ISIS has authorised forced organ removals of 'apostates'

Michael Cook
Jan 10 2016
Reproduced with Permission

Persistent rumours about organ trafficking by the Islamic State have some basis in fact. Amongst a trove of documents captured by US troops in a May raid in Syria is Fatwa 68, dated January 15, 2015 . The opinion, issued by the Islamic State's "Research and Fatwa Committee", states unequivocally that organs may be taken from "apostates" without their consent, and even if it causes their death.

However, no proof has been found that organs have in fact been removed from ISIS captives. Nor is it clear who would be classified as an "apostate" by the extremist Sunnis who support ISIS. In the past Yazidis, Christians and other non-Muslims have been described as apostates, but also Shias and Sunnis who disagree with the ISIS.

The reasoning behind the fatwa is based on arguments by Islamic jurists justifying cannibalism in extreme circumstances. (This is a translation by the US government.)

If the jurists had permitted, when necessary, the consumption of human flesh as a means counter to death or harm, then it is even more appropriate to transplant of organs from the apostate to the Muslim to save the life of the latter. This is especially the case since it was ruled that the apostate's life and organs are not protected. On the contrary, the apostate's life and organs don't have to be respected and may be taken with impunity.

Based on aforementioned, the categories of the apostate's organs are broken down into the following cases:

1-The rule is applicable on organs that could be put to use in both cases- pre and post-mortem.

2- The organs that can only be used pre-modem, and those are divided into two groups:

a-- Organs the removal of which would not be fatal: It is not prohibited to remove this type of organs from a living body as death would defeat the purpose.

b -- Organs the end the captive's life if removed: The removal of that type is also not prohibited, even if it is fatal for the captive. A group of Islamic scholars have permitted, if necessary, one to kill the apostate in order to eat his flesh which is part of benefiting from his body. This encompasses everything that it needed to be taken from the apostate's body.

Iraq's ambassador to the United Nations, Mohamed Ali Alhakim, says that the documents should be examined by the UN Security Council as evidence that Islamic State could be trafficking in organs to raise cash. He claims that 12 doctors in Mosul were executed in February after they refused to remove organs.