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Ramadan is a physically and spiritually demanding month for Muslims — think Lent & Yom Kippur having a baby, on steroids — but when the Islamic calendar places it during secular summertime, it’s especially tough, because the daylight fasting requirement gets much longer. (Then again, it’s no picnic when Ramadan falls during your athletic season, or engineering midterms, etc.)

This year, the holy month goes from August 1 to August 30. From my experience, some of your friendly neighborhood Muslims may get a bit crabby during that first week of fasting — try not to savor your pizza in front of them!

Speaking of pizza, just in time for Ramadan, GOP presidential contender Herman Cain has apologized to Muslims for his mosque-banning remarks.

Otherwise, here are some interesting “getting ready for Ramadan 2011” stories:

I’ll also be following Aman Ali & Bassam Tariq’s “30 Mosques in 30 Days” project again this year. They’re starting in Alaska! (Apparently, Jews in Alaska are the “Frozen Chosen” — I wonder if Muslims there have a nickname?) Got any questions for me to ask Aman when I interview him?

Share your thoughts in the Comments section below. (If you can’t find it — Beliefnet is experimenting with the blogs — contact me on Twitter or by email.

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