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KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 20, 2014:

Despite the barrage of criticism towards the “I Want to Touch a Dog” event held on Sunday, organiser Syed Azmi Alhabshi has been receiving overwhelming support by friends and attendees of the awareness event.

Malays and non-Malays alike have taken to Syed Azmi’s personal Facebook page to share their sentiments of support, which came amidst criticism and abuse by many over the past couple of days.

With the Department of Islamic Development Malaysia (Jakim) saying they would probe the event and the Selangor Islamic Religious Council (Mais) saying today they had never given full approval for the event to be carried out, Syed Azmi has remained quiet, with calls to him byThe Rakyat Postgoing unanswered.

Mais today toldThe Rakyat Postthat the council’s chairman, Datuk Adzib Mohd Isa, via a letter, had merely stated there were “no objections” to the event.

Jakim in a statement had criticised and reprimanded the organiser and the entire event over the sensitive nature of it.

However, in coming to Syed’s defence, one Mohd Afzan Abd Rahman said many of the comments he saw came from those who thought they were “supposedly always right and knowledgeable”.

“Personally, I have been following this organiser through his FB. Although I’ve never met him, but to me, he is gifted.

“Charity is part of his life and family activities. If I were to list them, there are a lot…whoever wants to know, read it yourself,” he wrote.

He commended Syed Azmi for having the courage to organise such an event and pointed out that many grievances over the event came from Malays who abuse dogs.

“Ever heard of the case of the man who arrowed a dog? Think for yourselves…we are not so noble to judge others,” he expressed.

Siti Norhumairah MN was another who knew Syed Azmi from his previously organised programmes and had met him before.

Reading all the comments he received, Siti Norhumairah wrote, “Reading the statuses and comments on his news feed makes my heart want to voice out.

“First, you have never met him, but suddenly you come up with Islamic laws that you copy from Google and post on your wall and then comment like an ustaz/ustazah.

“Then you use disgraceful and abusive words. Did your religion teach you that’s the way to comment about someone?”

She also reprimanded those who criticised Syed Azmi and the event, but were not there.

“You saw pictures on FB and immediately judged, and saying it is a ‘Jewish hidden agenda’. Dude, you weren’t there, you didn’t experience the programme and you immediately judge without researching the event.

“Is that what your religion taught you?”

Siti Norhumairah said when she heard of the event, she was excited to be part of it and was happy that it was able to teach the younger generation and other races about Islam and dogs.

Having shared pictures of a puppy she met at the event, she said for the first time, she was able to set aside her fears and hold it.

“She is super cute. So active and pampered.

“My heart sank when I heard the voice of haters and discriminatory views towards dogs, especially after I was able to abandon my fears and say ‘she’s adorable’. Tthen they said ‘how stupid. Wearing a headscarf but touching a dog,” she shared.

Intan Jaafar was equally against the uproar created surrounding the event.

“I don’t get it really, why people are making so much fuss about touching a dog. An act to show compassion towards another fellow creature.

“Rather (than) all of you fighting against this small issue, why not complain about our fuel price going up and how we are going to pay our monthly dues, loan interest, usury (which is obviouslyharam), housing prices ridiculously skyrocketing etc,” she wrote.

To her, Syed’s event showed how Malays were more open towards accepting dogs to live in their surroundings.

“Kudos to you! We definitely can’t satisfy everybody, so just do whatever we believe in, and let Allah be the judge and not us humans,” she shared on his Facebook profile page.

Syed Azmi organised the event on Sunday at the Central Park, Bandar Utama, which saw Malaysians of all races and religions come together to share their common interest and fascination for man’s best friend.

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