Socal Official Under Fire for Naming Dog Muhammad

By Vikki Vargas and Julie Brayton
|  Wednesday, Sep 28, 2011  |  Updated 6:31 AM PDT
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Muslim groups in San Juan Capistrano became outraged when Councilman Derek Reeve announced at a recent council meeting that he named his dog Muhammad after the Muslim prophet. Reeve won't apologize, saying that he's testing the right of free speech.

Vikki Vargas, Kevin Dahlgren

Muslim groups in San Juan Capistrano became outraged when Councilman Derek Reeve announced at a recent council meeting that he named his dog Muhammad after the Muslim prophet. Reeve won't apologize, saying that he's testing the right of free speech.

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A San Juan Capistrano city leader who recently revealed he named his dog after the Muslim prophet Muhammad refuses to apologize to his critics.

It all started when city council members discussed putting a dog park off of Camino Capistrano.

Before they could even take a vote, San Juan Capistrano Councilman Derek Reeve spoke up.

"I have two new dogs and I'm excited about a dog park," said Reeve at a recent council meeting. "America and Muhammad want to play with dogs -- that's right, I named my dog Muhammad, more on that later."

Ray Qoed was in the audience that night, hoping to get approval for a new convenience store. As a Muslim, he said, he was offended.

"I got shocked to be honest with you," said Qoed. "That's his, one opinion, and I don't think nobody agreed with him."

Since that initial meeting, other council members have gone on record criticizing Reeve.

Conservative television commentator, Bill O'Reilly, even took a shot at the councilman on his "Pinheads & Patriots" segment.

"Reeve says he named his dog Muhammad to teach his kid about free speech," said O'Reilly on Fox News on Sept. 22. "You want to teach your children about intolerance, there are plenty of other ways to do it."

On his Facebook page, Councilman Reeve joked about being called a pinhead by O'Reilly.

But the Council on Islamic Relations wants an apology, accusing Reeve of disrespecting the Muslim prophet. So far, Reeve has refused.

Resident Jurgen Schambach thinks there is a free speech discussion in all of this. He named his German shepherd "Blitz."

"I don't name my dog Jesus because it's my own choice, but if somebody would like to do that, why not? We should not go to war over that one," said Schambach.

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