Militants Ban Samosas for Being “Too Christian”


Al-Shabaab, the militant group which controls large parts of Somalia, has vacillated on whether it will allow Western groups to bring aid into the famine-stricken country.  Now, in a deeply illogical move, it is banning a common type of food: samosas.  Although the militants did not give an official reason for the food ban, locals believe that al-Shabaab believes that the three-cornered snack is anti-Islamic, because it too closely resembles the Trinity.

Now, anyone caught cooking, buying or eating samosas (known in Somalia as sambusas) can be punished.

The militants seemed to recognize the extent of the drought crisis when they lifted a ban on foreign aid, imposed in 2009, for any group that did not have “political” aims.  But recently, they rejected the UN’s declaration of famine in parts of southern Somalia and denied allowing foreign humanitarian groups into their areas.

“We say [the UN declaration] is totally, 100% wrong and baseless propaganda,” said a spokesperson for al-Shabaab last week.  ”Yes there is drought, but the conditions are not as bad as they say. They have another objective and it wouldn’t surprise us if they were politicizing the situation.”

The UN will begin airlifting food into the capital, which is controlled by a weak African Union-backed government, soon.  Members of the Somali government are accusing al-Shabaab of blocking the aid’s progress into Somalia.  The U.S. is also currently legislatively blocked from providing aid to Somalia because of al-Shabaab’s prohibition, although many are criticizing the State Department for not taking the necessary steps to override these barriers in a crisis like the famine.

People are fleeing from the al-Shabaab-controlled areas in an attempt to access this foreign aid, but meeting with violence on the way.  As I wrote in a piece yesterday, women are vulnerable to rape and robbery, and children are still dying of malnutrition.  The situation is grim, and al-Shabaab’s new ban on a common food shows how little concern they have for the people of their country, who are in serious danger.

You can find out more about how to help the UN get aid to the devastated citizens of Somalia here.

Related Stories:

Women Raped as the Food Crisis Expands in Somalia

UN Declares Famine in Somalia: Why Isn’t the US Helping?

Thousands of Children Die As They Flee Somalia’s Drought

Photo from Oxfam East Africa via flickr.

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Annmari Lundin
Annmari Lundin4 years ago

And here we go again. The representatives of the peaceful religion islam, prevents food and supplies being distributed to starving people, all in the name of allah. And while they are at it; rape some women and children, because they are probably infidels. Yes, that's the peacefulness of islam, that allows millions of people to starve to death!

Lilithe Magdalene

I pray that the ignorance of this event be overcome, and the people are fed.

Sue Griffiths
Sue Griffiths4 years ago

I just wish they would put these bigoted idiots up against a wall and shoot them. They are no use to man nor beast. I am normally a peace loving person, but the more I read of this kind of cruel behaviour the harder I become.

Will Rogers
Will Rogers4 years ago

Is'nt Somalia suffering from a terrible famine? In a famine  people eat the bark of trees and the grasses on the ground. I doubt the validity of this story. This must have been what it was like for the Jews in Germany under hitler and goebbels. Someone makes up good bits of inflammatory propaganda and others promote it. You telling me that these people are opposed to Triangles? Do you really think that these people think that the triangle is christian? That Muslims will refuse to use Pythagorus's law in architecture? So they're going to ban lapels on jackets because of their triangularity? Then they'll stop using their ak47s because it's got a triangular bit where the barrel.... Etc etc. What a load of anti Muslim propaganda. Impossible to prove or disprove.

Christine S.

They are insane. A samosa is no different from a ravioli, pasty, pierogi, etc- it's just a way of keeping the filling in an edible pouch- they are just making excuses to prevent people from getting and eating easily made/ transportable food.

timothy m.
timothy m.4 years ago

Ah, yes, Islam, the 'religion of peace' -- keeping starving people safe from trinitarian food!

Janine H.
Janine H.4 years ago

This is a very sad story. Using religion as a weapon, how can these people explain that they are the only people who know God's wishes? When all religious books tell about love and tolerance and peace. So many similarities to the Middle Ages and the time of the inquisition and conquest (America, for example)

As little child i thought that rain is when God and the angels cry - because "we" humans have forgotten that we need this "intelligence", someone who could help... if "we" hadn't turned away for many centuries ago...

"Only when the last tree has been cut down; Only when the last river has been poisoned; Only when the last fish has been caught; Only then will you find that money cannot be eaten."
(Native American proverb)

"We have learned to fly the air like birds and swim the sea like fish, but we have not yet learned the simple art of living together as brothers." (Martin Luther King)

Leia P.
Leia P.4 years ago


Mara C.
Mara Comitas4 years ago

This has been going on in this part of the world as long as I can remember. Biafra, Ethiopia, Darfur, Somalia & more. It continues, even with the aid sent from the US. We have senior citizens in the US who have to choose between filling prescriptions or buying food. We have the working poor in the same boat. Veterans are homeless and jobless. Our government wants to cut what little these people have. Does anyone really believe we should send money overseas when we have to take care of our own? Shame on you!

Hayley Zacheis
Hayley Zacheis4 years ago

Are these bigots that desperate for control that they are going to ban samosas just because of their shape? Who are these people and why are they running the government?