President Obama marked Eid al-Fitr by noting “challenges and senseless violence” over Ramadan “that broke our hearts and tried our souls.”
“For Muslim Americans, Eid is an opportunity to reflect on the 30 days spent fasting and to recommit to values of gratitude, compassion, and generosity,” Obama said in a statement. “…Muslim Americans are as diverse as our nation itself—black, white, Latino, Asian, and Arab. Eid celebrations around the country remind us of our proud history as a nation built by people of all backgrounds; our history of religious freedom and civil liberties, and our history of innovation and strength. These legacies would not be possible without the contributions of Muslim Americans that make our country even stronger.”
The president acknowledged the attacks over the Islamic holy month, stating “our prayers are with the hundreds of innocent lives, many of them Muslim, taken during the month of Ramadan in places like Orlando, Istanbul, Dhaka, Baghdad, and Medina.”
“Here at home, we’ve also seen a rise in attacks against Muslim Americans,” Obama added. “No one should ever feel afraid or unsafe in their place of worship. Many Americans have shared in the experience of Ramadan by volunteering in community service efforts to assist those in need and even fasting a few days with their fellow Muslim American co-workers. In the face of hate, it’s our American values and strength that bring us together to stand in solidarity and protect one another—thereby, making our nation stronger and safer.”
“Muslim Americans have been part of our American family since its founding,” he continued. “This Eid, we recommit to protecting Muslim Americans against bigotry and xenophobia, while celebrating the contributions of Muslim Americans around the country, including one of our finest, the People’s Champion Muhammad Ali, to whom we bade farewell this Ramadan.”
The Obamas will host an Eid celebration at the White House later this month.
Secretary of State John Kerry released his own statement marking “the end of Ramadan, a holy month of fasting, prayer, contemplation, and community service.”
“At the same time, we are mindful of the recent tragic events that have affected so many and remind us all, whether here in the United States or abroad, of the need for greater understanding, respect, and tolerance for all people and religions,” Kerry said.