As the purveyors of nothing spicier than the odd dash of hot chilli sauce, Baghdad's falafel vendors had never imagined their snacks might be deemed a threat to public morality
Now, though, their simple offerings of chickpeas friend in breadcrumbs have gone the same way as alcohol, pop music, and foreign films - labelled theologically impure by the country's growing number of Islamic zealots.
In a bizarre example of Iraq's creeping "Talibanisation", militants visited falafel vendors a fortnight ago, telling them to pack up their stalls by Sunday or be killed.
The ultimatum seemed so bizarre that, at first, most laughed it off - until two of them were shot dead as they plied their trade.
"They came telling us, "You have 14 days to end this job and I asked them what was the problem," said Abu Zeinab, 32, who was packing up his stall for good Saturday in the suburb of Al Dora, a hardline Sunni neighbourhood.
"I said I was just feeding the people, but they said there were no falafels in Muhammad the Prophet's time, so we shouldn't have them either.
"I felt like telling them there were no Kalashnikovs (AK-47s) in Mohammed's time either, but I wanted to keep my life."
Why Baghdad's falafel vendors should be blacklisted while their colleagues are allowed to continue selling kebabs or western-style pizzas and burgers remains a mystery. Some suspect it is because a taste for falafels is one of the few things that unites Jewish and Arab communities in Israel.
It is, however, just one of many Islamic edicts to hit Baghdad in recent weeks, prohibiting everything from growing of goatee beards to the sale of mayonnaise - because it is allegedly made in Israel.
News of the latest strictures surfaced 10 days ago, when the coach of Iraq's tennis team and two players were shot dead for wearing SHORTS.
Another group of traders to have felt the Islamists' wrath is Baghdad's ice merchants, who sell large chunks of ice for sotring food and chilling drinks.
In a city facing constant power cuts and summer temperatures of up to 50C, the service they provide is little short of essential.
Yet in recent weeks, some of them too have fallen foul of the claim that their product was not a feature of life during Muhammad's time.