Syrian Clerics Issue Fatwa Allowing Starving Syrians to Eat Cats and Dogs

Your News Companion by Ben Mathis-Lilley
Oct. 15 2013 5:59 PM

Syrian Clerics Issue Fatwa Allowing Starving Syrians to Eat Cats and Dogs

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A rebel fighter delivers food with a car in the war-torn Salaheddin district of the northern Syrian city of Aleppo on October 7, 2013.

Photo by KARAM AL-MASRI/AFP/Getty Images

Another sign of the dire conditions of Syrians struggling to survive civil war came on Tuesday when a group of Syrian clerics issued a fatwa allowing people living in the Damascus suburbs to eat dogs, cats and donkeys to survive, the BBC reports.

Islam normally forbids eating the meat of these animals, but the clerics authorized consuming them as reports emerge of starvation in some Damascus suburbs. The video announcement from the clerics came as the country celebrates the Muslim holiday Eid al-Adha, a celebration that usually involves feasting.

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The clerics said the fatwa was a cry for help to the rest of the world, according to the BBC, and “if the situation continued to deteriorate, the living would have to eat the dead.”

Elliot Hannon is a writer in Washington, D.C. Follow him on Twitter.