Skip to main content

Terrorists turn month of peace into time for war

The holy month of Ramadan is considered a month of martyrdom and jihad for extremist organizations such as the Islamic State, which during this time recall the battles fought by Muslims throughout history.
A municipality worker sweeps the ground at the site of a car bomb attack in Baghdad July 13, 2015. Car bombs and suicide attacks targeting mainly Shi'ite Muslim districts of Baghdad killed 35 people on Sunday, one of the heaviest recent tolls in the Iraqi capital, which has faced a wave of bombings by Islamic State militants.  REUTERS/Khalid al-Mousily 


For most Muslims around the world, the month of Ramadan marks a period of fasting, abstinence and contemplation. Besides a month for spirituality and reflection, Ramadan is also a month in which extra attention is paid to tolerance, generosity, charity and solidarity. For some, however, the concept of "holy month" also carries a more violent meaning. Extremist groups such as the Islamic State (IS) — but also groups such as the Taliban and al-Qaeda — perceive Ramadan to be a month of jihad and martyrdom, a month in which Allah rewards his believers with paradise and victories on the battlefield.

On June 23, IS spokesman Abu Muhammad al-Adnani issued a Ramadan statement in which he urged IS followers to attack Christians, Shiites and Sunnis fighting with the US-led coalition against IS.

Access the Middle East news and analysis you can trust

Join our community of Middle East readers to experience all of Al-Monitor, including 24/7 news, analyses, memos, reports and newsletters.


Only $100 per year.