Three young men have lost their lives at the hands of executioners of the Islamic State this week allegedly for breeding pigeons.
NBC News reported that armed gunmen from ISIS abducted 15 boys and young men. An unnamed security official informed NBC News that three people in the group have already been executed for pursuing the hobby, which ISIS views as "un-Islamic."
The 21-year-old son of farmer Abu Abdullah was taken by ISIS fighters last week, NBC News said. The farmer revealed that six armed gunmen dragged his son away at gunpoint after invading their home.
Abdullah questioned the fighters on their reason for taking his son away. "He is not following the real Islam, he must be punished for being a pigeon breeder. This habit is taking him away from worshiping Allah," the ISIS fighters answered.
According to NBC News, the hobby is viewed in an unfavorable light because of the schedule for feeding the birds. Pigeons are typically fed at the same time that the first of the five Islamic prayers of the day are to be recited. Clerics have already issued fatwas in the past against pigeon breeding.
The unnamed security official also told NBC News that the ISIS is cracking down on bird breeders because it is attempting to recruit more fighters into its military. "ISIS is looking to get more people to join them, they are trying to force men to do that," he said.
None of this matters to Abu, who expressed his hopelessness about his son's plight.
"We are helpless and hopeless. I know they will kill him sooner or later," the farmer said. "I'm waiting for someone to tell me he was killed, and the only thing I will do is to take his body and bury it."