Ramadan, the holy month of fasting in Islam, begins this week. It is during this particular month that Muslims are forbidden from eating or drinking from sunrise to sunset. However, the following groups of people are exempt: anyone who is sick, anyone on a long journey, children, pregnant women, nursing mothers, and those serving in the military.
It is the last group of people that I will focus on: military personnel. This is because any Muslim serving in a nation’s armed forces (particularly the armed forces of a Muslim nation) is viewed as a warrior, just like in the days of Muhammad. The Israelis forgot about military personnel being exempt during Ramadan just prior to the Yom Kippur War in 1973, when they noticed both the Egyptian and Syrian armies massing near the border but presumed they were just conducting military maneuvers, as well as doubting that they would attack during Ramadan. Thus, Israel was caught by surprise, with Egypt and Syria having the upper hand at first. But the tide eventually turned in the Israel’s favor.
So Ramadan can be a month of jihad, just like any other month in the Muslim calendar. Jihad can be carried out by any Muslim, regardless of whether he (or she) is serving in their nation’s armed forces. As a result, jihadists ranging from Al Qaeda to ISIS to Boko Haram will carry out acts of terror. In fact, they have already done so, since Hamas and Islamic Jihad have fired over 600 rockets into Israel. Meanwhile, ISIS and the Taliban have stated they are gearing up for jihad during Ramadan, even saying that jihad is the best form of worship.
While some Muslims are conducting jihad against non-Muslims, other Muslims are making sure everyone is fasting during Ramadan. Anyone (regardless of whether he or she is Muslim or non-Muslim) caught eating or drinking during daylight hours is subject to harassment (or worse) by the authorities or any vigilantes. In some Muslim nations, such violations can result in a fine and/or a jail sentence.
Non-Muslim nations are feeling the impact as well. In various Muslim neighborhoods throughout the West, non-Muslims caught eating or drinking are subject to harassment or worse from Muslims. In some areas, even the police are forbidden from eating or drinking in order to avoid offending Muslims.
Of course, even not eating or drinking is no guarantee of not facing the wrath of Muslims during Ramadan, i.e. various crimes being committed against non-Muslims in Muslim neighborhoods. In one case, a woman in France was attacked because her attackers said she was showing too much cleavage. But in most cases, it is usually one or more Muslims carrying out an act of jihad against any non-Muslims they encounter. Needless to say, all non-Muslims should be on the alert during Ramadan, since Muslims have made it the deadliest month of their calendar.