Syrian rebel committee bans croissants as symbol of 'colonial oppression'


Croissants are displayed at a bakery on Nov. 16, 2010 in Paris, France.


Francois Guillot

As Syrian government forces continue to retake strategic towns and cities from the rebels, the anti-government militants can hardly afford to be preoccupied with anything but military strategy.

Yet it seems they are. A sharia law committee in the rebel-held half of Aleppo has issued a fatwa banning croissants.

The committee said the pastry was a symbol of colonial oppression. Legend has it that the delicious breakfast item was first made to celebrate a European victory over the Muslim Ottomans many centuries ago.

The move comes during a time of severe food shortages — particularly bread — in Syria's embattled northern city.

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Islamic extremist groups have reportedly taken greater hold of the city, marginalizing more moderate rebels.

The extremist groups have set up sharia committees to dole out justice and issue fatwas, and take care of day-to-day administrative issues.

The Washington Post has reported on the growing use of sharia law in rebel-held Syria.

Fatwas like the one against croissants are becoming more commonplace in rebel areas, and have included strict punishment for not observing Ramadan or punishment for women wearing tight clothes and make-up.