Muslims have complained over a police advert featuring a puppy sitting in an officer's hat.
A police force has apologised to Islamic leaders for the "offensive" postcard advertising a new non-emergency telephone number, which shows a six-month-old trainee police dog named Rebel.
The German shepherd puppy has proved hugely popular with the public, hundreds of who have logged on to the force's website to read his online training diary.
But some Muslims in the Dundee area have reportedly been upset by the image because they consider dogs to be "ritually unclean", while shopkeepers have refused to display the advert.
But some Islamic scholars believe that dogs are impure and therefore 'haraam' - or forbidden - except for use in hunting or farming, and that it is not hygienic to keep a dog in the house.
They say that the "impurity of dogs is the greatest of animal impurities", and anyone who touches one must wash the body part that has come into contact with the animal seven times.
Mohammed Asif, a Dundee City councillor who sits on the Tayside Joint Police Board, said the postcards had been raised this week with John Vine, the chief constable.
He said: "My concern was that it is not welcomed by all communities, with the dog on the cards. It was probably a waste of resources going to these communities. The police should have understood.
"Since then the police have explained that it was an oversight on their part and that if they had seen it was going to cause upset they would not have done it.
"People who have shops just will not put up the postcard. But the police have said to me that it was simply an oversight and they did not seek to offend or upset."
Mohammed Asif, Daily Telegraph 53 Comments
[7/3/2008 10:20:00 PM]
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