May 11, 2022 Special Dispatch No. 9960

Tunisian Writer: Ramadan Will Not Be A Month Of Tolerance As Long As Islamic Extremism Prevails

May 11, 2022
Tunisia, North Africa | Special Dispatch No. 9960

In his April 20, 2022 column on the liberal website, Tunisian author and journalist Hassouna Al-Misbahi complained that, instead of being a month of peace, tolerance and solidarity, Ramadan has become a month in which extremist Muslims perpetrate massacres and fatwas encouraging violence are issued.[1] Mentioning the act of burning the Quran that was perpetrated in Sweden several weeks ago by a far-right activist, he stated that the Muslims have a hand in prompting heinous acts of this sort. He noted, for example, that Muslim immigrants in the West have perpetrated terrible acts of terror in the name of the Quran and have blown themselves up in crowded areas while crying out “Allah akbar”. He also noted the incitement spread by extremist mosque preachers in the West and in the Arab and Islamic countries, who encourage terrorism and even promise that its perpetrators will be rewarded with in Paradise with virgins and with rivers of milk and honey. He added that the Arab and Muslim countries do nothing to combat the extremists’ incitement, and that even the intellectual elites there are afraid to confront them. “As long as this situation persists,” he warned, “Ramadan will continue to be bereft of any spiritual and human value.”

Hassouna Al-Misbahi (Source:

The following are translated excerpts from his column.[2]

“Every year, Ramadan isn’t in any way a month of tolerance, peace, love, solidarity, compassion and forgiveness, as Muslims all over the world would like it to be. In many cases Ramadan has seen acts of massacre and terrible crimes in which extremist Muslims were involved, and strange and bewildering fatwas that permit  killing, butchering, marrying ten-year-old girls, stoning [women] accused of rebelling against ‘Islamic values’ and of ‘contaminating’ them, and flogging and imprisoning those who violate the fast. [There were also fatwas] that forbid music, singing and dancing…

“Every year there are more indications that the situation of the Muslims is deteriorating from day to day and is becoming worse than it was in the eras of stagnation and backwardness. When we open a newspaper or turn on the radio or television we are routinely amazed to hear shocking and horrifying news having to do with Islam and Muslims. This Ramadan, a right-wing fanatic in the Swedish town of Lund burned a copy of the Quran in front of his followers and was determined to repeat this act in many other Swedish cities. Several Arab countries, including Iraq, protested this incident, but such protest makes no impression [on anyone]. The Muslims should better examine themselves and ask what caused this Swedish extremist to perpetrate this heinous act. The first and foremost reason is that immigrants from the Arab and Muslim world have perpetrated terrible terrorist crimes in their host countries while crying our ‘Allah akbar, Allah akbar.’

“Some of these immigrants can’t even properly recite the Fatiha [the first Surah of the Quran] or any other Quranic surah, yet they perpetrate massacres and blow themselves up in a mall, on a train or a crowded street or in a nightclub in order to kill dozens of victims – in the name of the Quran. Another reason is that most of the Arab and Islamic countries do not provide their diasporas with cultural services by establishing clubs so they can visit them and become acquainted with their national culture: its literature, music, art and cinema. On the contrary, these [countries] ignore [the diasporas], until the [expats] have no choice but to visit mosques run by extremists who allow themselves to sow a discourse of strife and deliver inciting sermons promoting struggle between the religions, between the West and the East and even among Muslims. Furthermore, these [extremists] do not hesitate to condone terror and praise its perpetrators, promising them the virgins of Paradise and rivers flowing with milk and pure honey.   

“All these sermons and fake fatwas make it impossible to tell the difference between a saint and a sinner, between right and wrong and between good and bad in the Muslim world, which is mired in crises and cannot recover from one crisis without sinking in another, even worse crisis. With this chaos growing every day, the preachers of extremism and blind terrorism have taken over the Muslim destiny, and if any person or organization tries to oppose them, they pull out their weapons and make threats, as though they are the exclusive representatives of the spirit of the Islamic shari’a. 

“Had we taken a close look at the actions of these extremists, we would have inferred, without any effort, that they harm Islam more than anyone else and may harm it even more than its enemies. In the last decades they have caused it immense harm, which even time may not easily heal. The extremists are expert at telling people that they can enact justice and liberty and expunge injustice, but their lies and despicable methods of deceit and of marketing illusions are soon exposed.

“A source of concern and puzzlement is that most of the Islamic countries do not seem to be capable of dealing with these extremists. The intellectual and cultural elites are afraid of them and therefore avoid opposing them with same courage shown by Western thinkers who come out against the extremists in their own countries. As long as this situation persists, Ramadan will continue to be bereft of any spiritual and human value.”


[2], April 20, 2022.

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