THE SPINE SEPTEMBER 29, 2006
Ramadan is the Muslim daytime fasting month. Among other obligations for believers is that during this period they must make particular efforts to abjure violence.
Oops! There was plenty of evidence in The New York Times this morning and in many other news outlets that the Sunni and Shia communities in Iraq are ignoring the injunction. At least 60 Iraqis--or, more precisely, their bodies--were found dead, murdered in Baghdad, members of both religious sects, "many of them shot in the head at close range and bearing signs of torture." And
who knows how many were shanghaied and killed in other locales!
Let's face it. There is a deep and bloody cleft in Islam. In Iraq, the
Sunnis hate the Shia more than they hate us, the Americans. And the Shia hate the Sunnis, also more than they hate us. In Lebanon, the Sunnis certainly hate the Shia more than they hate the Jews. With the Lebanese Shia of the Nasrallah camp maybe their rage is evenly split. In most places where Sunni and Shia confront each other, the Jews and even the Israelis are an abstraction. But not the other Muslims, they are very real and considered vile.
By the way, happy Ramadan. You can eat--and make love--as soon as the sun goes down.