Inside the Middle East
August 1, 2011
Posted: 1446 GMT
This file image, taken October 13, 2007, shows Egyptians praying in Cairo's streets during the holy month of Ramadan.
This file image, taken October 13, 2007, shows Egyptians praying in Cairo's streets during the holy month of Ramadan.

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 more...

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Mycology   August 7th, 2011 8:37 pm ET

ramadan... lol

they act like its tough to eat a huge meal in the morning before sunrise, and then to wait 12 hours for sunset and eat until they go to bed again. wowwww so tough. They can't even pull off a full 24 hour fast? i'd be insulted if I were allah.

Ala   August 15th, 2011 8:20 pm ET

Regardless of religion, Let's embrace dialogue and diplomacy, but no violence and agression.

peacecj   August 19th, 2011 3:38 pm ET

What was once considered a focal point of islam is today worrying many a muslim ruler. The mosque, Ramadan, mecca, medina and the koran, are today the bane and botheration of many an islamic state. People gather at a mosque for prayer, which is a religious duty in islam and then gather the strength and will to rampage as shown in the "arab spring'. Like wise, Ramadan has become another month where muslims air their greivences to the full. Mecca & Medina holy to the islamic world are today hotbeds of hate, revoult and a fertile ground for more problems in the near future. So much for islam and for islamic terrorism. What was once exported as islamic terrorism is today returning ten fold.

RonniMisr   August 24th, 2011 2:49 am ET

How would Allah be insulted by our fasts fwhen He's the one who prescribed it in His Book the Qur'an. And every part of the world is different so some people are fasting for 18 hours not 12. And a human can never be the Creator of the heavens and earth, so to make a comment like "I'd be insulted if I were Allah." is showing pure ignorance. Knowledge is the road to success.

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Welcome to the Inside the Middle East blog where CNN's journalists post news, views and video from across the region. This is also a place where you can start the discussion so please keep your comments coming. We highlight not only current news stories but also anecdotes and issues that don't always make the top of the headlines.

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