Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Would YOU Eat The Fish?

By Cernig

In Baghdad? I mean, would you?

Consider that the sewage treatment system in Baghdad is badly broken and much of the city's raw effluent ends up in the Tigris.

Then there's this:
Dead bodies frequently pulled from the River Tigris have dulled the Iraqi capital’s appetite for Masqouf, its popular dish of grilled carp, after clerics reportedly warned that the fish dined on rotting corpses.

“They spread rumours about the fish, that they eat the bodies of drowned people, but this is just a rumour,” said Hussein Ahmed, a 62-year-old fisherman, after setting his nets within sight of the heavily fortified Green Zone compound on the banks of the Tigris.

Scores of corpses turn up every week in Baghdad, victims of unrelenting violence between majority Shias and minority Sunni Arabs.

Many are dumped in the Tigris, which flows through the heart of the city and was once lined with restaurants specialising in the Masqouf that people loved to eat on a Friday night.

Most riverfront eateries closed long ago, magnets for insurgent bomb attacks that are part of life in Baghdad since the US-led invasion of Iraq in 2003.
The fishermen who have relied on the Tigris for generations can still be seen casting nets beneath the city’s bridges and beside the river’s reed beds and sandbars.

But these natural fish feeding points also snag floating corpses, and Baghdad’s river fishermen know the war has tainted their livelihoods as well.

A fatwa, or religious edict, forbidding Iraqis to eat fish from the Tigris was reported by Iraqi media recently, but tracing its original source has been tricky.
Prominent Shia clerics in the holy southern city of Najaf yesterday denied any knowledge of the edict.

Officials from the government office representing powerful Sunni imams who run Iraq’s Sunni mosques were not immediately available for comment. – Reuters
I've fished all my life and I've kept tropical and freshwater tanks. Most fish will eat anything, and carp are some of the most omnivorous eaters in the piscine world.

Maybe John McCain would like to blow the very last shred of his credibility by announcing he would eat a Baghdad carp without the need of an armed escort...

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