A Haram Month? No time-out for Ramadan's Warriors

Published July 16th, 2013 - 13:16 GMT

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EGYPT, SINAI
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Image 1 of 8: Sinai's stand-off between military and Islamists (sore from the removal of Morsi) escalates for Ramadan: A bus carrying workers to a cement factory owned by the military in the North Sinai town of Al-Arish, on July 15 was targeted with a rocket-propelled grenade and left at least three people dead and 17 wounded. (AFP PHOTO/ STR)

YEMEN, SANAA bomb
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Image 1 of 8: Cross fire human casualties from the Al Qaeda war in Yemen seeps into the first week of Ramadan. An officer holds up the remains of a comrade's uniform at the scene of an explosion in the Yemeni capital. A bomb hidden in a plastic bag exploded at a checkpoint in Sanaa killing 3 policemen and wounding a fourth. (AFP PHOTO/ MOHAMMED HUWAIS)

Beirut Bir al-Abed July 9, 2013.
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Image 1 of 8: 'Bombs in Beirut' has become almost a byword for Lebanon. But the latest untimely spike in violence in the war-torn playground saw Lebanon greeting the holy month with a bang: A car bomb rocked Beirut's southern suburbs, wounded 15, and sent ripples across the regional battleground, on the eve of Ramadan, July 9, 2013. (AFP PHOTO/STR)

SYRIA, HOMS, Castle
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Image 1 of 8: Ramadan - the month of generosity and goodwill - has visited an unholy heap of horrors on Homs. Syrian regime jets reportedly rained down seasonal greetings of destruction on the country's great Crusader fort, Friday 12th July, as the front line in the battle for Homs shifted to the world heritage site. (AFP PHOTO / YOUTUBE)

SYRIA, ALEPPO
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Image 1 of 8: Ramadan snipers: On the first day of Ramadan, bombs and snipers are rife. Rebels descend on the building which they blew up to target a regime sniper taking shelter inside but who managed to escape in the Salaheddine district of the northern of Aleppo. (AFP PHOTO/SALAH AL-ASHKAR)

IRAQ, NASIRIYAH
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Image 1 of 8: Iraqis rush to the scene of an explosion in the city of Nasiriyah, south of the Iraqi capital Baghdad, on July 15, 2013. More than 2,600 people have died in a surge in unrest so far this year, according to AFP figures based on security and medical sources. AFP PHOTO/STR

IRAQ, Kirkuk
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Image 1 of 8: Ramadan rubble: Day 2 of Ramadan and there's no let-up in hostilities in northern Iraq. Car bombs, not Iftars, make news after Kirkuk witnesses a car explosion July 11, 2013. Militants killed 25 Iraqis in a wave of attacks and 15 people died in other attacks, including 10 in twin bombings targeting mourners. (AFP PHOTO MARWAN IBRAHIM)

PAKISTAN, Chaman
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Image 1 of 8: Ramadan has barely made its presence felt on the Pakistani-Afghan border: Security officials remove a body following an explosion in the Pakistani town Chaman earlier this month. At least two people were killed with eight others wounded. (AFP PHOTO / ASGHAR ACHAKZAI)

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.

 

 

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