Arab Rulers Expect Revolutionary Ramadan


OnIslam & News Agencies

DUBAI – As masses of revolutionary Arabs prepare for a different Ramadan this year, the holy fasting month is not equally welcomed by their rulers who are bracing for more tensions amid a wave of unprecedented uprisings sweeping the region.

“Throughout history, Ramadan has been the month of revolutions and victory,” Abdullah al-Amadi, director of the Qatar-based Islamic website Islamonline, told Agence France Presse (AFP) on Saturday, July 30.

“I think it will inspire the youths of the Arab Spring to complete their struggles against injustice and tyranny,” he said.

Struggling against tyrant regimes, revolutionists in Libya, Syria and Yemen have been anticipating the beginning of the holy month next Monday, August 1.

Going out in major protests after Friday prayers, the weekly Syrian protests have managed to mobilize people over the past four months of anti-Assad regime protests.

In Ramadan, protest organizers hope it would be easier to gather people after breakfast in their mosque gatherings for tarawih night prayers, performed only in Ramadan.

Rumors that Syrian protesters were planning daily nightly protests after Tarawih prayers were worrying security forces who could face seven Fridays every week.

The news was confirmed by Syrian cyber activists on the Facebook group The Syrian Revolution 2011, calling for protests every night until dawn.

“The regime is afraid of Ramadan and the Taraweeh prayers,” it wrote.

In Yemen, a Ramadan of Change was anticipated by protesters for the first time without President Ali Abdullah Saleh, currently in Saudi Arabia after being wounded in an explosion.

Saleh was wounded in the blast at his palace compound on June 3, and was flown the next day for treatment in Riyadh where he is still convalescing.

Camping out at a square in the Yemeni capital Sanaa since February, protesters say they are determined to revive their movement during Ramadan.

“This will be the month of change, especially since Ali Abdullah Saleh is not in Yemen,” said Walid al-Omari, an activist from Yemen’s “Youth Revolution” group.

Ramadan Victories

Known as a month of victories, Libyan rebels, fighting over the past five months against leader Muammar Gaddafi, believe that Allah would support them for fighting the tyrant during fasting hours.

Despite abstaining from food and drink during daylight in the scorching heat of August, they are determined to continue their struggle.

“If it’s war and we’re tired, we’ll eat,” said Hatem al-Jadi, a 24-year-old fighter in the western desert hamlet of Gualish, south of Tripoli.

“But if we remain in a defensive position, we will fast. God is with us.”

The holy month of Ramadan has witnessed many Arab and Muslim victories along the history.

On the seventeenth of Ramadan, 2 AH, Muslims defeated Quraish, the predominant Arab tribe which had opposed Islam ever since its very first day.

In 1187 AD, Muslims led by Sultan Saladin (Salah Al-Din Al-Ayubi) wiped out the Frankish army, restoring Al-Quds to its Muslim rulers.

Even in the modern history, Egypt defeated Israel in 1973 war, which occurred on the 10th of Ramadan, restoring Sinai Peninsula from its occupiers.

Other countries, however, were trying to keep themselves in the save place, adopting a “better safe than sorry” stance, to extinguish the anger of people by offering commodities at suitable prices.

In Egypt, where tensions are mounting between the military and activists demanding reforms, the government has taken measures to maintain its costly subsidy system that keeps very low prices for basic foodstuffs such as bread.

In OPEC kingpin Saudi Arabia, the ministry of commerce has forced dairy producers to reconsider their decision to increase prices.

Even in neighboring oil-rich United Arab Emirates, the president, Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed al-Nahayan, has ordered that rice be subsidized across the country during Ramadan.

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