President Obama issued a statement today to mark Eid al-Fitr, noting there’s “a reason to celebrate and express gratitude on this holiday” as Muslims wrap up the Ramadan month tomorrow.
“For millions of Muslims, the morning of Eid is marked with the call to prayer echoing through cities and towns across the globe. Millions of people head to local mosques for special Eid prayers followed by festive gatherings, gift exchanges, and feasts among friends, neighbors and families. The diversity of traditions paint the vibrant images we see from around the world capturing the spirit and excitement of Eid – colorful dresses or white garments decorating the masses of people standing in lines for prayer, lanterns and ornaments lighting up bazaars and neighborhoods, intricate henna designs painted on hands of young girls and women, and an abundance of delectable foods and aromatic cuisines,” Obama said.
“As Muslim Americans celebrate Eid across America, the holiday is a reminder to every American of the importance of respecting those of all faiths and beliefs.”
He noted that over the past year New York City Public Schools added Eid to their official school calendars alongside Christmas, Hanukkah and other holidays – “an acknowledgement of the great diversity and inclusiveness that adds to the richness of our nation.”
“During this year’s White House Iftar, I had the opportunity to meet inspiring young Muslim Americans who are leading efforts for greater understanding and unity across diverse communities,” he said of the dinner that breaks the daily Ramadan fast. Following the Iftar, one of the young attendees helped spearhead an effort that raised more than $75,000 for the churches burned in the wake of the shooting at Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, South Carolina. Americans of all faiths and beliefs must stand together to protect our democracy and strengthen our country as a whole,” Obama said.
“Michelle and I hope today brings joy to all of your homes, both here in the U.S. and around the world. From my family to yours, Eid Mubarak!”
More: Haram or Halal? Turkish TV Clerics’ War of Words Over Oral Sex