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Violence During Ramadan


On August 24th, the 13th day of Ramadan, a suicide bomber and a gunman attacked a hotel in Somalia's capital Mogadishu, killing some 30 people.

Referring to the Islamic holy month of Ramadan, Verse 2:194 of the Qu'ran states: "The sacred month for the sacred month; sanctities should be respected alike by all concerned."

None the less, on August 24th, the 13th day of Ramadan, a suicide bomber and a gunman attacked a hotel in Somalia's capital Mogadishu, killing some 30 people. The people who died were Muslims civilians. The al-Shabaab terrorist group, a self-proclaimed ally of al-Qa'ida, took responsibility for this attack.

"The United States strongly condemns today’s murderous attack by al-Shabaab against civilians staying at the Mouna Hotel in Mogadishu," said U.S. State Department Spokesman Phillip Crowley. "Our condolences go out to the families and friends of the victims. That the attack occurring during Ramadan highlights al-Shabaab’s complete disregard for human life, Somali culture, and Islamic values. The terrorists appear to have been targeting Somali parliamentarians and other members of the Transitional Federal Government – further evidence that they are bent on depriving Somalia of security, peace, and stability," he said.

According to the U.S. State Department's 2009 Country Reports on Terrorism, Harakat al-Shabaab al-Mujahideen, is an off-shoot of the Islamic Courts Union, which split into a number of smaller groups in 2006. The Islamic Courts Union was a group of Sharia Courts that united themselves to form a rival administration to the Transitional Federal Government of Somalia. Al-Shabaab continues to battle the Somali government. It also claims to be waging jihad against enemies of Islam, yet most of its victims are Muslims. Other victims are frequently foreign aid workers, delivering food and desperately needed services to the Somali people.

"This is a particularly outrageous act during the Islamic month of Ramadan. And al-Shabaab's vision for Africa stands in sharp contrast to the vision of the overwhelming majority of Africans," said John Brennan, President Barack Obama's Assistant for Counterterrorism and Homeland Security.

"The United States will continue to partner with those who oppose terrorism, extremism and violence in all forms," said John Brennan. "We will continue to work very closely with those in Africa, particularly in the Horn of Africa in Somalia, who are interested in ensuring that Africa can realize its full potential and achieve prosperity for all Africans."

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