The House of David

"dawnbreak in the west"

Monday, March 06, 2017

Arab cannibalism

Here's an article to be read over breakfast: New ISIS Command to EAT Infidels Has Islamic Roots. I have recently read about this inedifying custom, but mainly as an Arab custom rather than as a Muslim one.

Zarinkoob's Two Centuries of Silence translates Ibn 'Abd Rabbih claiming to quote shah Khusro II Parvez:

In inferiority and obtuseness they are in the same rank as mauling animals and wandering birds, as they kill their children through deprivation and poverty, and dine on each other in hunger and destitution. They are entirely wanting of cuisines, attire, and joys of this world. Their best food ― afforded only to their wealthy - is camel meat, something that many beasts would not eat for fear of getting sick and because it is unpleasant and indigestible.

I would also add, from the Sira (and from The Message), that sexually-charged scene in which Hind, the pagan Umawi Arab, grins as she dips her head down to munch upon Hamza's Muslim liver.

Now, Ibn 'Abd Rabbih is late, and the Sira is pretty late too. But I'm not here to discuss if these exact scenes actually took place. I'm here to ask why the 'Abbasi-era audience would agree they took place.

To me this looks like the Muslims' Arab troops, in the train of the conquests, were still practicing cannibalism. It's mainly done upon their enemies. The more civilised Muslims disapproved, and certainly the non-Arab mawali were disgusted - which is why it's in the Sira, as a jâhilî perversion.

But in Islam, some Arabs still couldn't keep themselves from this descent into bestiality. The practice also sometimes worked to terrify the infidel. And that's what matters for Muslims: if Islamic forces win, then God was pleased.

posted by Zimri on 17:44 | link | 0 comments

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