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'Ramadan effect' may be aiding Libyan rebels' cause
Libyan rebels manage a checkpoint at the entrance of the residential area of al-Brega on August 15.
August 22nd, 2011
11:29 PM ET

'Ramadan effect' may be aiding Libyan rebels' cause

By Dan Gilgoff, CNN.com Religion Editor

(CNN) - Ramadan might not seem like the ideal time to attempt a government overthrow.

The Islamic holy month, which began earlier this month and is now entering its final week, is best known for its all-day fasts, which would sap the energy of the most ardent rebels.

In Libya, where rebel fighters entered the capital over the weekend, appearing to usher in what some say are the last days of Moammar Gadhafi's regime, Ramadan is coinciding with some of the summer’s hottest days: hardly ideal weather for staging street fights against a deeply entrenched regime.

And Ramadan, with its calls for Muslims to show compassion and to step back from worldly affairs for a month of purification, might not seem conducive to calls for regime toppling.

But experts say Ramadan probably helped intensify the Libyan civil war and probably played a contributing role in taking the 6-month-old conflict to a dramatic level.

And they say a similar Ramadan effect is at work in Syria, where protests against the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad have grown over recent weeks, and possibly in other countries where the Arab Spring is raging.

“During the month of fasting, people are praying at night at mosque and are allowed to connect with other Muslims, praying about God promising justice and rulers who are compassionate,” said Akbar Ahmed, an Islamic studies professor at American University in Washington. “And they think of the reality of these brutal, completely mad regimes, and there’s a sense of ‘we have to do something. It’s now or never.’ ”

In a country like Libya, Ahmed said, where most universities and religious schools have been shut down by the government or are tightly controlled by it, mosques are among the only places where the country’s overwhelmingly Muslim population can gather and speak freely.

That means houses of worship are among the only places where people can organize politically.

Juan Cole, a Middle East expert at the University of Michigan, said that in the Libyan capital of Tripoli, the public call to prayer broadcast by many mosques on Saturday night doubled as a signal for underground rebels to join the fighting.

“The message, which was ‘God is most great,’ is what you say when you’re fighting a struggle,” Cole said. “No Muslim would have had any trouble deciphering that.”

Cole said that each day’s final Muslim prayer, for which many men head to mosque after breaking the Ramadan fast, provides a unique opportunity for social mobilization efforts.

“These prayers happen about 9:30, and when you have a big gathering of men in a mosque, you can mobilize them for social action,” he said. “You can talk them up and send them out into the streets to protest, which is what’s happening in Syria.”

In Syria, which has been roiled by months of protests demanding the end to the al-Assad regime, nighttime protests have swelled during Ramadan, provoking a brutal government crackdown.

In Libya, experts said that months of NATO airstrikes against Gadhafi's installations, the organization’s increased coordination with Libyan rebels and recent rebels victories in key towns were the major factors behind opposition forces finally making it to Tripoli.

But Ramadan created a surprisingly ideal atmosphere for a stepped-up rebel campaign, they said.

Nic Robertson, CNN’s senior international correspondent, said that some Western governments worried Ramadan would mark a lull in the Libyan rebels’ campaign.

“There was a feeling that the war needed to be over by Ramadan,” Robertson said. “That didn't happen, but it focused a lot of Western minds … that and the high financial and political cost of having a protracted NATO involvement.

“The fear was that Ramadan would mean an end to serious fighting, pushing the end of the war phase into September, which would be politically more dangerous for Cameron, Obama, Sarkozy,” Robertson said, referring to the leaders of Britain, the U.S. and France, which all contributed to the NATO campaign.

Instead, Libyan rebels have latched onto Ramadan as a public relations opportunity.

Frederic Wehrey, a senior policy analyst at the RAND Corp. who studies Libya, says that rebels there have attempted to co-opt the Ramadan message to win popular support.

“The rebels have gotten a lot smarter and are being magnanimous,” Wehrey said. “They’re playing a smart game where they don’t have to pummel people into submission, they’re inducing people’s defections (from Gadhafi), and Ramadan is an opening for that.”

Wehrey said that although Libya is less religious than some other majority Muslim countries, Islam could play an outsized role in a post-Gadhafi government because Gadhafi has gutted other civil society institutions.

