May 30, 2017: Ice cream parlour bombings in Iraq

On May 30, 2017 two Islamic State (ISIS) car bomb attacks in Baghdad killed at least 26 people and wounded dozens.

BAGHDAD, IRAQ – Those out for a respite after a day of fasting should not have to fear losing their lives in a terrorist attack.

I have always found the tradition of fasting fascinating (say ‘fasting fascinating’ out loud five times in rapid succession!). Many practice it, some for religious reasons and others for the apparent health benefits. I am no specialist in the latter so I will limit my comments to the former.

Christians have the yearly season known as Lent which precedes Easter. Believers undertake prayers and self-denial of certain pleasures all in preparation for the commemoration of the arrest, torture, crucifixion and apparent subsequent resurrection of the faith’s founder Jesus Christ.

Muslims have a similar tradition, called the month of Ramadhan, where the devout (and some not so devout) abstain from eating from sunup to sundown. As Muslims use a lunar, not solar calendar, this month of fasting works its way through the calendar and can thereby fall in mid summer, making for very long food-free days.

They may not be Bon Jovi fans but ‘living on a prayer; helps during Ramadhan (Photo: Omar Chatriwala on flickr, CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

As a consequence, once the sun goes down Muslims break their fast and often go out to eat in what are communal celebrations. Sometimes they turn lethal.

On this day in 2017

Two Islamic State (ISIS) car bomb attacks in Baghdad killed at least 26 people and wounded dozens. The first happened just after midnight at an ice cream shop in the Karrada district, where a crowd had broken their Ramadhan fasts: the second occurred near the Shuhada Bridge. ISIS later claimed it had targeted “gatherings” of Shia Muslims. NB Jihadis HATE the Shia.

ISIS terrorists tonight in Baghdad target children & families enjoying time together at an ice cream shop. We stand w/Iraq against this evil.

US envoy to the multinational coalition against ISIS, Brett McGurk

OK, let’s unpack this. A terrorist group that claims to be the cat’s ass of Islam targets people who have just observed the blessed month of Ramadhan, one of the five ‘pillars’ of Islam. So, self-styled epitomes of Islam kill their confreres doing their religious duty. At an ice cream parlour no less.

Anyone else having doubts on the ‘faith‘ of these terrorists?

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By Phil Gurski

Phil Gurski is the President and CEO of Borealis Threat and Risk Consulting Ltd. Phil is a 32-year veteran of CSE and CSIS and the author of six books on terrorism.

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