It should not surprise us that terrorists who have no respect for human life have even less respect for the lives of animals, much less critically endangered ones.
A recent assessment of the Elephant Action League is that as much as 40 percent of al-Shabaab’s revenues come from the illegal trade in ivory (h/t Sal), which is driving rhinos and elephants closer toward extinction.
Why does al-Shabaab believe that it is permissible to profit from this dreadful business? It could be purely financial (like al-Shabaab’s hyena meat sales), but it’s worth examining how al-Shabaab’s leaders would justify behavior which, on its face, may appear to contradict passages of the Koran about treating animals gently.
One consideration is that whatever protections to animals that may be afforded under Islamic law can also be overridden in the in larger interests of profit and jihad—two topics which are the focus…
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