Murphy's Law: The Ministry Of Silly Bans


August 5, 2011: Islamic terrorist groups have proved to be particularly imaginative at coming up with reasons to kill you. Even if you are Moslem, the Islamic radicals have a growing list of excuses to do you harm. For example, the Somali al Shabaab (an al Qaeda affiliate) recently banned the making and sale of samosa. This is a snack that consists of a triangle shaped pastry filled with minced vegetables, spices and, often, meat. The samosa is fried or baked. Samosa has been around for over a thousand years, and was apparently invented by Moslems somewhere in Central Asia. But al Shabaab decided that the triangular shape somehow represented a Christian symbol, and banned it. Violators can be killed. Al Shabaab has killed people who violate these lifestyle restrictions. During the most recent football (soccer) World Cup games, al Shabaab killed several Somalis who were caught watching a game on TV. Al Shabaab has also banned shaving beards, bras and music.

The Taliban in Afghanistan and Pakistan have been doing this sort of thing for two decades. The most recent Taliban decree banned cotton cloth that was not completely opaque. Anything that was somewhat transparent meant that you could see the outline of a woman’s figure, which is forbidden. The Pakistani Taliban group that issued this ban, proceeded to seize and burn thousands of dollars worth of the offending cloth.

The idea for all these bans comes from Saudi Arabia, where the conservative Wahhabi Moslem sect has enormous power to decide what is Islamic and what is not (and must be banned or destroyed.) The Wahhabis have been encountering growing resistance to this sort of thing inside Saudi Arabia, but not before wealthy Wahhabis could finance thousands of missionaries. These dedicated clerics have spread all over the Moslem would in the last three decades, preaching the use of intolerance and oppression. One result of this was al Qaeda, and you know the rest.




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