Syrian clerics in southern Damascus issued a religious ruling (fatwa) that allows starving people to eat cats and dogs, according to a report by Al-Arabiya on Monday. The clerics issued the fatwa in an appeal for humanitarian aid.
“How does the world sleep with full stomachs while there are hungry people, and not far from the main city [Damascus],” said a leading imam originally broadcasted by the Southern Damascus Media Office.
The Imam went on to say that while Muslims were busy on the pilgrimage (hajj) to Mecca, “there are people who died from hunger.”
“Haven’t you heard the fatwas that have filled our streets and mosques by permitting people to eat cats, dogs and other animals that have already been killed by the bomb attacks?” he said according to the report.
He added, “Are you waiting for us to eat the flesh of our martyrs and our dead after fearing our lives?”
A fatwa permitting the eating of cats, dogs, and donkeys was also issued by an imam in the Palestinian Yarmouk refugee camp in southern Damascus, which has been under siege, according to a report in the London-based daily Asharq Al-Awsat on Sunday.
The camp and several other areas in Damascus have been under siege for more than three months and the Syrian regime has cut off the city and prevented the entry of any food.
Last year a similar fatwa was issued in the Syrian city of Homs allowing the eating of cats, dogs, and donkeys.