Sunday, June 25, 2017

Trump just ended a long tradition of celebrating Ramadan at the White House

The Washington Post ^ | June 24, 2017 | Amy B Wang 

In the early days of December 1805, a handful of prominent politicians received formal invitations to join President Thomas Jefferson for a White House dinner.

Whatever Jefferson could have foreseen for the young country’s future, it appears the modern-day White House tradition of marking Ramadan with an iftar dinner or Eid celebration has come to an end.
Ramadan, which falls on the ninth month of the Islamic lunar calendar, started on May 27 this year and ends at sundown Saturday. Muslims around the world will mark the end of the holy month by celebrating the holiday Eid al-Fitr, the “feast of breaking of the fast.”

For the first time in nearly two decades, Ramadan has come and gone without the White House recognizing it with an iftar or Eid celebration, as had taken place each year under the Clinton, Bush and Obama administrations. In recent weeks, several former White House staff members told The Post they would usually begin planning an iftar “months in advance” and didn’t anticipate the Trump White House could pull something off before the end of Ramadan.

White House officials did not respond to repeated requests for comment.

In late May, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson reportedly said the State Department would break with recent tradition and not host a Ramadan reception, as it had done nearly annually for two decades. On Saturday, Tillerson released a brief statement sending “best wishes to all Muslims celebrating Eid al-Fitr.”

“This holiday marks the culmination of Ramadan, a month in which many experience meaning and inspiration in acts of fasting, prayer, and charity,” Tillerson said in the statement. “This day offers an opportunity to reflect on our shared commitment to building peaceful and prosperous communities. Eid Mubarak.”
(Excerpt) Read more at msn.com ...

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