The use of Scottish terrier dogs as mascots at the opening ceremony of the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow has been branded “shameful” and “offensive” by Malaysian politicians.
Around 40 of the black “Scottie” dogs were used as mascots to lead out each team at last Wednesday’s opening ceremony at the Celtic Park stadium. The dogs, which wore tartan coats with the name of each competing country on, proved popular on social media, with Hamish – the dog who led out Team Scotland – receiving the largest cheer.
However, some politicians and religious leaders in Malaysia have taken exception to the dogs, claiming that associating them with Muslim countries is “disrespectful”.
Some Muslims view dogs as “unclean” in Islamic culture, with more extreme Islamist groups even advocating jihad against the animals.
The Telegraph reports that Mohamad Sabu, deputy president of Malaysia’s opposition Pan-Malaysian Islamic Party said: “Malaysia and all Islamic countries deserve an apology from the organiser.
“This is just so disrespectful to Malaysia and Muslims – especially as it happened during Ramadan. Muslims are not allowed to touch dogs, so the organiser should have been more aware and sensitive on this issue.
“It is hoped this incident can teach other Western countries to be more respectful in the future.”
Dato Ibrahim Bin Ali, founder the even more extreme Perkasa movement, added: “I think it is unbecoming. The hosts have not been sensitive enough – especially in a so-called knowledgeable and civilised society like Britain.
“It is shameful and has offended not only Malaysia as a Muslim country, but Muslims around the world.”
A Glasgow 2014 spokesman told the Telegraph: “Glasgow 2014 have received no complaints from the Commonwealth Games Associations of the competing nations and territories following the Opening Ceremony.”