“If there’s no way to organize people, if people don’t feel like they have a voice, and the only organizations for meeting people's basic needs are religious, that translates into greater political power,” he said. “It all depends on how quickly a government can be established that meets people’s needs.”

- CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Filed under: Islam • Libya • Ramadan

soundoff (328 Responses)
  1. Duck-Duck-Duck - G O O S E !!!

    She was an acrobats daughter
    she swung thru the air by a noose
    but one matinee, her bridge work gave way
    and she flew thru the air like a goose.

    Beats anything in the bible.

    August 23, 2011 at 11:08 am |
  2. Big Bob

    Quit the whitewash and look again. Ramadan = Jihad season!

    August 23, 2011 at 11:03 am |
  3. Rach

    And as a Jew, Muslims have always been nicer to me than Christians. That really says something. I really hate that the US is becoming a zealous Christian looney bin.

    August 23, 2011 at 10:52 am |
    • Rainer Braendlein

      @Rach

      Dear Sister,

      don't you know that our Messiah has yet come? His name is Jesus from Nazareth.

      August 23, 2011 at 11:06 am |
    • Sam

      Shalom Rach –

      August 23, 2011 at 11:10 am |
    • Godless

      Ummmm Christians were getting prosecuted in Europe so they came to America and murder the Native Americans and stole their land.... when was American NOT a crazy Christian nation.... wait, what was Christianity ever sane?

      August 23, 2011 at 11:12 am |
    • Reality

      Please post on your refrigerator doors:

      SAVING 1.5 BILLION LOST MUSLIMS:
      THERE NEVER WERE AND NEVER WILL BE ANY ANGELS I.E. NO GABRIEL, NO ISLAM AND THEREFORE NO MORE KORANIC-DRIVEN ACTS OF HORROR AND TERROR

      SAVING 2 BILLION LOST CHRISTIANS:
      THERE WERE NEVER ANY BODILY RESURRECTIONS AND THERE WILL NEVER BE ANY BODILY RESURRECTIONS I.E. NO EASTER, NO CHRISTIANITY

      SAVING 15.5 MILLION ORTHODOX FOLLOWERS OF JUDAISM:
      ABRAHAM AND MOSES PROBABLY NEVER EXISTED.

      Added details upon request.

      August 23, 2011 at 11:18 am |
    • Naomi

      Native Americans were killing each other anyway. The Chinese or Russians could have gotten the continent first. Americans were smarter then than now.

      August 23, 2011 at 11:20 am |
    • Barbara a Muslim

      I would have to agree. I have friends who are Jews, and we always think along the same lines. The TRUE Christians are kind and generous and do not scream in the face of other people that they are going to h@ll. These intolerant hateful people trying to call themselves "Christian" well....that's another story.

      I have a neice who told her brother he was going to h@ll because he hadn't been "saved." They have different dads, and her dad & his parents are obviously poisoning her young mind already.....since she's already thinking herself better than someone else.

      August 23, 2011 at 11:22 am |
    • Moosquatch

      @Rainer,

      Thanks for demonstrating Rach's point so eloquently.

      August 23, 2011 at 12:22 pm |
  4. Gateway?

    Yikes reading all these comments make me feel dizzy. I really hope CNN disables the "post a comment" feature. So much hate and ignorance

    August 23, 2011 at 10:49 am |
    • I'm The Best!

      But then what would I do when I'm bored at work. These comments are WAY to amusing for CNN to get rid of.

      August 23, 2011 at 1:06 pm |
  5. Rach

    Christians kill as much as anybody else. Away with all the religious extremists who are not tolerant of other religions. I hope Jesus does come and when he does I hope he spits in your face with the declaration that he is a Jew and that he never wanted to be your Christian G-d.

    August 23, 2011 at 10:49 am |
    • Naomi

      Only Christians help mankind. All pagans are ignorant and barbaric. Secularists corrupt. Atheists massacre.

      August 23, 2011 at 11:13 am |
    • DamianKnight

      @Naomi,

      I'm a Christian, but I have a few problems with your comment. 1) It's a gross generalization. Christians have blood on their hands as much as other faiths. 2) Is this how we show Christ's love? By being accusatory and hostile? Like you, I do not agree with the athiest viewpoint, but do we need to drive them further from Christ? No. We are supposed to show them love and respect. When they strike us, we turn the other cheek. We accept them for who they are, similar to how Christ ate with tax collectors.

