ISIS bans everything

pigeon-genitalsCigarettes are among the many fun things prohibited in the area controlled by Islamic militants in Syria and Iraq. The Associated Press interviews a smuggler daring to defy them.

"I swear, it's out of hunger," he said he pleaded with the men. The father of six told them he was the only breadwinner for his extended family and was helping his neighbors as well.

The fighters took him to the checkpoint commander, who warned Jamil he'd go to prison and his car would be confiscated. Jamil promised never to do it again. "Just let me go this time for the sake of my children," he said. "If I don't have money, what can I do? Should I steal? If I steal, you'll cut off my hand."

Among the other things banned by ISIS is the breeding of pigeons.

ISIS also demands that locals report anybody who continues the practice of pigeon breeding to the ISIS religious police, Hisbah. According to the order, those violating the ban for the first time will be flogged and fined a substantial sum of money, while repeat offenders will be jailed in an ISIS prison.

It was widely assumed earlier, when the rumors about the ISIS pigeon ban began to circulate, that the reason for such a measure was the use of pigeons for smuggling anti-ISIS messages or cigarettes.

However, the document clearly states that the ban "is intended 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," the Daily Mail quoted it as saying.

Note that the reason given, if not the ban, was apparently fabricated by a tabloid newspaper for its readers' amusement.