Cluelessness at high levels. “Violence During Ramadan,” by Joan DeLuca for the Voice of America, September 1:
“The United States will continue to partner with those who oppose terrorism, extremism and violence in all forms.”
Referring to the Islamic holy month of Ramadan, Verse 2:194 of the Qu’ran states: “The sacred month for the sacred month; sanctities should be respected alike by all concerned.”
None the less, on August 24th, the 13th day of Ramadan, a suicide bomber and a gunman attacked a hotel in Somalia’s capital Mogadishu, killing some 30 people. The people who died were Muslims civilians. The al-Shabaab terrorist group, a self-proclaimed ally of al-Qa’ida, took responsibility for this attack.
“The United States strongly condemns today’s murderous attack by al-Shabaab against civilians staying at the Mouna Hotel in Mogadishu,” said U.S. State Department Spokesman Phillip Crowley. “Our condolences go out to the families and friends of the victims. That the attack occurring during Ramadan highlights al-Shabaab’s complete disregard for human life, Somali culture, and Islamic values. The terrorists appear to have been targeting Somali parliamentarians and other members of the Transitional Federal Government – further evidence that they are bent on depriving Somalia of security, peace, and stability,” he said.
According to the U.S. State Department’s 2009 Country Reports on Terrorism, Harakat al-Shabaab al-Mujahideen, is an off-shoot of the Islamic Courts Union, which split into a number of smaller groups in 2006. The Islamic Courts Union was a group of Sharia Courts that united themselves to form a rival administration to the Transitional Federal Government of Somalia. Al-Shabaab continues to battle the Somali government. It also claims to be waging jihad against enemies of Islam, yet most of its victims are Muslims. Other victims are frequently foreign aid workers, delivering food and desperately needed services to the Somali people.
“This is a particularly outrageous act during the Islamic month of Ramadan. And al-Shabaab’s vision for Africa stands in sharp contrast to the vision of the overwhelming majority of Africans,” said John Brennan, President Barack Obama’s Assistant for Counterterrorism and Homeland Security.
Some clues: “Jihad rising in Islamic holy month,” by Nicholas Blanford in The Christian Science Monitor, October 30, 2003:
[…] “Ramadan is a month of commitment and renewal to their faith and also to their cause, whether by military or nonmilitary jihad,” says Prof. Nizar Hamzeh, a specialist on political Islam at the American University of Beirut. “It is a month of martyrdom and commitment to one’s Islamic ideology.” […]
Sheikh Maher Hammoud, a prominent Sunni cleric in Sidon, in south Lebanon, says that Ramadan is perceived by all Muslims as “the month of jihad.” “It is not the Islamic way to bomb places like the Red Cross or Iraqi police. But in principle, Ramadan is a blessed month and known as a month for jihad.” […]
“Ramadan and crime: What Algerian authorities tried to hide,” by StÃ©phanie Plasse for Afrik News, September 2:
The holy month of Islamic fasting, Ramadan as an important element in the control of vice is being scrutinized after a study, published in August by El Watan and Le Matin and undertaken in 24 of Algeria’s 48 wilayas (provinces) by the Abassa Institute, indicated that there is a marked rise in road accidents and violent attacks during the holy month. The survey has offended the Algerian authorities.
Is Ramadan risky? According to a survey, self-financed and undertaken in 2007 by the Abassa Institute, there is a marked rise in assaults and accidents in Algeria during the holy month. The survey shows that people are more aggressive (82%), less friendly (65%) and more selfish (56%).…
Algerian authorities have seized the survey results and tried to cover them up.
“Iraq attacks likely to increase during Ramadan, says US,” by Jane Arraf for the Christian Science Monitor, August 9:
[…] Politically linked religious fervor tends to rise during the month, during which Muslims believe God revealed the Koran to the prophet Mohammad. Devout Muslims abstain from eating or drinking even water from sunrise to sundown to foster patience and humility. […]
In Ramadi, the capital of Anbar Province, six people were killed in a suicide car bomb at a gas station on Sunday.
On Monday in Baghdad, two traffic police and a civilian were killed in a bombing near police headquarters in Ghazaliya, in West Baghdad. Overall almost 30 traffic and city police are believed to have been killed in the past month.