Did Muslims in Manchester, England, demand that locals not walk dogs in public since it is a violation of Sharia and "disrespects" them? No, that's not true: There is no proof that such a claim, which has been debunked before, came from the Muslim commmunity in Manchester. Yet the rumor has continued to circulate on social media since at least 2016.
The claim resurfaced in an article published by KLA News on February 26, 2020, titled "Muslims Demand Locals Don't Walk Dogs In Public - Violation Of Sharia And "Disrespects" Them - KLA News" (archived here) which opened:
In Mаnсhеѕtеr, раmрhlеtѕ hаvе bееn dіѕtrіbutе bу a grоuр саllеd Publіс Purіtу hаvе dеmаndеd thаt Brіtѕ dо nоt tаkе thеіr dоgѕ out іn рublіс as dоgѕ аrе соnѕіdеrеd іmрurе іn thе Islamic fаіth.
Thе grоuрѕ mеѕѕаgе іѕ thаt Brіtіѕh сіtіzеnѕ muѕt dо сеrtаіn things thаt may be соnѕіdеrеd unсоmfоrtаblе іn оrdеr tо mаkе іtѕ Muѕlіm сіtіzеnѕ fееl mоrе аt hоmе. Whу exactly thіѕ tуре оf whіnу, ultіmаtum іnduсіng bеhаvіоr wоuld mаkе citizens of a nоn-Iѕlаmіс nаtіоn саrе how іtѕ Muslim rеѕіdеntѕ fееl іѕ unсlеаr
Whаt іѕ сlеаr, hоwеvеr, іѕ that thіѕ tуре оf іntruѕіvе behavior frоm Muslim іmmіgrаntѕ hеlрѕ to еxрlаіn Brіtіѕh сіtіzеnѕ unwіllіngnеѕѕ tо rеmаіn in thе Eurореаn Unіоn.
Users on social media saw this:
The claim is a hoax dating back to at least 2016, when, on July 11, the Facebook group calling itself For Public Purity posted:
That same group name was listed on the flyer posted in Manchester, England, the same year as the Facebook post - 2016 - that asked residents to "limit the presence of dogs in the public sphere" out of respect for the area's "large Muslim community." But the group's authenticity has been called out by The Telegraph, BuzzfeedNews.com and Snopes.com. As Buzzfeed.com and the Toronto Star jointly reported, similar signs, allegedly posted by the same group, appeared in Pitt Meadows, British Columbia, in 2017.
In both instances, Muslim leaders, as well as government officials, denied posting the flyers - raising the possibility that an anti-Islam hoax was at play. Local Muslim groups in Manchester, for example, said that they had never heard of For Public Purity and believed the flyers were an attempt to increase anti-Muslim sentiment.
BuzzfeedNews.com reported there was evidence that the flyer was "either started, or helped along, by 4chan trolls." The site noted users were posting about the public outrage and warned others to leave the full name of "the P-blicP-rity website" out so that their archives would not be searched and outed.
The For Public Purity Facebook page has not put up anything since the July 11, 2016, post.
Some commenters on the post were outraged:
"Take your Islam and LEAVE if you cannot integrate. You are Najes and impure. You are nothing but an evil terrorist. My dogs are PURER and CLEANER than a filthy person like you. Go back to the hellhole you raised in and stay away from our democracy."
However, others called out the post for the outrageous claims:
We're all being trolled - this is a fake page trying to stir up hatred between communities. Dogs do exist and roam freely in countries where Islam is the predominant religion. If they roam freely in places like Egypt and Turkey, why would Muslims try and ban them in public places in the UK?? Just think people!
Here is a snapshot of some of the back-and-forth on the For Public Purity page:
On April 4, 2018, the story circulated again on the Black Sphere Facebook page, a conservative website in the United States that shared the story with their followers - who were outraged.
With 6,000 likes and 4,000 shares on the Blake Sphere Facebook post, comments flowed in with anti-Muslim sentiment.