      All have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. Let's not point fingers, because Christianity still has a big ol' plank in its own eye. We need to remove that first before we can remove the splinter in theirs.

      August 23, 2011 at 11:21 am |
    • Naomi

      Damian, but only Christians rescued others. The wrongs of Christians were abuses whereas all others' were their set courses. A huge difference. I come here to state facts. American atheists don't get a thing if we speack with moderation.

      August 23, 2011 at 11:28 am |
    • DamianKnight

      @Naomi,

      The problem is, Christianity is not a cudgel. We don't need to beat it into people's heads. Christ said in Mark 16:15 "He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation." Note he didn't say verbally beat it into their heads. Preach the word, and then they are accountable for the information. What they do with it is up to them.

      Everyone knows history. Everyone will try to tell us we are wrong because Christianity has been used as a tool to hurt people, directly contrary to Christ's message. Don't despair about desparaging remarks. Remember, John 15:19-21 "If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you. Remember what I told you: ‘A servant is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted me, they will persecute you also. If they obeyed my teaching, they will obey yours also. They will treat you this way because of my name, for they do not know the one who sent me. "

      August 23, 2011 at 11:45 am |
  6. Chant my name

    Who is supporting these rebels and want these coutries to go into huge debt ... We americans are already in a huge debt..Damn..they dont even have a 401K and SSN benefits..what would the general libyans do after this war??

    August 23, 2011 at 10:47 am |
  7. Josh

    Can't we all just get along!!!!!!!

    August 23, 2011 at 10:43 am |
  8. Rainer Braendlein

    The Bible, Gospel of Matthew, Chapter 5, Verses 43-48:

    43 Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy.

    44 But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;

    45 That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust.

    46 For if ye love them which love you, what reward have ye? do not even the publicans the same?

    47 And if ye salute your brethren only, what do ye more than others? do not even the publicans so?

    48 Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.

    Conclusion: Let us love our Muslim neighbours, according to Christ's command, but let us also reject their religion, the Islam, becaus the Islam is the exact opposite of the Christian doctrine.

    Jesus: Love everybody, including your enemy!

    In contrast Mohammad: Hate and kill everybody, who doesn't want to convert. Everybody, not wanting to convert, is your enemy.

    August 23, 2011 at 10:26 am |
    • William Demuth

      Are you saying Christians don't ALSO kill people who don't convert?

      Remember the Witch Burnings?

      August 23, 2011 at 10:28 am |
    • Barbara

      That is a load of bunk. If you ever read a Qur'an, and it's clear you have NOT, you'd know this is utter nonsense on your part.

      August 23, 2011 at 10:33 am |
    • Stevie7

      Abrahamic god – kill pretty much the whole world for a mulligan.

      August 23, 2011 at 10:36 am |
    • truth

      Ummmm....try reading the Quran & the biography of Muhammad & you'll know that your comments are pure lies.

      August 23, 2011 at 10:37 am |
    • jason

      You're a Liar, A liar, a Liar. First you quote the bible and than you give your opinion on someone you d=know nothing of and never will because you're too ignorant andneed to take out a white sheet put it over your head and than take a cross burn it in front of some moslems house , so you can than go home feel good and get drunk in your trailor

      August 23, 2011 at 10:44 am |
    • Sam

      "Every man can pull scripture to support any point" – Shakespeare You have done so and out of context. You deal in absolutes in a world that is not. Thus you are wrong just through this logic. Your interupation of Muhammed is ridiculious. (The 100: A Ranking of the Most Influential Persons in History Revised and Updated for the Nineties by Michael H. Hart) Your post is hypocritical as you bost scripture yet preach hate. Ugh...Epic Fail.

