An Islamist militant group in Somalia is banning a typical fried South Asian snack, calling it "offensive" and too Christian.
The snack under scrutiny: samosas.
Somalia's al-Shabaab group announced its ruling last week against the three-pointed pastry pouches traditionally filled with minced meat or vegetables. The Daily Mail reports that islamist militants may have taken offense to the supposed semblence between the food's shape and the symbol of the Christian Holy Trinity.
"The bizarre ban comes just days after militants linked to Al-Qaida in Somalia refused to let some aid workers into the country as tens of thousands suffered in the nation's massive famine.
Aid groups including the UN Food Programme say they were not given permission by militants to provide aid in the country, where it has been warned that 800,000 children could die from starvation."
Several countries classify the group as a terrorist organization. It is is fighting to overthrow the Transitional Federal Government and has already captured multiple Somalian provinces. Kenya's Daily Nation newspaper reported that the ruling is being enforced in a town close to Somalia's capital city. The al-Shabaab group is known to many as a violent Islamic group lined to al-Qaeda. The small town pictured below is under the militant group's control and is observing the samosa ban.
Al-Shabaab is known for these types of bans: the group has previously forbidden watching football on TV and playing music on the radio. In the past, it's also ordered men to grow beards and warned it will punish anyone caught wearing tight-fitting clothes
The group has not given any official explanation for its ban, but reports say Somalians caught buying, cooking or eating the pastries, locally called sambusas, should expect to be punished.