Marine General Says Ramadan Fast Prompted Afghan Betrayals
General John Allen has publicly stated that the ‘stress’ of the Islamicly mandated Ramadan fast — which occurred during the heat of the summer this year — contributed to the increase in “insider” attacks by supposed Afghan allies on international (predominantly American) troops:
Gen. John R. Allen, said…that while the reasons for the killings are not fully understood, the effect of Ramadan fasting is likely among the causes.
“The idea that they will fast during the day places great strain on them,” Allen said, adding that the stress may have been compounded by Ramadan falling during the heat of summer and the height of the fighting season. He acknowledged that hunger and heat are not the primary causes for the killings, but it is among many “different and complex reasons for why we think this may have increased” lately.
Missing a meal might make some people cranky at work, but would it really cause men to kill those they call allies — if they weren’t going to do that already?
In the end, it is somewhat unusual to hear a military leader say a religious act contributed to acts of war, particularly when the religion in question is Islam. It is more unusual that no one should find it…unusual.