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Sunday, 25 June 2017

#EidMubarak: President Trump ends decades-long White House tradition of celebrating Ramadan with iftar dinner

US President Donald Trump’s government has not held an iftar dinner for the end of Ramadan, breaking a Muslim tradition held at the White House for decades.

The iftar dinner takes place at sunset at the end of the holy month of Ramadan.

White House officials reportedly spend months planning the event, which has been held every year under the Clinton, Bush and Obama administrations, but 2017 has seen its cancellation.




According to the  Independent, the White House issued a statement on late Saturday evening.

“Muslims in the United States joined those around the world during the holy month of Ramadan to focus on acts of faith and charity,” the statement read.

“Now, as they commemorate Eid with family and friends, they carry on the tradition of helping neighbours and breaking bread with people from all walks of life.

“During this holiday, we are reminded of the importance of mercy, compassion, and goodwill.  With Muslims around the world, the United States renews our commitment to honour these values. Eid Mubarak.”

Earlier this year Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said the government would not host the dinner. He also issued a statement on Saturday, which read, “This holiday marks the culmination of Ramadan, a month in which many experience meaning and inspiration in acts of fasting, prayer, and charity.

“This day offers an opportunity to reflect on our shared commitment to building peaceful and prosperous communities. Eid Mubarak.”

The White House tradition started with earnest in 1996, when First Lady Hillary Clinton hosted 150 people after learning more about the ritual from her daughter Chelsea, who had reportedly studied Islamic history in school, as reported by Muslim Voices.

President George W Bush hosted the dinner every year for his two terms, including just after the 9/11 attacks. He said at the dinner that the fight was against terrorism, not Islam.




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