      August 23, 2011 at 11:19 am |
    • Reality

      For posting on all refrigerator doors:---------------–

      SAVING 1.5 BILLION LOST MUSLIMS:
      THERE NEVER WERE AND NEVER WILL BE ANY ANGELS I.E. NO GABRIEL, NO ISLAM AND THEREFORE NO MORE KORANIC-DRIVEN ACTS OF HORROR AND TERROR

      SAVING 2 BILLION LOST CHRISTIANS:
      THERE WERE NEVER ANY BODILY RESURRECTIONS AND THERE WILL NEVER BE ANY BODILY RESURRECTIONS I.E. NO EASTER, NO CHRISTIANITY

      SAVING 15.5 MILLION ORTHODOX FOLLOWERS OF JUDAISM:
      ABRAHAM AND MOSES PROBABLY NEVER EXISTED.

      Added details upon request.

      August 23, 2011 at 11:24 am |
  9. Robin Bray

    Holy months are always a joke for any religious cults including christians. You go ahead and kill whomever you wish anyway. usually while praising a stupid god who is always on the side of the one doing the killing. Beyond stupid.

    August 23, 2011 at 10:13 am |
  10. Naomi

    @Rainer, it's true Muslims have problematic doctrines. But they are the most wonderful people as a minority. It's the Western hedonistic secularists/atheists that have no manner whatsoever.

    August 23, 2011 at 10:10 am |
    • William Demuth

      Let me guess, you live in some third world hell hole?

      August 23, 2011 at 10:25 am |
  11. Rainer Braendlein

    Be carefully my son, when you believe in Christ, uncle Muhammad could become angry.

    Evidence:

    Sura 5, Verse 72:

    They surely disbelieve who say: Lo! Allah is the Messiah, son of Mary. The Messiah (himself) said: O Children of Israel, worship Allah, my Lord and your Lord. Lo! whoso ascribeth partners unto Allah, for him Allah hath forbidden paradise. His abode is the Fire. For evil-doers there will be no helpers.

    Conclusion: Muhammad says, when you believe in Christ, you will never get into heaven, but you will dwell for ever in hell.

    Isn't that the exact opposite of the gospel, the inverted and perverted gospel?

    August 23, 2011 at 10:06 am |
    • anerican muslim

      Rainer you wrote this, making an argument that Christians use all the time. Does one still attain paradise if he does not accept Jesus as his lord and savior. It doesn't make since, again with your rhetoric.

      August 23, 2011 at 10:24 am |
    • Jason Blair

      This verse does not mean that Muslims do not believe in Jesus (peace be upon him)! This verse was revealed to show the world that Jesus was not God, but that he was a noble messenger sent by Allah (the God) with the message of Islam in his time to his people. Muhammad (peace be upon him) came to uphold the laws of Jesus, as Jesus was sent to uphold the laws of Moses (peace be upon him.) All of the above where sent with the message of Islam, otherwise known as peaceful submission to the commandments of God alone (who has no partners or children.) Allah knows best.

      August 23, 2011 at 10:24 am |
    • William Demuth

      Jason Blair

      Let me guess, your'e some American loser who got brainwashed?

      What prison were you in?

      August 23, 2011 at 10:26 am |
    • Davethecanuck

      Wasn't the dude who said that... your source... a pedo?

      August 23, 2011 at 10:28 am |
    • Barbara

      Let's use the ENTIRE ayat, shall we?

      "They do blaspheme who say: "Allah is Christ the son of Mary." But said Christ: "O Children of Israel! worship Allah, my Lord and your Lord." Whoever joins other gods with Allah,- Allah will forbid him the garden, and the Fire will be his abode. There will for the wrong-doers be no one to help."

      Whoever joins partners with God. And Muhammad didn't say this, GOD did.

      August 23, 2011 at 10:36 am |
    • Barbara a Muslim

      @Rainer – you fail to realize that Muslims MUST believe in Jesus in order to be considered a Muslim. We must also believe in all prophets from Adam through Muhammad. The difference between Christians & Muslims are: you don't believe in Muhammad (saw), and you believe Jesus is God.

      Allahu alim.

      August 23, 2011 at 10:40 am |
    • Rainer Braendlein

      @Imam Jason Blair

      Dear Imam,

      read the worst lie of all time: Jesus was an Islamic leader.

      In contrast the Truth:

      Jesus Christ is the eternal Son of God. He belongs to the Holy Trinity, the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.

      Jesus has founded the Christian Church, which shall behave according to the "Sermon on the Mount, Matthew 5-7".

      The Christian Church is the exact opposite of the Umma (Islamic "Church/State-Body").

