The Islamic State group, which has been known to issue fatwas on a regular basis, seems to have taken it a step too far, when it recently banned indoor cats. The exact reason behind this strange fatwa has not been made clear yet.
According to a report in Al Sumaria, the group — also known as Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (Isis) or Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (Isil) — has issued a fatwa against keeping felines within houses in areas that it still controls. The fatwa — an Islamic legal decree or edict — was issued through the group's so-called Central Fatwa Committee.
The fatwa was enforced especially within Mosul, raising suspicion that this failing stronghold of the group might have seen some sort of espionage or other act involving domestic cats that has hurt it. The news report, however, claimed that Isis had issued the edict in keeping with its "vision, ideology and beliefs."
The terrorist groups current stance seems to be a complete u-turn from its views just a few months ago, when its propaganda magazine Dabiq had featured one of its members holding a kitten, a move seen by many as an effort to garner more recruits from the developed countries.
Interestingly, Twitter handles of Isis members and its sympathisers were reported to be initially using pictures of cute cats to garner followers, before they unleashed their brand of slick propaganda to convert impressionable individuals to their cause. Thus, the reason for this complete 180-degree turn in views and ideology continues to baffle.
Then again, this new ban on indoor cats still does not hold a candle to the group's reported ban on pigeons — a bird that is often domesticated by locals and used in sport. The ban, which had come sometime in the middle of the year, had been justified by the group with the reasoning that the sight of the avian species' genitals — which would be visible if they flew over one's head — was un-Islamic!
That ban had been enforced among pigeon-breeders with threats of severe physical punishment.