Syrian Muslim leaders in Damascus have reportedly issued a fatwa ruling that cats, dogs and animals killed by bombs are fit for human consumption. It comes after a similar religious edict was also issued by a cleric in the Yarmouk Palestinian refugee camp in Damascus.
These fatwas follow a ruling that was handed down last year in the Syrian city of Homs allowing for the eating of donkeys as well as cats and dogs, according to Al Arabiya.
While perhaps shocking to western ears, it appears the rulings are largely aimed at raising awareness for the growing desperation of the civilians living under siege as the two-and-a-half-year Syrian civil war rages.
Syrian refugee children stand near their makeshift tents in central Ankara on Oct. 12, 2013. (Getty Images)
Al Arabiya reported that Muslim religious leaders in southern Damascus are pleading for international aid in a video the Arabic channel aired on Monday.
“How does the world sleep with full stomachs while there are hungry people, and not far from the main city [Damascus], just few meters way?” Al Arabiya quoted an unnamed leading imam as saying.
“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?” the imam pleaded.
He said while many Muslims are currently in Mecca, Saudi Arabia wearing white robes as they perform the hajj, “there are people who died from hunger [in Syria], and were dressed with white coffins.”
Syrian refugee children play on a swing in a poor seaside neighborhood in the northern Lebanese city of Tripoli as Muslims around the world marked the Eid al-Adha holiday or "The Feast of Sacrifice," commemorating Abraham's willingness to sacrifice his son Ismail on God's command, Oct. 15, 2013. (Getty Images)
“Are you waiting for us to eat the flesh of our martyrs and our dead after fearing our lives? … You have forgot[ten] that you have brothers and sisters in southern Damascus who are hungry,” he added.
On Friday, Syrian troops loyal to President Bashar Assad and their Hezbollah allies recaptured two southern suburbs of Damascus in fighting that reportedly killed 70 people.