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Samosas Banned: Islamist Group Calls The Pastry 'Offensive'


First Posted: 07/29/11 12:49 PM ET Updated: 09/28/11 06:12 AM ET

Al-Shabaab, the extremist Islamic group that effectively controls much of Somalia, has banned samosas in the famine-stricked, war-torn East African nation, according to the Kenyan Daily Nation. Apparently the ban, which was announced via loudspeaker, was instituted because Al-Shabaab leaders decided the samosa's triangular shape was too closely associated with the Christian trinity. Locals face punishment for cooking, buying or eating the meat- or vegetable-filled pastries.

This hasn't been a good month for samosa-religion relations. Just a few weeks ago, a group of New Jersey Hindus sued a restaurant for covertly serving them meat samosas, in violation of their religious adherence to a vegetarian diet.

UPDATE: The BBC is now reporting, contrary to the early Kenyan Daily Nation report, that Al-Shabaab's samosa ban may have been motivated by concern for public health rather than religious doctrine alone. The BBC explained that "traders were selling rotten meat from cattle that had died because of the famine. This was un-Islamic and threatened the health of people, al-Shabab said."

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Filed by Joe Satran  |  Report Corrections