Can Ramadan Bring Peace to the Middle East?

Leaders around the world, religious or otherwise, must leverage Ramadan to find peaceful solutions in Egypt and Syria

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The Islamic holy month of Ramadan is the one time every calendar year when nearly 20 percent of the world’s population (over 1.5 billion people) will stop eating and drinking during daylight hours for thirty days in observance of their religious obligations to try and become better human beings.

Ramadan is the ninth month of the Islamic calendar year and is believed to be the time when the Quran was first revealed to the Prophet Muhammad. This month of fasting for Muslims is similar to the annual observances of Lent for Christians and Yom Kippur for Jews and serves as a time for self-reflection, gratitude and atonement for Muslims around the world. As President Obama recently said on the commemoration of Ramadan: “For the world’s 1.5 billion Muslims, Ramadan is a time for thoughtful reflection, fasting and devotion. It is also an opportunity for family and friends to come together and celebrate the principles that bind people of different faiths — a commitment to peace, justice, equality and compassion towards our fellow human beings.”

Can Ramadan bring peace to volatile places such as Syria and Egypt? Maybe not. But since nothing else has worked so far, perhaps Ramadan can serve as a ‘cooling off’ period where people on all sides can go back to their respective corners for 30 days. In Syria, it was reported that rebels from the Free Syrian Army had offered President Bashar Al-Assad an offer of a ceasefire truce in the major city of Homs for the duration of Ramadan, which began yesterday evening. Even UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon called for a Ramadan truce in Syria when he recently said that, “I am calling for … every person holding a gun, to stop fighting and offer this month of peace [Ramadan] as a collective present to their people.”

Although the Syrian government had initially rejected the notion of a partial Ramadan truce, the Syrian Ambassador to the United Nations did say that his government sought a “full end of violence, not a partial one” and he called on rebels to be “fully engaged in peace talks and commit to a U.S.-Russian sponsored round of talks” in Geneva, Switzerland.

Nearby, the overall situation in Egypt is getting more precarious by the day. In light of the recent military coup overthrowing and deposing Egypt’s first democratically-elected president, Mohamed Morsi, many human rights organizations and media outlets are reporting an increase in sexual assaults against women at protests and at least 26 people had been killed and 850 people have been injured in clashes across Egypt between pro-Morsi and anti-Morsi supporters and the military prior to the latest massacre in Cairo.

(MORE: Viewpoint: What Happened in Egypt Was Not Democratic)

Most recently, at least 51 people were killed and 435 others were wounded when Egyptian military security forces fired on pro-Morsi supporters who were reportedly performing their dawn prayers outside the Republican Guard headquarters where Morsi was reportedly being detained.

As both situations in Egypt and Syria continue to spiral out of control, leaders around the world, religious or otherwise, must leverage Ramadan to find peaceful political solutions for these internal violent quagmires plaguing the Muslim world. As the prophet Muhammad once famously said about Ramadan: “Whoever does not give up evil actions, God is not in need of his leaving food or drink [during Ramadan.]”  Since the people of Syria and Egypt have already faced too much suffering and turmoil, I pray that my fellow Muslims in both of these countries (and around the world) will help find a way to end the senseless killing that has already taken far too many lives already.

PHOTOSCairo Massacre: Dozens of Pro-Morsi Supporters Killed in Clashes with Egypt’s Military

7 comments
BrianRoherty
BrianRoherty

Religion and politics are one on an intellectual level, but not in our practical world. The first step in hearing one another is to lay down our arms and listen. I don't mean a naive ceasefire where one side gains an advantage, rather a genuine attempt to hear one another in order to create something better for our families and friends, rather than the fear and wrenching loss behind us.

It isn't a quirky, momentary decision to lay down ones arms; instead it is the most courageous decision to say enough... prepared to die for what is right. Not one more death on your hands. Instead, ours are the hands of God since we are always in his presence..

May God bless all of you,especially those on the front lines where these words can't be heard. When there is a quiet moment, may God's presence be heard and become a part of you..

We must learn to treat one another in the manner we want ourselves and our families to be treated,

One God; one man.


lazarus00000
lazarus00000

There is only one way for there to ever be peace in a world where Islam lives. That is for the radicals like the Sunni to be forced to stop literally interpreting the koran.

Imagine a world where the Christian Bible or the Hebrew Torah is practiced literally? It has happened in history and anyone who has read the terrible histories of the Christians and the Hebrews knows this to be true. The laws of Abraham and moses are not friendly to anyone that is not a strict adherant to the laws. The wages of sin is death and sin can be interpreted as almost anything.

The separation of state and religion is the only way to assure that religious laws do not determine the nature of crime or punishment. Religion is a man made institution that is traditionally used to control the masses. Religion hates knowledge or enlightenment as we see in numerous examples in history. I can name a dozen right now based on my research and study of history.

The Sunni are  strict adherrants to the Koran and like the previous 1500 years of Christian domination, torture, and suffering brought to the human race via "God's Will".

The internet is full of visual aids where human attrocities are easily viewed. These images are burned into your soul when you see them.  I recommend that everyone go there to witness the result of illeterate people exercising their right to practice the religion of peace.

Lazarus

Myassar
Myassar

As long as there are foreign interventions, there will be no peace 

lazarus00000
lazarus00000

@Myassar 

I guess you mean to stop interfering with barbarious ancient laws that were actually stolen from the Hebrews?

Lazarus

savach.oezyurt
savach.oezyurt

Good idea. A peace period like around Christmas. But then again, doesn't some conflicts fire up even at Christmas?

cjh2nd
cjh2nd

"Can Ramadan Bring Peace to the Middle East" 

No. No it can't. Why, of all years, would this year be the year that Ramadan brought peace? There hasn't been peace in the Middle East pretty much ever, it's moronic and naive to think it will magically start this year