The use of the Scottie dogs in the 2014 Commonwealth Games opening ceremony has been branded as “disrespectful” to Muslims around the globe. Dogs are considered “unclean” and cannot be held by people of the faith. However a member of the Malaysian team needed to carry their dog as he refused to walk after his tartan coat was put on.
The Scottie dogs were used as a symbol of Scotland. Each country had their own dog leading them out and each dog wore a tartan coat. It was supposed to show another traditional aspect from the country, and most countries around the world praised the unique decision.
However, some of the Muslim communities have claimed that it was “disrespectful” and that they deserve an apology. The Malaysian community has been extremely vocal about it, considering a team member had to carry the dog out instead of having the dog walk in front. The Pan-Malaysian Islamic Party believes that the organizers should have been more aware of the religious views and been more accepting of them.
This will likely spark outrage across the Western countries, especially those in the United Kingdom. There have been numerous times when the Islamic states have chosen to be “disrespectful” to Christians and Christian countries around the world, along with other religions.
Some communities would now like an apology for the “disrespectful” use of Scottie dogs in the 2014 Commonwealth Games. These communities believe that it is a sensitive issue that the organizers would have known about beforehand. However, the Games organizers have not had any complaints from officials from the event countries, so have not issued an apology.
Muslims have stepped forward on social media sites making it clear that not all were offended by the use of Scottie dogs. In fact, some enjoyed seeing them in the 2014 Commonwealth Games Opening Ceremony because they are part of Scottish heritage. The Opening Ceremony was supposed to be all about the hosting nation, and that was Scotland at the end of the day.
Many of those watching the Opening Ceremony believed that the dogs stole the show. Throughout it all, Hamish, the dog leading the home team out, received the biggest applause of the night.
There are elements in all religions that are considered wrong or unclean to other religions. There are elements from heritages that are considered immoral and disrespectful to others nations. The use of the Scottie dogs was not an attempt to go against a certain religion, but was a way to include another popular element from the Scottish heritage. The organizers had every right to use something so inherently Scottish.
While the Malaysian Islamic group is annoyed at the use of the dogs and the team carrying it, the person who agreed to carrying it obviously was not that offended. The team representative would have had a choice and had the answer been no the organizers would have found an alternative. That fact does not stop some claiming that the use of Scottie dogs in the 2014 Commonwealth Games was “disrespectful.”
Opinion by Alexandria Ingham