Ramadan has witnessed a stunning rise in attacks relative to other months in recent years, an increase attributed to terrorist groups, and its attempts to transform the month of prayer and atonement to one of bloodshed and violence.
Ramadan is of such a high status; acts of good deeds during the month are of immense virtue and earn a greatly multiplied reward, this has been misinterpreted and twisted by terrorist groups to include attacks on non-Muslims.
Calls for violence were covered in Islamic language, such as when ISIS and Al Shabaab officials claimed that the heightened religiosity of the ramadhan season meant spiritual rewards for terrorist acts and that and it would be greater than normal days.
To validate themselves, jihadists often evoke the Battle of Badr, a key moment in early Muslim history that occurred during the month of Ramadan in the year 624 CE. During the battle, Muslim forces overwhelmed their enemies despite being massively outnumbered. Against all odds, their victory ensured the survival of the fledgling community of believers. It’s no surprise that jihadists like to draw attention to this example, manipulating it to their political ends.
The truth is, just as one receives multiplied rewards for good deeds in ramadhan, terrorist groups receive multiplied bad deeds for spending the sacred month of ramadhan oppressing people and killing the innocents.
For Muslims globally, these attacks during ramadhan are perhaps the clearest evidence that organizations like Al Shabaab are un-Islamic and distort the core message of their faith. That is why in Kenyan Muslim scholars have come out in numbers to denounce these evil minded terrorist groups who claim to be Muslims but do the exact opposite of what Islam teaches.