- Clip features Maznah Mohd Yusof, 38, celebrating the Eid al-Fitr festival
- Video shows woman washing her dog’s legs and feeding them biscuits
- Investigated on suspicion of causing disharmony on religious grounds
- Arrested last Wednesday and taken into custody before being released
By Mark Duell
PUBLISHED: 10:16 EST, 4 August 2013 | UPDATED: 10:16 EST, 4 August 2013
A video showing a woman performing a washing ritual on her pets has been branded ‘anti-Islamic’.
The controversial two-minute YouTube clip features dog trainer Maznah Mohd Yusof, 38, celebrating the Eid al-Fitr festival – known as Hari Raya in Malaysia, where it was filmed – washing her dogs’ legs.
It also shows Maznah walking near a mosque and feeding biscuits to her pets and appeared on the Facebook pages of several Islamic non-governmental organisations, prompting police to take action.
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Maznah was investigated on suspicion of causing disharmony on grounds of religion and arrested last Wednesday and taken into custody in Kuala Lumpur, before being released on bail last Friday.
It has been suggested that she could face up to five years in prison if charged and found guilty. But Maznah has claimed the video was filmed in 2010 and has nothing to do with insulting Islam.
She said that she was simply reminding people to celebrate Eid al-Fitr – a holiday which marks the end of Ramadan and literally means ‘the festival of breaking the fast’ – with animals and humans.
The video has also sparked a debate over the status of dogs in Islam, with many Muslims brought up in devout households taught that dogs are scary and dirty – and that their saliva is unclean.
But many Muslims around the world own dogs – and while some argue that the animals should only be allowed for security and hunting, others claim it is right to be kind to creatures on Earth.
Lawyer Latheefa Koya told Malaysia’s Star newspaper that Maznah has admitted to police that she is behind the video. Another of her lawyers said she will only have to attend court in future if required.
‘If she fails to be present in court, she will have to pay a fine of RM10,000 (£2,000),’ the lawyer, G. Visvanathan Nair, told the Star.
The video, uploaded by a ‘Acaiseven Fiska’ to YouTube last Monday, is entitled ‘menghina Islam . 1 hari di hari raya’ and has been viewed more than 200,000 times.
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