A group of Syrian sheiks and ulemas has issued a fatwa – an Islamic edict – which allows the inhabitants of the southern suburbs of Damascus to eat cats, dogs and donkeys so they do not starve because of the current civil war. “We are making a painful humanitarian appeal to everyone about the situation we are living in the south of Damascus,” the clerics said in a video posted on the Internet. They reported that residents of the southern districts, who suffer daily from bombings and clashes between the forces of the regime of Bashar al- Assad and the rebels, are at risk of starvation.
“Our faith authorizes eating cats, dogs and donkeys because people do not have food ,” explained the Muslim clerics who warned that if the situation continues, the living will be forced to eat the flesh of the dead.
The decree is binding on those who choose to follow the issuing authority, and it was released by the preacher of the mosque in the Palestinian refugee camp of Yarmouk , located south of the Syrian capital. According to the Asharq al- Awsat newspaper, in this camp the rebels hold positions, thus they suffer continuing attacks by Al- Assad troops.
The newspaper said three dogs were killed last Saturday, on the occasion of the beginning of the Eid al Adha.
Many suburbs of Damascus are besieged by famine. According to the newspaper, this was not the first time that the Muslims have religious decree like Yarmouk . A similar authorization was issued in neighborhoods in the city of Homs, where a rebel stronghold was destroyed by regime troops.
According to the BBC, NGOs noted that delivery of food and aid to areas that are under attack has to be a priority.
In this context, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) reported yesterday that the Syrian authorities had allowed 2,000 women, children and elderly to leave the town of Muadamiya al- Sham, southwest of the capital, which was under siege for several months.
According to the Islamic belief, it is prohibited for various reasons to consume the meat of dogs, cats and donkeys in some sayings of the Prophet Muhammad and the Quran. These interpretations considered that it is forbidden to eat these animals because they are “unclean”.
Since the start of the conflict in Syria, in March 2011, more than 100,000 Syrians have been killed according to the UN estimates.