A Blog by the Editor of The Middle East Journal

Putting Middle Eastern Events in Cultural and Historical Context

Monday, July 25, 2011

Will Ramadan See an Increase in Violence?

Fridays, as everyone knows by now, have become the days of most intense demonstrations throughout the Arab world, as demonstrators follow Friday prayer with protest. (Governments hardly dare to top the communal day of prayer.)  But what would happen in Syria, Yemen, Libya, and elsewhere (as well as in still tense Egypt) if there were a whole month of prayer? We are likely about to find out.

Ramadan is expected to begin on or about August 1, a week from today. And when Ramadan falls in August, fasting (including abstention from water) at the season when the days are long and the sun is hot, can shorten tempers (though it can also work to keep people indoors).

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