President Obama marks Ramadan
August 1st, 2011
12:14 PM ET

President Obama marks Ramadan

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.

You can read Obama's full statement on CNN's White House blog The 1600 Report
- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Barack Obama • Belief • Holidays • Islam • Politics • Ramadan

August 1st, 2011
11:15 AM ET

Explain it to me: Ramadan

No food? No drinking? No sex? It's the Muslim month of Ramadan. CNN Religion Editor Dan Gilgoff explains.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Belief • Islam • Muslim • Ramadan

August 1st, 2011
08:47 AM ET

Understanding the religious history of the Knights Templar

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.

Read more about the Knights Templar from GPS
- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Belief • Christianity • Church • Europe • Houses of worship • Mosque

In Tripoli, Libyans prepare for Ramadan
This photo of Tripoli was taken during a guided government tour on July 22 during a pro-Col. Moammar Gadhafi rally.
August 1st, 2011
08:34 AM ET

In Tripoli, Libyans prepare for Ramadan

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.

Rerad the full story here about what may be a bloody Ramadan in Libya
- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Belief • Islam • Libya • Middle East

Unrest in Middle East, Africa cast pall over Ramadan for Muslims
This file image, taken October 13, 2007, shows Egyptians praying in Cairo's streets during the holy month of Ramadan.
August 1st, 2011
08:30 AM ET

Unrest in Middle East, Africa cast pall over Ramadan for Muslims

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.

Read the full story here about Ramadan unrest in the Arab world
- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Belief • Egypt • Food • Islam

About this blog

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.