By Alexander Mooney, CNN
Washington (CNN)– President Obama Monday is marking the beginning of Ramadan, the month-long Muslim holiday of fasting and reflection.
In a statement issued by the White House, the president said, "Times like this remind us of the lesson of all great faiths, including Islam – that we do unto others as we would have them do unto us."
He also said he will be hosting an iftar dinner at the White House, an event he hosted last year as well.
No food? No drinking? No sex? It's the Muslim month of Ramadan. CNN Religion Editor Dan Gilgoff explains.
By Fareed Zakaria, CNN
The group has come to everyone's attention because of Anders Behring Breivik's killing spree in Norway, now just over a week ago. He claimed in his rambling manifesto to represent a modern-day "Knights Templar".
Ancient Knights Templar name used in modern criminal crusades
But who are they?
The name might ring a bell, especially if you've seen The DaVinci Code or National Treasure or one of any number of recent films. But these are, of course, all fictional. What are the facts?
Read more about all the latest security news in CNN's new blog Security Clearance.
The Knights Templar were a Christian military order founded in the early 12th century. Its members were said to be elite warriors who wore distinctive white mantles with a red cross. They made their reputation by winning a series of battles in the Crusades.
By Ivan Watson and Jomana Karadsheh, CNN
Tripoli, Libya (CNN) - Last-minute shopping before the start of the Muslim month of Ramadan brought back bustle and commercial activity to the center of a city that is increasingly showing strain from Libya's grinding civil war.
In downtown Tripoli, cars were backed up in traffic jams. Shoppers lined up outside a bakery waiting for bread. Not far away, another line of residents stood next to an ATM machine, waiting for their turn to withdraw cash.
The busy scene on Sunday was a sharp contrast to previous government-sponsored tours of the city, which revealed rows of shuttered shops and streets largely devoid of traffic.
Asked about how the civil war is likely to impact the imminent month of fasting and feasting, many Tripoli residents insisted they were not facing any hardships whatsoever.
By the CNN Wire Staff
(CNN) - Muslims around the world on Monday ushered in Ramadan, a month of dawn-to-dusk abstinence from food and drinks.
But this year, the unrest in the Middle East and North Africa has cast a pall over what is traditionally a period of comity and goodwill toward men.
Several countries in the region have been swept up in protests against longtime rulers since the January revolt that ousted Tunisian strongman Zine El Abidine Ben Ali.
In many cases, these demonstrations and movements have been met with brute force that has escalated into seemingly unending violence.
Most anti-government demonstrations have taken place after prayers, with the masses taking to the streets after meeting at mosques.
The month, which brings more Muslims to mosques, has some governments worrying that the gatherings will provide more opportunities for such protests - and demonstrators fearing that security forces will crack down forcefully to prevent them.
The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.