A troubling sign has been posted on Bliss Street, near Daouq mosque located before the Hobeiche police station.

The sign stipulates that dogs are not allowed to pass by the mosque, stating that this public sidewalk is a “praying area.” The sign also “cleverly” includes the instructions in Tagalog, the language of the Philippines – due to the fact that some Filipino housekeepers walk dogs.

(Photo courtesy of Mohamad Cheblak)

The real problem with this sign is claiming that this clearly public space (a sidewalk) is a praying area. Since when do praying areas extend to the outside of a mosque’s premises? Bliss Street is one of the most diverse streets in all of Lebanon, with many students and foreigners living in its vicinity due to the high number of schools and universities in the area, namely AUB and LAU. This makes the sidewalks of Bliss Street a prime public space with students and inhabitants constantly walking up and down them.

So what’s next in Lebanon? With every sect and religion operating with its own set of rules, are there going to be areas where women aren’t allowed to pass because they offend a certain group of people? Are there going to be areas that operate under a separate rule of law from the rest of country?

It is understandable that they may not want dog feces surrounding the mosque grounds, as most people do not want feces on the streets, but a simple sign asking people to pick up after their pets would be much more appropriate than closing a public space off to specific people and their beloved pets. Keeping these creatures (that were created by your God) away from your space won’t give you a fast ticket to heaven. Rather it is being kind to all creatures, and respecting all people.

In a country that is already partitioned and neatly divided, in a country where public space is already so limited and inaccessible, it is unacceptable to tape off yet another corner and give it a separate set of rules just to suit your needs.

All Dogs Go To Heaven, Not All Humans Do

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Hania Osta chapeau haha u said everything i wanted to say

Ibrahim Ali Ayoub on Apr 17, 2015 via mobile web
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Hania Osta chapeau haha u said everything 👌🏻

Ibrahim Ali Ayoub on Apr 17, 2015 via mobile web
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Look to yourself for narrow mindedness. Using your logic there should be similar signs along all public ( all) roads and sidewalks. Grow up.

Aneese Makdisi on Apr 16, 2015 via web