      Note: Dear Imam, don't expect me to keep calm like a lamb, when you try to cut my throat. Harsh reality. Imam-interpretation of the Sermon of the Mount: The Christians have to keep calm, when we cut their throat. Fine!

      August 23, 2011 at 10:46 am |
  12. Ron Paul

    RON PAUL is the People's Choice in 2012!

    August 23, 2011 at 10:06 am |
    • Going In Circles

      The people under the stairs...maybe.

      August 23, 2011 at 10:41 am |
    • Moosquatch

      SATANISTS FOR RON PAUL!!!

      August 23, 2011 at 10:48 am |
    • DamianKnight

      The Rock is the People's Champion. Can you smell what the Rock is cooking?

      August 23, 2011 at 10:54 am |
  13. Rainer Braendlein

    Sura 5, Verse 51 of the unholy Koran:

    O ye who believe! Take not the Jews and the Christians for friends. They are friends one to another. He among you who taketh them for friends is (one) of them. Lo! Allah guideth not wrongdoing folk.

    ( سورة المائدة , Al-Maeda, Chapter #5, Verse #51)

    Interpretation: "O ye who believe" are Muslims.

    Conclusion: I Muhammad's eyes we are criminals (wrongdoing folk), thus the Muslims are not allowed to be our friends.

    August 23, 2011 at 9:54 am |
    • Jason Blair

      Once again you have taken a verse and totally mistranslated it. This verse says not to take the Jews and Christians as awliyah. The word awliyah implies a trusted advisor. And how can someone with a certain beleif system take someone with a different beleif system as their trusted advisor? It just doesn't work as they would advise you from their belief system which would at time go against your own. Allah knows best. The Muslims have always had non Muslim friends and allies... read up on history!

      August 23, 2011 at 10:29 am |
    • Sam

      This verse deals with a particualr group of Christians and Jews. You are correct in your translation. However the tect is not directed as all Jews and Christians, It deals with a group of Christians and Jews from Keybur who where hostile to Muslims and Muhammed. This again is an example of you using scripoture out of context. You can do the same in any holy text. Learn the history before you tell me that Colombus is a national hero. Please dont comment without knowlege. The worst man to walk the Earth is the one who takes my word and twists it – Christ pharaphrased of course.

      August 23, 2011 at 11:24 am |
  14. Al-Suq A'Kweer

    Happy Ramandan to you
    Happy Ramadan to you
    Happy Ramadan dear Farkles
    Happy Ramadam to you

    August 23, 2011 at 9:41 am |
  15. Rainer Braendlein

    Sura 9: Verse 29 of the Koran:

    Fight against such of those who have been given the Scripture as believe not in allah nor the Last Day, and forbid not that which allah hath forbidden by His messenger, and follow not the Religion of Truth, until they pay the tribute readily, being brought low.

    ( سورة التوبة , At-Taubah, Chapter #9, Verse #29)

    Interpretation: "have been given the Scripture" are Jews and Christians, "believe not in Allah nor the last day" are Jews, Christians and pagans, "messenger" is Muhammad, "Religion of truth" is Islam.

    Conclusion: Muslims shall conduct aggressive war against every country, which is non-Muslim, whereby the whole content of the Koran makes it clear that Muhammad mostly hated Jews and Christans. If the Muslims decide to be merciful, they make us slaves, having to pay tax (tribute).

    Off with you, Muhammad!

    August 23, 2011 at 9:41 am |
    • GodOfAbraham

      This is irrelavant. Ur name tells me u r part of a pro-israeli propaganda to continue to make muslims look bad in the west.

      August 23, 2011 at 9:48 am |
    • Barbara a Muslim

      It's amazing you can deduce all that from those few lines.

      Pamela Gellar is that you?!?!

      August 23, 2011 at 10:44 am |
    • Rach

      I resent the pro-Israeli propaganda comment. This guy is just a Christian nut. He probably hates the Jews just as much as he hates the Muslims. Christians only support Israel because they think Jesus will rise from there. Otherwise, they hate us. And just because I am Jewish and believe in a Jewish state, does not automatically mean I hate Muslims. I have a lot of Muslim friends and support Muslim businesses. And I will see he mistranslating the Quran just as Christians have mistranslated the Bible for centuries.

