns this year. In 2019 there were 22 reported cases, and 17 in 2019. Many of these crimes are unreported so the numbers are almost certainly much higher.
A UAE judge, Judge Ahmed Ibrahim Saif, head of the Dubai Civil Court, commented and said “What kind of pleasure or benefit does anyone get from doing something like this? Nothing. The person doing something like this is unstable.”
I respectfully disagree. Some people do get pleasure out of shooting at cats. They really do because they don’t understand that they are sentient beings who feel pain and fear. It is human nature, sadly. The worst of us.
But he is correct in saying that “Families have a role in this too by showing mercy to all beings in front of their children and talking to them about it”. It is down to the parents of kids to teach them to respect all animals including community cats. This distressing story of anti-Islamic behaviour is down to poor parenting if it is true that kids are the main perpetrators.
Another rescue organisation, the Italian-based International Organisation for Animal Protection, has also posted online that there are more cases of animal cruelty in the UAE.
P.S. Shooting cats with BB guns is not uncommon in the US and shooting cats with airguns is not uncommon in the UK. The problem is worldwide.
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