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Fighters, protesters and refugees among the Muslims marking Ramadan

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Fighters, protesters and refugees among the Muslims marking Ramadan


Across the Arab world signs are going up in shops and restaurants, just one of the many indications it is the start of Ramadan, the Islamic month of fasting during daylight hours.

Many observers wonder what effect the holy month might have in the countries where protest and conflict are dominant.

In Libya a prominent cleric has said soldiers fighting in defence of their leader Colonel Muammar Gaddafi are not obliged to fast. He denounced the rebels and their allies saying Gaddafi is the lawful leader of the country.

Several explosions rocked the capital overnight as NATO vowed to push on with a bombing campaign.

“Those who are fighting can eat and drink. There is no religious obligation for them because everyone who stands up against this strife and

confronts it is a holy warrior, a Mujahadeen, except those who are allied with NATO,” declared Sheikh Mohamed Chouieref al-Medeni

Ramadan will not quell the demonstrations in Egypt. In the capital protesters have vowed to carry on their daily occupation of Tahrir Square where they have been since the start of the uprising.

“We don’t have any problem, we can protest in Ramadan the same way as any normal day. Ramadan will enhance our revolution and will increase our enthusiasm,” explained

Mohammad Karam, who was among the demonstrators..

US military chiefs are waiting to see if Taliban leaders cross over the border into Pakistan to celebrate Ramadan and take a break from fighting.

But for the thousands of Pakistani Muslims the holy month will bring no relief after the floods of a year ago.

“Everything is available at shops but people have no

money to buy. The floods took away whatever they had with them,” explained Sultanat Khan.

One aid agency said more than 800,000 families are without permanent shelter and more than a million people are in need of food hand outs, proof that going without is not just for Ramadan.

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