Ramadan, the month of fasting that forms one of the five “pillars” of Islam, in recent years frequently drew mention from President Obama.
Attacks and threats against Muslims have been reported during the most recent holiday, including a threat of violence at a Manhattan mosque, an assault of a woman on a Boston train, pellet gun vandalism at a New York mosque, hateful phone calls at Denver mosques and harassment of girls wearing hijabs in Chicago.
The Christian ministry Barnabas Fund, however, highlighted another statistic.
It noted 1,629 people were killed by Muslims during their holy month this year.
“On 26 May, just as Ramadan was about to start, jihadists attacked buses carrying Egyptian Christians to a monastery, killing 29 – some of them young children,” the worldwide ministry to persecuted Christians reported.
“During the rest of the month of Ramadan, jihadists killed more than 1,600 people, making it the bloodiest Ramadan in recent history.”
The website The Religion of Peace, in fact, counted 164 jihad attacks worldwide during the month of June.
And although that doesn’t align directly with Islam’s Ramadan, the site noted the death toll was 1,176, mainly from 34 suicide blasts in 30 different countries.
Just in the last few days, seven children were executed in Iraq and hung from lamp posts by ISIS, the report said. And over the weekend, nine villagers in Kenya were beheaded “like chickens” by Islamic extremists.
Last Friday, Islamic militants “staged a brutal assault on a checkpoint [in Egypt] that [began] with a suicide blast and leaves two dozen dead,” the site reported.
“Although for many Muslims Ramadan is a time of self-denial and fasting, for others it is a time of jihad,” Barnabas Fund’s report said. “Some Islamic traditions suggest that those killed in jihad during Ramadan will gain double rewards in paradise. In fact, it was during the month of Ramadan that Muhammad and the first Islamic army conquered Mecca in 630 A.D. and this has led some jihadi groups, such as the Taliban, to declare jihad obligatory during Ramadan.”
“What may surprise and shock many people is that Ramadan, which is revered as the holiest month of the Islamic calendar, is far from being a month of peace,” the report said. “Some Muslims have been killing other Muslims in large numbers. In fact, the majority of those killed in the past month were actually Muslims. They were killed either because they were liberal Muslims or because they belonged to different sectarian groups (or even different jihadi groups). Jihadists use an Islamic theological device called takfir to declare groups with whom they disagree to be ‘non-Muslims,’ and therefore legitimate targets of jihad.”
The death toll during Ramadan this year, the report said, “represents an appalling catalogue of carnage.”
“We stand in mourning with the families of all those murdered, whether Christian or Muslim. But in doing so, we call for tolerance and an end to the assumption that those who express a different belief, or choose to change their belief, should be killed,” the ministry said.