Community leaders and residents have criticised leaflets being posted to homes calling for a ban on dogs in public.
The pamphlets say dogs are ‘impure’ and should be ‘limited’ in ‘public spheres’ out of respect for Muslim families.
They have been received by households in Cheetham Hill and Salford and are believed to be connected to a campaign group called ‘For Public Purity’.
Senior Cheetham Hill councillor Naeem Hassan branded the idea nonsense and told the M.E.N he believed the messages were designed to divide communities. Other residents in nearby Salford also aired their scepticism.
Fayyaz Ali, 39, who lives on Pentlands Avenue in Salford, is Muslim and has two dogs. He thinks the leaflets are a scam to incite hatred in the community, and he said no Muslim organisation would post such leaflets.
He told the M.E.N: “This has got to be a scam. I’m a Muslim and the Muslim law says that if you live in a country that is not Muslim, which is England, you respect the law of the land.
“The Muslim law does not apply in any different country. For example, my parents are from Pakistan. If I had a problem living here I should go back to Pakistan and live there.
“Fair enough that we live here but we should respect what other people want. We should be a part of this society, rather than make up our own little society.”
The leaflets say: “This area is home to a large Muslim community. Please have respect for us and for our children and limit the presence of dogs in the public sphere.
“Keeping the purity of the public space enables the Muslims to remain untainted and without blemish.
“As part of this effort, we have chosen to address one of the aspects that can have a detrimental effect on the purity of the public space, with the aspect being the presence of dogs who are considered impure in Islam.”
Cheetham Hill councillor Naeem Hassan, who has lived in the community for more than 30 years, called on the public to ignore the leaflets.
He said: “In our house in Pakistan we keep dogs and many of my friends here have dogs. We keep ourselves clean and away from animals before prayer but Muslim people do keep dogs in their homes.