It’s still early in the holy month of Ramadan, when Muslims abstain from food, drink and other worldly pursuits between sunup and sundown. But will there be any abstention from the violence that has plagued the region in recent months?
U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has called on both sides in Syria’s conflict to lay down their arms during the holy month, but so far his pleas have fallen on deaf ears. In fact, the conflict seems only to be deepening as Lebanon’s Hezbollah is increasingly drawn into the war. The diplomat has also called for detainees to be freed in the country.
While Syria’s is the most deadly conflict this Ramadan, a spate of bombings has left dozens of families mourning across Iraq.
Elsewhere, unrest in Egypt’s Sinai region has left several people dead, and Yemen’s fight with Al Qaeda militants is also producing casualties.
So far, so not peaceful. The warriors of the Muslim world seem to show no signs of abating their armed struggles. Are they exempt? Perhaps they feel let off the hook from the spiritual month as (by their logic) theirs is a 'holy war' and some fatwas testify to their right to shoot and let die during the fasting month. Ramadan's war-mongers are still spilling blood this holy season.
This Ramadan 2013 could be seeing more rubble and ruination than rest and spiritual ruminations in a region swamped in sectarian strife. We take a cross-section of the unholy wars still raging around the Middle East and further afield in the Muslim world.