Washington, June 26: The President of the United States Donald Trump on Saturday broke the decade-long Iftar tradition in the White House and later on extended “warm wishes” to the Muslims of the country on the occasion of Ramzan. “On behalf of the American people, Melania and I send our warm greetings to Muslims as they celebrate Eid al—Fitr,” said Donald Trump on Saturday. “During this holiday, we are reminded of the importance of mercy, compassion, and goodwill,” he added.
The Iftar party which was held at the sunset, a day before Eid, wasn’t held this year for the first time in two centuries. The tradition started way back in 1996 and was first hosted by former First Lady Hillary Clinton. The dinner was hosted for 150 people after Clinton learned more about the culture. It was since then that the tradition was followed by all the reigning presidents. However, the tradition was done away with under the Donald Trump rule.
The Iftar dinner was typically hosted by Presidents and was attended by prominent members of the Muslim community as well as members of Congress and diplomats from Muslim countries. “Dinner will be on the table precisely at sunset – ” the invitation read. “The favour of an answer is asked.”
The statement was issued by the White House on late Saturday night. “Muslims in the United States joined those around the world during the holy month of Ramadan to focus on acts of faith and charity,” the statement read. “Now, as they commemorate Eid with family and friends, they carry on the tradition of helping neighbours and breaking bread with people from all walks of life. During this holiday, we are reminded of the importance of mercy, compassion, and goodwill. With Muslims around the world, the United States renews our commitment to honour these values. Eid Mubarak.”
Earlier this year, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson had said that they will not hold a dinner this year. In a statement, Tillerson said, “This holiday marks the culmination of Ramadan, a month in which many experience meaning and inspiration in acts of fasting, prayer, and charity. This day offers an opportunity to reflect on our shared commitment to building peaceful and prosperous communities. Eid Mubarak.
Former President George W. Bush had also hosted the Iftar every year for his two terms, including just after the 9/11 attacks. Bush, at after 9/11 Iftar dinner, said that the fight was against terrorism and not Islam.