Salam and Greetings to all,
Well, recently Malaysians have been shocked with 'I Want to Touch a Dog' event and it went viral across social network, persay.
So, trapped between legal religious view or with one's own positive desire of knowing the animal better has left Malaysians to ponder on the real issue which had impacted negatively from many sides.
Personally, I would say, there's nothing wrong with holding such an event, but the most prior thing which should be done in the first hand is to relate it with community, norms and religion surrounding it. Not to mention, most Malaysians are Muslims, practicing Shafi'e School of Sunni, thus wraps up the whole issue that, touching dogs and pigs are forbidden in Islam.
There are reasons, solid reasons, I would say why the Muslims are forbidden to touch those animals. Not because Muslims alienate the specified animals, but to obey what the religion has taught them to. Muslims do respect animals like dogs and pigs as part of the universe, and OF COURSE should not be ABUSED. Islam is a religion of peace and profoundly teaches its believers to respect and love animals and entities living inside universe.
But really, touching dog, not by mistake, is forbidden in Islam. And that is the reason why, whenever Muslims accidentally touched these animals, they have to undergo through a 'process' of 'sertu', that is cleansing body through soils and pure water (search for further details). Soil kills bacterias spreaded by the animals and it was scientifically proven by scientists once.
Not to say, blackmailing such a programme, it is an educational theme based programme, but certain rules and regulations should be re-improvise back. The programme is good in terms of removing away negative stigmas around those who are not used to it. But, sometimes, not all things are meant to be for all. People should be aware and alert about one another's sensitivity issue.
We learn through mistakes. All humans appreciate nature and things living inside it, but truly, one should also respect another group's belief.