Yesterday's post about guide dogs and Muslims reminded me of Rebiya Kadeer's memoir, Dragon Fighter, which I've been reading intermittently. Early on in the book, Kadeer mentions her family's beloved pet dogs, particularly her childhood favourite, named Shark. In 1960, Chinese soldiers took the dogs away (part of a general confiscation of Uyghur property). Shark escaped and returned to the family, only to freeze to death a few weeks later. Kadeer's father refused to turn over his body to the Chinese, even though it meant paying a fine.
This certainly seems to show that not all Muslims have objected to keeping dogs. Kadeer has unquestionably done more on behalf of oppressed Muslims than the idiotic clerics who tell cab drivers not to pick up blind passengers. I think I prefer her version of the faith.
Dragon Fighter isn't particularly well-written (perhaps because it was produced "with Alexandra Cavelius" -- I certainly hope Kadeer herself isn't this plodding and boastful), but it tells an interesting story. I must admit, though, that I've put it aside for the moment while I read A House for Mr Biswas, one of three V.S. Naipaul books that I picked up in a charity shop. (I've already read and enjoyed An Area of Darkness). On top of that, I'm also reading David MacDonald's Encyclopedia of Mammals, one snippet at a time -- it's a wonderful book, but much too large to take out of the house.