Muslims worldwide mark end of bloody Ramadan

AP July 07,2016 - 10:46 AM
A police officer stands among Russian Muslims praying outside the central mosque in Moscow on July 5 during celebrations of Eid al-Fitr. /AFP

A police officer stands among Russian Muslims praying outside the central mosque in Moscow on July 5 during celebrations of Eid al-Fitr. /AFP

Beirut — As Muslims around the world celebrate the end of Ramadan, many are struggling to comprehend a wave of attacks that killed 350 people across several continents during the holy month and made urgent the question of what drives the militants to ever more spectacular violence against civilians.

The diverse, high-profile targets — including one that struck the heart of Islam in the month’s final days — underline the warnings of many experts: the Islamic State group, especially when on the defensive at home, will metastasize far beyond its theater of operations.

The extremist group has always sought attention and recruits through brazen terrorism. The projection of daring, operational competence and utter disregard for the norms of its enemies has proven a winning strategy among its disenfranchised and angry followers around the Muslim world.
But having lost the key city of Fallujah in recent weeks, capping a series of setbacks in Iraq, the group is pushing to project strength while also diverting attention from its battlefield humiliations.

“ISIS is waging an existential fight,” said Fawaz Gerges, a London-based scholar of jihadi groups, using an alternate acronym for the militant group. “The future of the Islamic State is on the line, and it is trying to maximize the cost for its adversaries and also to inspire this particular segment of young men and women who subscribe to its ideology.”

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TAGS: Act of Terrorism, Acts of Terrorism, bombing, Eid al-Fitr, Eid’l Fitr, Fallujah, Iraq, ISIS, Islam, killing, Muslim, muslims, Ramadan, religion

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