The White House will not celebrate the end of Ramadan
For the first time in two decades, the White House will not celebrate "Iftar" or "Eid," the dinner that commemorates the month of Ramadan, a fundamental religious holiday for Islam.
The Iftar dinner indicates the end of the month of Muslim fasting and is the most important celebration in the religious year of Islam. The White House, since the Clinton administration - when then-First Lady Hillary Clinton held the first Iftar dinner - had invited diplomats and representatives of Islam every year to celebrate the end of Ramadan, even after the September 11 attacks, when George W. Bush "attended to show that the United States' struggle was against terrorism and not religion."
But Donald Trump and his administration have decided to change the tradition.
After suspending dinner, the president and his wife signed a statement that was published by the Washington Post on Saturday, stating “Muslims in the United States joined those around the world during the holy month of Ramadan to focus on acts of faith and charity,” read the statement, which was not posted to the president’s Twitter. “Now, as they commemorate Eid with family and friends, they carry on the tradition of helping neighbors 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 honor these values. Eid Mubarak.”
For his part, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson declined to follow the recommendation of the State Department's Office of Religion and Global Affairs in May to celebrate the traditional reception, according to Reuters. The Secretary of State's decision breaks a tradition dating back to 1805, when Thomas Jefferson first offered to symbolically receive representatives of Islam.
According to El Pais, Imam Talib Sharif of the great mosque in Washington expressed his opinion stating, "It is a message that Muslims do not matter here. The president has time to play golf but not to serve those who need him. "
While President Trump inaugurated his first official overseas trip in Saudi Arabia - the epicenter of Islam - with a speech that advocated unity and understanding in the face of international threats such as terrorism, his decision to overturn such an important tradition accentuates his Islamophobic stance at home.