Monday, 26 June 2017

Donald Trump Becomes First President In Two Decades To Not Host A Ramadan Dinner

US President Donald Trump has broken with a two-decade old tradition of hosting an iftar meal at the White House during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.

The modern tradition was started by First Lady Hillary Clinton, who hosted a meal on Eid al-Fitr, which marks the end of Ramadan, in 1996.

Donald Trump

Both Presidents George Bush and Barack Obama hosted an annual iftar – the sunset meal that breaks the daily fast during the holy month – in their time in office.

The first, informal, White House iftar is said to have taken place in 1805, when Thomas Jefferson hosted the Tunisian envoy to the US and announced in invitations that “dinner will be on the table
precisely at sun-set”.

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson reportedly rejected a request by his department’s office of religion and global affairs to hold an event for the holiday.

“It is disappointing because that’s been a good tradition,” Imam Talib Shareef of the Nation’s Mosque in Washington, DC, told the magazine Newsweek of Mr Trump’s decision.

“To stop it doesn’t send a good message. You get the chance to go golfing and all this other kind of stuff. How come you don’t have time for a population of your society that needs some assistance? The message that it sends is that we’re not that important.”

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