A Scottish man faces multiple hate crime charges after it was discovered that he trained a dog to perform a Nazi gesture on command, the Jewish Chronicle reported Tuesday.
Markus Meechan was taken into custody by Scottish Police after it was discovered that he uploaded a video onto the Internet purportedly encouraging his girlfriend's pet pug to mimic the Nazi salute.
“My girlfriend is always ranting and raving about how cute and adorable her wee dog is. So I thought I would turn him into the least cute thing I could think of, which is a Nazi,” Meechan says in the clip.
The 28-year-old man from Glasgow said that the whole situation was merely a grim, tasteless "joke" and added that the Holocaust was "awful."
"The Holocaust was an awful thing, and it should never have happened, but, we still joke about it, because in our eyes laughing about terrible things often make them easier to deal with," Meechan was quoted by The Chronicle
The video, dubbed “M8 Yer Dugs A Nazi,” has so far garnered over 1.1 million hits on social media and continues to rise, the Chronicle added.
Meechan later says in the video: “Buddha - do you want to gas the Jews?,” and adds “sieg heil,” while giggling off camera.
Soon after Meechan's arrest, Scottish Police released a statement: “A 28-year-old man was arrested on Thursday April 28 in relation to the alleged publication of offensive material online under the Communications Act 2003, and a report has been submitted to the appropriate official.”
“Posting offensive material online or in any other capacity will not be tolerated and police will act swiftly to tackle hate crimes that are motivated by malice or ill-will because of faith, ethnicity, gender identity, sexual orientation or disability," a police official added.
Meechan later explained that he was not an anti-Semite and was simply expressing his "darker sense of humor."
“I don’t actually hate Jewish people and the video was just an insight into the darker side of my humor, a prank to annoy my girlfriend and that I did not intend for people, other than people who knew my comedy, to see the video,” Meechan said.