Muslims Add Richness To American Life: Donald Trump’s Ramzan Message

Muslims Add Richness To American Life: Donald Trump’s Ramzan Message
  • 1

Washington: Offering warm greetings on Ramadan and hosting an iftar meal have been standard White House behavior for decades during the major Muslim holiday – but not during the Trump presidency. That appears to be changing.
Ramadan last year featured a White House holiday statement focusing on terrorism, including President Donald Trump’s comment that the sacred holiday tens of millions observe “strengthens awareness of our shared obligation to reject violence.” The White House and the State Department broke with tradition and didn’t hold a celebratory iftar (the ceremonial break-fast meal each sunset during Ramadan).
But Tuesday, the White House released a statement with a markedly different tone, saying Ramadan “reminds us of the richness Muslims add to the religious tapestry of American life.” The month-long holiday begins this week.
The White House is also exploring working with the State Department to host an iftar in early June, said Ray Mahmood, a prominent Muslim real estate developer who has long been involved in interfaith diplomacy in the Washington area.
“I think they are doing one, from what we’ve heard,” Mahmood said. Asked about the weight of such a ritual event at a time when the country is experiencing a rise in anti-Muslim rhetoric and actions, and as the White House continues in court to press what candidate Trump called the “Muslim ban,” Mahmood said these steps are significant.“I think they are very important to the Muslim community. At least they feel the president at the White House is doing this, which shows some tolerance and acceptance,” he said Wednesday.
Deputy White House press secretary Lindsay Walters said Wednesday that the White House had “no update at this time.”Relations between most Muslim Americans and Trump soured during his candidacy after he proposed banning all Muslims from the United States as a security measure against terrorism.