Monday, August 1, 2011

Obama Sends Ramadan Greetings To Muslims

President calls on international community to send famine aid to Somalia and Horn of Africa...
President Obama wished the 1.6 billion Muslims across the globe today "Ramadan Kareem," in a statement issued for the start of the holiest month on the Islamic calendar. He hailed Ramadan as "a festive time that is anticipated for months by Muslims everywhere." The Christian President hosted iftar dinners at the White House in 2009 and 2010, neither of which were attended by First Lady Obama.
At last year's event in the State Dining Room, the President created a massive media stir when during his formal remarks he weighed in on whether or not a Mosque should be built at Ground Zero. (Above: President Obama speaking at the 2010 iftar dinner)

"I look forward to again hosting an iftar dinner here at the White House," President Obama said.

On a more serious note, the President today called Ramadan a time for "deep reflection and sacrifice," and challenged the international community to intervene to end the growing famine in eastern Africa.

"The heartbreaking accounts of lost lives and the images of families and children in Somalia and the Horn of Africa struggling to survive remind us of our common humanity and compel us to act," President Obama said. "Now is the time for nations and peoples to come together to avert an even worse catastrophe by offering support and assistance to on-going relief efforts."

Last Friday, after meeting with African leaders at the White House, the President said that the famine has not received enough attention and that it will require "an international response."

"Africa will have to be a partner in making sure that tens of thousands of people do not starve to death," the President said. His meeting with President Boni Yayi of Benin, President Alpha Condé of Guinea, President Mahamadou Issoufou of Niger, and President Alassane Ouattara of Cote d’Ivoire, was to discuss economic development and the building of strong democratic institutions.

The President's full Ramadan greeting:

As Ramadan begins, Michelle and I would like to send our best wishes to Muslim communities in the United States and around the world. Ramadan is a festive time that is anticipated for months by Muslims everywhere. Families and communities share the happiness of gathering together for iftar and prayers. Bazaars light up the night in many cities from Rabat to Jakarta. And here in the United States, Muslim Americans share Ramadan traditions with their neighbors, fellow students, and co-workers.

For so many Muslims around the world, Ramadan is also a time of deep reflection and sacrifice. As in other faiths, fasting is used to increase spirituality, discipline, and consciousness of God's mercy. It is also a reminder of the importance of reaching out to those less fortunate. The heartbreaking accounts of lost lives and the images of families and children in Somalia and the Horn of Africa struggling to survive remind us of our common humanity and compel us to act. Now is the time for nations and peoples to come together to avert an even worse catastrophe by offering support and assistance to on-going relief efforts.

Times like this remind us of the lesson of all great faiths, including Islam -- that we do unto others as we would have them do unto us. In that spirit, I wish Muslims around the world a blessed month, and I look forward to again hosting an iftar dinner here at the White House. Ramadan Kareem.

##

*Photo by Pete Souza/White House

1 comment:

Jose Victor Cruz said...

And I'd like to express my warm Ramadan greetings to all Muslims around the world as well. Ramadan Mubarak!

Post a Comment