No, not President Obama’s planned White House Iftaar! But rather, the humble samosa, a fried pastry filled with meat and/or vegetables, a staple in south Asian cooking, and as much a feature of the “default” iftaar as the date. It seems that the Islamists in control of Somalia took issue with the treat’s geometry:
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.
I admit it takes a particularly ascetic mind to look at a samosa while fasting and see, instead of delicious yummy goodness, the visual symbolism of Christianity. The Trinity is really not on my mind (or on my plate) at all during Iftaar.
Though, it seems that there has been some samosa backlash since the story was first reported – Al Shabab now claim it was health reasons that led to the ban. I think that we have actually dioscovered the limits of tyranny – not even Islamists can separate muslims from their food.