      August 23, 2011 at 10:44 am |
    • Moosquatch

      Rach, thank you so much for being a sensible human being. There are some on all sides of this debate but they are very much in the minority.

      August 23, 2011 at 10:52 am |
    • Sanity

      What a really good MIS-Interpretation of Surah-Taibah:
      To put it in context it was revealed at the time of war, the context being the Battle of Tabuk (read more about it when a pack was made by the non-muslims/jews with muslims and then they broke it). Within that context this is what is stated:

      Ayat 1-4:
      “ A (declaration) of immunity from Allah and His Messenger, to those of the Pagans with whom ye have contracted mutual alliances: Go ye, then, for four months, backwards and forwards, (as ye will), throughout the land, but know ye that ye cannot frustrate Allah (by your falsehood) but that Allah will cover with shame those who reject Him. And a proclamation from Allah and His messenger to all men on the day of the Greater Pilgrimage that Allah is free from obligation to the idolaters, and (so is) His messenger. So, if ye repent, it will be better for you; but if ye are averse, then know that ye cannot escape Allah. Give tidings (O Muhammad) of a painful doom to those who disbelieve, excepting those of the idolaters with whom ye (Muslims) have a treaty, and who have since abated nothing of your right nor have supported anyone against you. (As for these), fulfil their treaty to them till their term. Lo! Allah loveth those who keep their duty (unto Him).([Qur'an 9:1]) ”
      [Qur'an 9:5] The famous Sword verse and the following ayats (6-7) read as follows:
      “ But when the forbidden months are past, then fight and slay the Pagans wherever ye find them, and seize them, beleaguer them, and lie in wait for them in every stratagem (of war); but if they repent, and establish regular prayers and practise regular charity, then open the way for them: for Allah is Oft-forgiving, Most Merciful. And if anyone of the idolaters seeketh thy protection (O Muhammad), then protect him so that he may hear the Word of Allah, and afterward convey him to his place of safety. That is because they are a folk who know not. How can there be a treaty with Allah and with His messenger for the idolaters save those with whom ye made a treaty at the Inviolable Place of Worship? So long as they are true to you, be true to them. Lo! Allah loveth those who keep their duty. ”

      At-Tawba 29 ([Qur'an 9:29]) reads as follows:

      “ Fight against such of those who have been given the Scripture as believe not in Allah nor the Last Day, and forbid not that which Allah hath forbidden by His messenger, and follow not the Religion of Truth, until they pay the Jizya with willing submission, and feel themselves subdued. ”

      The Surah explains how Allah views pagans and also "People of the Book:

      “ The Jews call 'Uzair the son of Allah, and the Christians call Christ the son of Allah. That is a saying from their mouth; (in this) they but imitate what the unbelievers of old used to say. Allah's curse be on them: how they are deluded away from the Truth! ([Qur'an 9:30])

      August 23, 2011 at 12:19 pm |
  16. Al-Suq A'Kweer

    Happy Ramandan to you

    August 23, 2011 at 9:41 am |
  17. Naomi

    At least Libyans can read unlike Somalis. I hope these kids could get some Christian education somehow by reading the Bible and bring real freedom to everyone. The West is suffering from the oppression from secularism.

    August 23, 2011 at 9:39 am |
    • William Demuth

      Sure throw the Bible into the mix, so we get genocide!

      You are childishly ignorant of what your Book actually causes

      August 23, 2011 at 9:42 am |
    • Naomi

      William, you are wrong. The Bible made barbaric Westerners civil. The Bible commanded to execute only the tribes of child-killing perverts so innocent others can survive. America is next.

      August 23, 2011 at 9:46 am |
    • William Demuth

      Naomi

      The largest killing of children in the Bible was the slaughter of the innocent Egyptian first born.

      Have you actually ever even read the book?

      August 23, 2011 at 9:51 am |
    • Naomi

      William, those were not innocent babies. That was a very lenient punishment for killing countless Hebrew male babies by Egyptians.

      August 23, 2011 at 10:04 am |
    • William Demuth

      Naomi

      So even babies aren't innocent in your cult.

      You are QUITE sick if you EVER believe a child should die for the actions of his parents.

      You are a hate monger and a psychopath!

