Disrupting Terrorism Finance: Donate Hides of Sacrificial Animals Cautiously on Eid-ul-Azha

Iftikhar Hussain Jazib

Eid-ul-Azha is festival of sacrifice and 35 percent of house hold in Pakistan slaughters at least 1 animal on this occasion. In 2014, round 7.85 million animals worth Rs.270 billion were sacrificed, while in 2013, the hides of sacrificial animals generated Rs.10 billion on Eid-ul-Azha. A decline was witness in these trends in 2015 due to inflation and killing of animals in floods, yet the hides of sacrificial animals generated business of approximately 7 billion. According to Pakistan Tanners’ Association, over 10 million animals were slaughtered during the three days of Eidul Azha in 2016 in the country. As hides of sacrificial animals are also donated as charity, unfortunately terrorist and religious extremist outfits are depriving rightful beneficiaries of them under various disguises. The ferocious militants hate every Pakistani and they exploit their generosity on Eid-ul-Azha to generate funds for their attacks in Pakistan.

Charitable hides are actually aimed at helping poor masses, beggars, needy orphans and widows. The money generated by them is also spent on mosques, Madaris and preaching of Islam. Militant organizations collect hides of sacrificial animals on Eid-ul-Azha under various pretexts including Madaris, Jihad and welfare of aggrieved and deprived Muslims but the money generated by them is spent on suicide bombings and other terrorist activities. Therefore, many Ulema have issued fatwas that it is not permissible to give hides of sacrificial animals to these anti-Islam and anti-Pakistan organizations.

Disrupting terrorists’ financing networks is essential to combat terrorism as without effective check on terrorist financing, fight against terrorism may not produce desired results. Though the Government has taken number of steps to curb flow of terrorists’ funds, yet it requires extensive media campaign to create awareness in general public regarding terrorists fund raising system. The real faces of terrorists must also be unveiled through internet and social media to deny their monetary support and curtail their fundraising networks by creating awareness amongst general public regarding tactics of terrorists to raise funds.

As the holy festival of Eid-ul-Azha is approaching, general public must ensure that their alms and charity do not aid those people, who are involved in murderous rampage in the country. This will make them equally responsible of terrorists’ sins and crimes. Those Mosques, Madaris and charity organizations should not be given hides and skins of sacrificial animals which have any association with Al-Qaeda, DAISH and TTP affiliated sectarian / Jihadi organizations.