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Religion and Terrorism: Evidence from Ramadan Fasting

Roland Hodler, Paul Raschky () and Anthony Strittmatter ()

Papers from arXiv.org

Abstract: We study the effect of religion and intense religious experiences on terrorism by focusing on one of the five pillars of Islam: Ramadan fasting. For identification, we exploit two facts: First, daily fasting from dawn to sunset during Ramadan is considered mandatory for most Muslims. Second, the Islamic calendar is not synchronized with the solar cycle. We find a robust negative effect of more intense Ramadan fasting on terrorist events within districts and country-years in predominantly Muslim countries. This effect seems to operate partly through decreases in public support for terrorism and the operational capabilities of terrorist groups.

Date: 2018-10, Revised 2019-03
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