Pork-laced bullets will probably not be sending Muslims “straight to hell” unless Islamic jurisprudence takes a strange turn

We’ve covered a lot of stories about Islamophobia in America, and they haven’t always been fun to report on. But the latest story is perhaps the worst of them all: an Idaho ammunition company has developed pork-laced bullets designed to send Muslims “straight to hell”.

The bullets, which are called “Jihawg Ammo” and come in a box that wouldn’t look out of place at a Hot Topic, call themselves a “peaceful and natural deterrent to radical Islam”. The company that makes them, South Fork Industries, claims that, “With Jihawg Ammo, you don’t just kill an Islamist terrorist, you also send him to hell.”

So that’s nice. Hey, 4,300 people like the ammo on Facebook, too.

The ironic part of this whole thing, as Religion News Service points out, is that the whole thing is based on a misunderstanding of Shar’ia law. As I’ve noted before, some jurist has thought of basically every way a Muslim could come into contact with pork. And the rules just aren’t that strict, according to professor Shannon Dunn, who was quoted in the RNS article,

“There is no penalty for coming into contact with pork given by the Quran,” she said, pointing to verses that prohibit the consumption of pork and carrion that are reminiscent of Jewish dietary laws outlined in Leviticus.

“To my knowledge, Muslims, especially unknowingly, would not be banned from heaven for eating or getting hit by pork,” she said. “There are some interpreters who suggest that Muslims should eat pork rather than starve, if faced with that alternative.”

To go a little more in-depth, the Qur’an prohibits pork consumption, but interpreters of Shari’a law have been working out the specifics for a millennium and a half – and there still is no consensus as to what pork-related activities are bad and which are acceptable. And given that a Muslim who is force-fed pork or eats pork unknowingly is not generally considered to be hell-bound, why would a pork bullet send a Muslim “to hell”? Literally, a prominent jurist would have to decide that said bullets sent Muslims to hell – and his opinion would have to stand for a plurality of Muslims.

In other words, the makers of Jihawg ammo are not only incredibly hateful, but guilty of false advertising.

Image from one of South Fork Industries’ many t-shirts.

But even weirder is the idea that Christians could send a Muslim to hell by shooting them with a pork bullet – especially considering that in the minds of these Christians, Muslims are hell-bound already. The advertising for these pork-bullets seems to posit this weird, polytheistic world where the beliefs of two different religions somehow coexist to the extent that a person of one religion can send a person of another religion to hell as a sort of battle maneuver. It’s an understanding of the world that reminds me of the Polytheism of Ancient Greece. For example, there’s that time during The Iliad, when Achilles, in his rage, refuses to allow Hector the proper burial which would permit his soul to enter the underworld.

Jihawg Ammo fundamentally posits a very polytheistic world, and one that completely ignores both Christian and Islamic theology. Perhaps, then, its not shooting someone with a Jihawg bullet that will send a person to hell – but rather, shooting a Jihawg bullet.


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