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'Dog Named Muhammad' Joins Media Circus

Fox, Forbes, Washington Post and other national media publish stories about San Juan Capistrano City Councilman naming his dog 'Muhammad.'

A public official's comment about naming his dog after the Muslim prophet Muhammad, made in a sparsely-attended public meeting, is attracting media attention from state and national news outlets, including Fox News and Forbes.

"It's a shame that now it's become a media circus," said San Juan Capistrano Mayor Sam Allevato, who has been vocally critical of his colleague's comment. "It's an embarrassment for the city."

While remarking on plans for a , City Councilman Derek Reeve announced from the dais Sept. 6 that he had .

Although he said at the next such meeting, held Tuesday, that —who traditionally consider dogs unclean—he did not apologize for inadvertently offending some residents and a City Hall staffer.

Now, a quick Google search shows there's more than 150 reports broadcast on the Internet about Reeve's remark—and the critical responses of his council colleagues  and.

To name a few, the headlines read: "San Juan Capistrano Councilman Refuses to Apologize for Naming His Dog Muhammad," "Derek Reeve, OC Politician, Says His 'Bitch' of a Dog is Named Muhammad" and "California Councilman Criticized for Muhammad Remark."

Supposedly, conservative political commentator Bill O'Reilly plans to mention the dog drama in his 5 p.m. Fox news show, according to Reeve's Facebook page.

The LA Weekly and Orange County Register columnist Frank Mickadeit are also taking cracks at Reeve.

Reeve has said in an e-mail to Patch that he fears he may receive death threats. Those fears spurred Reeve to pull his biographic details from the city's website and his personal profile off of Facebook, Mickadeit reported.

But at the Sept. 20 City Council meeting, a dozen or so residents spoke in support of Reeve, saying he has a right to free speech. A number of commenters on this site have also said they have no issue with the Muhammad remark, and prefer the council focus on more pertinent matters.

When asked whether Allevato and Kramer may have helped incite the "media circus" by making Reeve's actions a talking point at Tuesday's council meeting, Allevato said they had to discuss the issue in a public forum as to not violate any open meeting laws.

"He could have just made this go away," Allevato said of Reeve's decision not to say he's sorry.

Allevato—who called Reeve's actions "juvenile"—said that in addition to local media outlets (Patch, the Capistrano Dispatch and the Orange County Register), he's been contacted for his opinion on matter by KFI and City News Service.

Alberto Barrera September 23, 2011 at 01:00 AM
Just saw it on O' Reilly, some interesting comments.....
Jenna Chandler September 23, 2011 at 01:08 AM
I don't have cable, would you mind recapping?
Alberto Barrera September 23, 2011 at 01:56 AM
I didn't record it, but in the Pinheads & Patriots bit of the show he called him a pinhead.
JessC September 23, 2011 at 02:20 AM
SJC is now famous for its Swallows, being a Sanctuary City, and now a resident dog by the name of Muhammad. What next? Mayor Allevato, I find your comment, "It's an embarrassment for the city" very disingenuous. Both you and Councilmember Kramer brought this circus to town. This would never have happened had Kramer resolved the issue with Councilmember Reeve in private. Of course, you did not help by allowing the circus to go on at Tuesday's council meeting. I am disgusted with all of you. Stop already. Just stop and get back to doing the People's Work!
OCPraetorian September 23, 2011 at 04:38 AM
Mr. Lyons, There's no time to correct all that you get wrong -- do you even go to meetings or just spend your time blogging? Mr. Kramer could not have avoided this by speaking privately. That was his entire point -- that silence would be seen as acceptance of what Mr. Reeve said. This whole thing could have been avoided by Mr. Reeve keeping the name of his dog to himself. When he broadcast it publicly from the dais, it became a public issue and Mr. Kramer, and Mayor Allevato, were correct to publicly denounce it, too. You folks make me laugh -- if it is Allevato or Kramer or Nielson or someone you don't like, everything is wrong because it's private. But here, your teaparty partner Derek gets called out publicly and suddenly city business should be done privately. Mr. Reeve announced his dog's name publicly, from the dais as a council member, as your and MY representative. That mandated that Mr. Kramer and Allevato correct the problem the same way -- publicly. You should attend a meeting so you know what you're talking about.
Lauren September 23, 2011 at 02:46 PM
Kudos to Mr. Reeve. He can name his dog anything he wants. I agree, he doesn't have to apologize. All the council members should stop commenting, just say "No Comment", refuse to talk about it and it will go away, and they can then get back to business.
j denton September 23, 2011 at 03:05 PM
i have been trying to come of with a name for my new female dog; i think i will go with Lauren
pjd September 23, 2011 at 03:55 PM
While publicly announcing the unfortunate name of his dog was not the wisest action of Councilman Reeve, the person(s) informing the international media could be endangering Reeve and his family. The informer(s) has/have much less wisdom than the Councilman and would be guilty of aiding and abetting if something bad happens.
Lauren September 23, 2011 at 10:51 PM
You think that is going to bother me? I have no issue with it. Name your dog whatever pleases you. When my kids played hockey, one of the other families had a dog that had the same name as my son and we had a dog with the same name as their son. We all found it funny.
Dan September 24, 2011 at 12:34 AM
Under which law would an informer be "guilty of aiding and abetting if something bad happens?"
Steve Behmerwohld September 24, 2011 at 02:56 AM
@ Dan, Jenna, you need a "Like" button.
Marianne Viscuso September 24, 2011 at 03:01 AM
What happened to the good old days and the good old names? SEE SPOT RUN~RUN SPOT RUN~!
pjd September 24, 2011 at 04:14 AM
Aiding and abetting law.
j denton September 24, 2011 at 05:25 AM
if there was a law as described by pjd, OReally would be in jail for aiding and abetting murder; for the assignation of Dr. Tiller
Dan September 24, 2011 at 02:26 PM
What does that mean, PJD?
pjd September 25, 2011 at 06:52 PM
Those words are in the dictionary.
j denton September 25, 2011 at 08:36 PM
unbelievable, it appears both pjd and reeves' suffer from the same pathology; the inability to admit a mistake, apologize and or accept the correction, and move on.
Tom February 13, 2013 at 08:46 AM
There is no problem at all with anyone who wants to call their Dog mohammed, other than who would want to do that as it is such a horrible name? I'll call my dog what ever I want! Dogs are not unclean, most have regular baths, unlike many of the people who who are likely to be offended. We are supposed to live in a free world with freedom of speech. It's about time we remembered this and stood up for our own values for a change. Liberal, Political Correctness will be the downfall of western society.

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