What’s the deal with Muslim calls for not just violence, but eating the flesh or drinking the blood of their infidel enemies?
Consider the case of Ahed Tamimi, described by Wikipedia as:
a Palestinian activist … in the occupied West Bank in Palestine. She is best known for appearances in images and videos in which she confronts Israeli soldiers. Tamimi's advocates consider her a freedom fighter for Palestine… In December 2017, she was detained by Israeli authorities for slapping a soldier. The incident was filmed and went viral, attracting international interest and debate. Tamimi was sentenced to eight months in prison after agreeing to a plea bargain and was released on 29 July 2018... [I]n February 2018, the famous Israeli poet Yehonatan Geffen, the nephew of Moshe Dayan, posted a poem on his Instagram page that ended with the following lines: “You, Ahed Tamimi, The red-haired, Like David who slapped Goliath, Will be counted among the likes of Joan of Arc, Hannah Senesh and Anne Frank.”
Well, this “heroine” recently wrote the following on her Instagram:
We are waiting for you [Jewish settlers] in all the cities of the West Bank, from Hebron to Jenin. We will slaughter you and you will say that what Hitler did to you was a joke. We will drink your blood and eat your skull. Come on, we're waiting for you.
Much, as usual, can be said here, but of interest to me are the cannibalistic references and the fact that they are common among Muslims—and, as can now be seen, not just of the so-called “radical” variety.
The Islamic State, for instance, has repeatedly stated that “American blood is best, and we will taste it soon.” Nor was this just “picturesque” language. According to a 2017 report, “Islamic State terrorists are teaching their fighters to eat non-Muslims, it has emerged.” (I saved one picture from those days, since likely expunged, of an Obama-sponsored Free Syrian Army “rebel” digging into the heart of a fallen Syrian soldier in 2013.)
Where do these anthropophaginian tendencies come from?
In fact, calls to devour “infidels,” especially as a terror tactic, are common throughout Islamic history. Some well-documented anecdotes come to mind, beginning with the source of inspiration for ISIS’s calls to drink American blood: During the earliest Muslim invasions of Roman Syria, one of Muhammad’s companions, Ubadah bin al-Samat, told a Christian commander that “we have tasted blood and find none sweeter than the blood of Romans.”
Another example concerns the jihadist par excellence, Khalid bin al-Walid (d.642). Dubbed the “Sword of Allah” by Muhammad for his prowess, he holds a revered position among jihadist groups. During the Ridda—or “apostasy wars” on several Arab tribes that sought to break away from Islam following Muhammad’s death—Khalid falsely accused Malik bin Nuwayra, a well-liked Arab chieftain, of apostasy. After slaughtering him, Khalid raped—Muslim sources call it “married”—Malik’s wife. Furthermore:
He [Khalid] ordered his [Malik’s] head and he combined it with two stones and cooked a pot over them. And Khalid ate from it that night to terrify the apostate Arab tribes and others. And it was said that Malik’s hair created such a blaze that the meat was so thoroughly cooked [from Muslim historian al-Tabari’s multi-volume chronicle, al-bidaya w’al nihaya; Arabic excerpt here].
Another anecdote concerns the Islamic conquest of Spain. According to Muslim chronicler Ibn Abdul Hakam, after capturing a group of Christian winemakers, the Islamic invaders:
made them prisoners. After that they took one of the vinedressers, slaughtered him, cut him in pieces, and boiled him, while the rest of his companions looked on. They had also boiled meat in other cauldrons. When the meat was cooked, they threw away the flesh of that man which they had boiled; no one knowing that it was thrown away: and they ate the meat which they had boiled, while the rest of the vinedressers were spectators. These did not doubt but that the Moslems ate the flesh of their companion; the rest being afterward sent away informed the people of Andalus [Christian Spain] that the Moslems feed on human flesh, acquainting them with what had been done to the vinedresser [source].
Tarek ibn Ziyad—another jihadist extraordinaire, revered for burning his boats on reaching Spain’s shores as proof of his commitment to jihad or “martyrdom”—also had Christian captives slaughtered, cooked up, and apparently eaten in front of their fellow hostages. Then, according to Muslim historian Ahmad ibn Muhammad al-Maqqari, the Muslim hero “allowed some of the captives to escape, that they might report to their countrymen what they had seen. And thus the stratagem produced the desired effect since the report of the fugitives contributed in no small degree to increase the panic of the infidels.” [The History of the Mohammedan Dynasty, p. 276]
Note that, according to the above-cited Muslim chroniclers, the jihadists engaged in these cannibalistic practices to terrorize and create panic among infidels and apostates, that is, as a form of psychological warfare. This is further pronounced when, as they often do, the chroniclers quote or paraphrase Koran verses that call for “striking terror” into the hearts of nonbelievers (e.g., 3:151, 8:12, 8:60) in juxtaposition to the savage accounts they relay.
Years back, I watched and linked to a video of a modern-day Egyptian cleric also making it clear that Khalid’s actions were calculated to terrify the apostates. Although YouTube has, as usual, since taken down the video, here’s my original translation of the cleric’s remarks:
People wonder how our lord Khalid could have eaten from such meat. Oh yes—he ate from it! Our lord Khalid had a very strong character, a great appetite, and everything! All to terrorize the desert Arabs [apostates]. The matter requires determination; these matters require strength—terrorism.
The reason is simple: such a barbarous heritage doesn’t belong to ISIS any more than it does to Al Azhar. It belongs to Islam—hence why a young Palestinian darling is now telling Israelis that she will “drink your blood and eat your skull.”