Ramadan draws to a close Tuesday, following weeks of bloodshed throughout the world as Islamist extremists have sought to sow terror during the Muslim holy month.
The scale of the carnage inflicted by extremists over the past week alone has been staggering. Just some of the more bloody attacks:
more than 200 killed by a truck bomb in a crowded Baghdad market; 44 killed at an airport in Istanbul, Turkey; 23 killed in a siege of a café in Dhaka, Bangladesh.
But among the most horrifying in its symbolism for many of the world’s Muslims was the attack in the Saudi city of Medina — the resting place of the Prophet Mohammed and the second holiest site in Islam.
The attack — the deadliest of three that occurred in Saudi Arabia during in a 24-hour span — killed four security staff in a parking lot outside the Prophet’s Mosque, the grand place of worship that was created in an expansion of the original humble mosque built by the Prophet.
For many Muslims worldwide, as Haroon Moghul, senior fellow at the Center for Global Policy, writes, this was “an assault on Islam itself.”