by Aysha Qamar
The current administration under President Donald Trump has issued many changes to programming and events including no longer hosting the annual White House Iftar, which took place each year.
Last year, President Trump’s White House statement on Ramadan was criticized for its focus on terrorism as opposed to addressing and honoring the Holy Month for Muslims. Trump’s statements seemed to focus on the ‘duty’ of Muslims to address terrorism and violence occurring in the name of Islam.
In his statement he said, “at its core, the spirit of Ramadan strengthens awareness of our shared obligation to reject violence, to pursue peace, and to give to those in need who are suffering from poverty or conflict.”
The statement seemed to less address the month of Ramadan and acknowledge those observing it and more to emphasize the ideology that Muslims must apologize for and clearly depict their stance against terrorism.
“America will always stand with our partners against terrorism and the ideology that fuels it,” the White House Statement read. “During this month of Ramadan, let us be resolved to spare no measure so that we may ensure that future generations will be free of this scourge and able to worship and commune in peace.”
This year however, it seems as though the White House took into consideration the criticism and feedback from American Muslims.
The statement compared to its predecessor took a different stance.
It acknowledged the diversity of the country and well wished Muslims for the month. President Trump even gave note to the rituals and teachings of Islam referring to the month as “blessed.”
“During the holy month of Ramadan, Muslims commemorate the revelation of the Quran to the prophet Muhammad through fellowship and prayer. Many observe this holy time by fasting, performing acts of charity, reciting prayers, and reading the Quran.”
“Ramadan is a time of self-reflection intended to deepen one’s spiritual growth and renew a sense of appreciation for the many blessings God provides. In this spirit of thanksgiving and reflection, those observing Ramadan can strengthen our communities, help those in need, and serve as good examples for how to live a holy life.”
Let us hope that the current administration moves on a path away from hate and begins to respect and acknowledge its Muslim citizens.
“Ramadan reminds us of the richness Muslims add to the religious tapestry of American life. In the United States, we are all blessed to live under a Constitution that fosters religious liberty and respects religious practice. Our Constitution ensures Muslims can observe Ramadan in accordance with the dictates of conscience and unimpeded by government. By doing so, the Constitution also furnishes varied opportunities for all Americans to deepen their understanding of the human soul,” the statement read.
Who knows, maybe the tradition of the White House Iftar will make a comeback.