      August 23, 2011 at 10:21 am |
    • Barbara a Muslim

      Naomi – why don't you ask the Native Americans how compassionate the Christians were and how well they thrived when the Christians arrived.

      It's called "genocide" in the name of the Bible.

      August 23, 2011 at 10:48 am |
    • Joe from CT, not Lieberman

      Gee, Naomi, reading the Pentatuch, Judges, Samuel, Kings and Chronicles give all sorts of instructions for slaughtering everyone who is different from you. Are those the chapters in the Bible you want them to read? As a believing Christian, I would prefer the be given Rousseau, Locke, Jefferson, Newton, the Federalist Papers, Adam Smith and Thomas Paine. Once they have an understanding of how disparate people can be brought into one nation, then they can determine how their nation will progress without mindless evangelizing by people like yourself who cannot give credence to anything you do not hear people like Oral Roberts and Talifero Dollar preaching.

      August 23, 2011 at 10:58 am |
    • Moosquatch

      Naomi, isn't the killing of innocents exactly what shouldn't be happening? Stating that the Egyptian children were slaughtered because they were guilty of the crimes of their forefathers is exactly semantically equivalent to the statements of ALL terrorists and extremists who declare that "no one is innocent".
      Why is it right for you to take this position, but wrong and evil for Al Qaeda, Hamas, the IRA, the Serbians, the Hutus AND the Tutsis, the Biblical Egyptians you mentioned, and countless others to say the EXACT SAME THING THAT YOU ARE SAYING?
      Christ weeps for you, and your ignorance, and your evil.

      August 23, 2011 at 11:00 am |
    • Naomi

      Most of those Egyptians were not babies and far few than those babies they had killed. They had time to repent but they did not. Native Americans should not have drunk too much. Anyone would lose land if they do that. Don't let them blame others. It was a self-defeat. @Joe, you didn't read well. Reading the Bible enables one to stand against bullies and liberate the oppressed. You are just another stupid naive American defeatist who can't comprehend any literature.

      August 23, 2011 at 11:05 am |
    • tallulah13

      Naomi, please provide the chapter and verse of the bible that says those children were old enough to repent (for that terrible crime of being a child?). And blaming the Native Americans for being slaughtered? You've always been a liar, but now I believe you are insane. You are truly insane.

      August 23, 2011 at 11:11 am |
    • Naomi

      Tallulah, read the Book of Exodus. The Natives should be happy it wasn't others who found them first. They wasted the free English education. Asians spend billions of dollers each year for less-quality English education. Laziness destroys any tribes.

      August 23, 2011 at 11:17 am |
    • William Demuth

      Naomi

      That last post cinched it.

      You have never actualy read it have you?

      Admit it.

      August 23, 2011 at 11:26 am |
    • tallulah13

      Naomi, you don't have to be ignorant. There are books and online resources that will allow you to learn the real history of the world. I think you are too lazy to do anything besides preach what you believe. You can't even provide the bible verse I asked of you. I'm fairly certain that it doesn't exist. You are such a liar. That's all you know how to do. (I'm still half-convinced you're just some troll in Pasadena or something, a 40-year-old guy named Chuck living in his mom's basement and riling up the belief blogs when WoW gets dull.)

      August 23, 2011 at 11:30 am |
    • Barbara a Muslim

      Naomi – it's apparent you have attended the Sarah Palin / Michelle Bachmann school of history.

      Native Americans did NOT "drink too much" until after the white man (ie: Christians) introduced alcohol to them.

      I really pray to God that President Obama wins a 2nd term and we are not cursed with a fundamentalist Christian at our helm, because that WILL be the end of this country as it was meant to be.

      I find it truly ironic that Christians scream and wail about "Shari'a Law" and how they don't want "some Muslim" as a president, but they think it's perfectly acceptable to have Biblical Law and a "praise JEZUSS" kind of president.

      August 23, 2011 at 11:31 am |
    • True

      hey willy/tallulah-looks like your heart goes out for children, would i see your faces on Anderson Coopers CNN heroes of the year for having a compassionate heart by just posting some ignorant comments?

