Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Because nothing says Happy Ramadan like...

Blowing up US embassies.

A car bomb targeting the U.S. Embassy hit the front gate of the compound in Yemen's capital Wednesday, a U.S. spokesman said. A senior Yemeni security official said six Yemeni guards and four civilians were killed. The Yemeni guards were assigned to sentry duty outside the embassy by the Interior Ministry. The civilians were three Yemenis and one Indian national, the Yemeni security official said.

Muslim on muslim gang warfare.

A night of clashes between Hamas forces and one of Gaza's strongest armed clans left 11 people dead, including an infant, and at least 40 wounded. The battle, which ended early Tuesday, began when police officers surrounded the Dagmoush clan compound in Gaza City, demanding that it turn over a family member accused of killing a police officer.

Blowing up "tables of mercy".

At least 20 people have died and 30 have been injured as a result of a suicide bombing by a woman in a crowd who were participating in a celebration dinner in Balad Ruz, 37 miles east of Baquba, Diyala province, in northern Iraq. The suicide bomber had detonated the explosives belt attached to the body being carried together with some "tables of mercy", where dozens of people were celebrating the Iftar, the meal with the Muslims break the fast in the holy month of Ramadan at sunset.

Killing a television crew.

On Saturday, as the Sharqiya TV personnel homed in on a family reeling from losses suffered in a massive bombing, kidnappers zeroed in on them. Hours later, three journalists and their driver were found dead, shot in the head and chest and dumped on the outskirts of Mosul, a northern city that has become one of the most violent in Iraq. The TV show is one of the country's most popular, a form of "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition" in which a TV crew surprises needy Iraqis with food and gifts during the holy month of Ramadan.

Getting arrested for having a glass of juice.

The Dubai court in the United Arab Emirates fined a Russian tourist and a Lebanese for improper behavior during the holy Muslim month of Ramadan. They found themselves in the dock after policemen detained them drinking juice in public during the day. Article 313 of the Emirates Penal Code prohibits publicly drinking and eating in daytime during strict Ramadan fasting and carries a punishment of up to AED 2,000 (over $500) fine and even one-month imprisonment.

Watching the soaps.

"Ramadan has become a month of soap operas," complained the Saudi commentator Nourah Al-Khereiji, with no less than 64 of them being broadcast on various channels, timed to start after the iftar meal - the evening meal when fasts are broken - but staggered so that viewers can flick from one to another for hours of uninterrupted entertainment...But this year it is also attracting record audiences for controversial TV programmes that have been condemned by conservative clerics as depraved, immoral and damaging.