The Islamic State has issued some bizarre edicts in the past – the Poultry Jihad against “infidel chicken,” for example – but their new ban against pigeon breeding, because the sight of pigeon genitals while the birds are in flight supposedly offends Allah, takes the prize.
“Jihadis operating in the group’s ‘Euphrates province,’ which stretches from Anbar in Iraq to Dier ez Zour in Syria, told pigeon breeders they had one week to stop the practice or face public flogging,” reports the UK Daily Mail.
It is not the first time they have tried to stamp out “blasphemous” pigeon breeding. On the previous occasion, ISIS reportedly arrested 15 boys for the practice, and executed three of them. The lucky ones came home covered with bruises, after their parents scraped up the money to pay a hefty fine.
Back then, the jihadis claimed that fooling around with pigeons distracted young people from properly worshiping Allah. Some wondered if the Islamic State was suspicious of carrier pigeons being used to smuggle contraband goods and messages.
Now senior ISIS clerics seem convinced the pigeons themselves are an offense against the divine gaze. The edict, printed on official ISIS letterhead, still complains about pigeon breeding as a waste of time, but also vows to “put a stop to the greater criminal act of harming one’s Muslim and Muslim women neighbors, revealing the [pigeon’s] genitals and wasting time,” according to the Daily Mail.
This raises a number of vexing theological questions, such as why Allah created pigeons if he found their packages so offensive, and whether pigeons could be made acceptable to religious police by dressing them in tiny Speedos. Here is a little music for the clerics to enjoy while they ponder these weighty issues: