Shifa Al-Nima, also known as Abu Abdul-Bari, was seized by an Iraqi SWAT team in western Mosul on Thursday, with security forces saying he was responsible for a fatwa to bomb the city’s Mosque of Prophet Yunus (Jonah). The historic religious site was destroyed by Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS) in 2014 after they took over Mosul.
They also said the preacher issued fatwas for the execution of scholars and clerics who refused to pledge allegiance to ISIS, and incited people against the security forces. The hefty mufti reportedly weighed around 300lbs at the time of his capture – and was so heavy that he couldn’t be taken away by car, and instead had to be loaded into the back of a flat-bed truck.
The undignified truck-bed conveyance of the portly preacher sparked huge derision on social media, with many sharing Star Wars memes to poke fun at his ungainly stature. “Jabba the hutt has really let himself go,” one wrote, while several quipped he was “putting the fat in fatwa.”
“One thing for certain,” another Twitter user wrote, “no chance he was going to run away.”
Many people questioned how on Earth he could have grown to such a huge size, given the food and supply shortages suffered by so many in Mosul, and the fact that he was on the run. Some even suggested that he had turned to cannibalism, or has “been slippin’ bacon on the down low.”
“There is no way he fasts during Ramadan,” one person tweeted.
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