      August 23, 2011 at 11:36 am |
    • Moosquatch

      Naomi, you fail to think. Why is it right? One innocent or a thousand, why is it right? Because God commanded it? God changed His mind when he sent His son to bring a new testament and new understanding to this world, isn't that what Christians believe? Where there is conflict between the old and new testaments, it is the word of Jesus Christ that prevails.
      Now. Did Christ command the killing of innocents? I seem to recall he did not. The Gospels show that he spoke out against such atrocities, Something about healing the sick, caring for the less fortunate, loving the enemies, do you sense a pattern here?
      If Christ Himself said that dying oneself is better than killing, especially killing in vain, and nothing is more vain than killing an innocent, then why do you say that killing "just a few" innocents is right?
      Are you saying that you know better, that you are morally superior to Jesus Christ?

      August 23, 2011 at 11:38 am |
    • Challenge

      S la v ery was a challenge back then as it is now, I challenge one of you above that are quetioning the plagues to come up with a solution to free people that are in bondage... i see not you are just sitting all day long questioning part of the BIBLE never having bothered to read the whole to see if it has any message for your life..

      All day long you pretend like you have read/understood the Bible and post some ignorant comments, which is of no use to anyone..you are not helping any cause

      August 23, 2011 at 11:45 am |
  18. Paul

    Shoot, it's as good a time as any, LOL They 'fast' from sunup to sundown – not much else to do except 'overthrow' the regime – – LOL

    August 23, 2011 at 9:32 am |
  19. msclair

    I love ramadan.

    August 23, 2011 at 9:16 am |
  20. Methusalem2000

    Of course, they say they are fasting, yet they drink blood during Ramadan - for the past 1400 years.

    In the past Ramadan weeks, there has been an uptick in Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) attacks in Turkey, and, if Turkish press reports are to be believed, several dozen Turks have lost their lives. Turkey has responded by increasing its attacks on neighboring Iraqi Kurdistan, where Turkish authorities say the PKK enjoys safe-haven.

    Well, today, Turkey took matters into its own hands–imagine, it didn’t place its own defense in the hands of the United Nations!  It bombed northern Iraq and killed seven Kurdish civilians. Given the Turkish reaction to Israeli strikes on Gaza in the wake of Hamas attacks and the fact the Turkish prime minister surely would not want to be such a blatant hypocrite, let me be the first to call for the United Nations to launch an independent probe of Turkish war crimes against the population of neighboring Iraq and what appears to be its deliberate targeting of civilians. UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, where are you? Human Rights Watch?

    What a hypocrite and coward world!

    August 23, 2011 at 9:06 am |
    • Naomi

      Fasting is a good mental and physical exercise if it does not give excuses to give the infidels hard time.

      August 23, 2011 at 9:44 am |
    • William Demuth

      Why stop the slaughter?

      Jews Kill Muslims, Christians Kill Muslims, and the Muslims Kill everybody.

      Same as it ever was. The ONLY way to end it is to ESCALATE it.

      Zealots slaughtering zealots, all for their imaginary Gods.

      August 23, 2011 at 9:45 am |
    • Naomi

      William, you are wrong. Earthlings war. Christians rescue. Pagans need help. Atheists kill and destroy. Atheism is taken down by normal people and by God. – the history summary

      August 23, 2011 at 9:49 am |
    • William Demuth

      Naomi

      Actually most Christians just use Predator drones to kill Muslims (and an occasional B-52)

      August 23, 2011 at 10:34 am |
    • Naomi

      William, tell Muslims to stop chanting "Death to Israel, death to America."

      August 23, 2011 at 10:58 am |
    • Joe from CT, not Lieberman

      Naomi, Muslims will stop chanting "Death to America" when we stop supporting every action of the Israeli Government.

      August 23, 2011 at 11:00 am |
    • Naomi

      @Joe, hating Israel is the evil of mankind. All nations will be punished by God for all the evils committed. Both the West and Muslims need humility.

      August 23, 2011 at 11:09 am |
    • Atheist

      Maybe if there was no religion we could all get along. Maybe then we could move on with science and physics and actually learn something about our universe without someone claiming we are entering "god's" territory and shouldn't even try.

      August 23, 2011 at 11:18 am |
    • Naomi

      Atheists will start massive killing saying the planet is over-crowded.

      August 23, 2011 at 11:24 am |
    • Moosquatch

      Naomi, you yourself advocate killing children, as long as their someone elses'.

      August 23, 2011 at 11:42 am |
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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.