Islam’s ‘Night of Power’ and the Terror Alert
During Ramadan, the holy month of fasting for Muslims, there is a night that I look forward to every year.
This night is called Laylat ul-Qadr, which translates as the “Night of Power” or the “Night of Destiny.”
It is the night when Muslims believe that the Prophet Muhammed received the first revelation of the Quran. He was in a cave, praying, when he hears the angelic voice of Gabriel speaking to him, bearing him a revelation from God.
CNN’s Peter Bergen thinks that this night has symbolic meaning for al Qaeda, and perhaps it does.<
Bergen speculated that the holy night might be the reason behind the recent uptick in al Qaeda’s activity and the corresponding closure of U.S. embassies in Africa and the Middle East. I remain unconvinced of the causal link that Bergen tries to establish.
More importantly, such links between Islamic holy days and militancy allow al Qaeda to continue to define what Islam is…
Hussein Rashid teaches at Hofstra University in the Department of Religion. He is an associate editor at Religion Dispatches, a term member on the Council on Foreign Relations and fellow at ISPU.