The Trump White House has ended the long tradition of the past three administrations of the observance of the Ramadan feast, Eid al-Fitr, marking the end of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.
President Trump’s brief remarks regarding the Muslim holiday included the gentle reminder, “During this holiday, we are reminded of the importance of mercy, compassion, and goodwill,” which I interpret as, “If you want respectect from this White House, alter your behavior.”
Ramadan, which falls on the ninth month of the Islamic lunar calendar, started on May 27 this year and ended at sundown Saturday. Muslims around the world mark the end of the holy month by celebrating the holiday Eid al-Fitr, the “feast of breaking of the fast,” reports The Washington Post.
For the first time in nearly two decades, Ramadan has come and gone without the White House recognizing it with an iftar or Eid celebration, as had taken place each year under the Clinton, Bush and Obama administrations. In recent weeks, several former White House staff members told The Post they would usually begin planning an iftar “months in advance” and didn’t anticipate the Trump White House could pull something off before the end of Ramadan.
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White House officials did not respond to repeated requests for comment. Late Saturday afternoon, the White House released a short statement from President Trump and the first lady recognizing the holiday.
“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 neighbors 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 honor these values. Eid Mubarak.”
In late May, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson reportedly said the State Department would break with recent tradition and not host a Ramadan reception, as it had done nearly annually for two decades. On Saturday morning, Tillerson also released a brief statement sending “best wishes to all Muslims celebrating Eid al-Fitr.”
“This holiday marks the culmination of Ramadan, a month in which many experience meaning and inspiration in acts of fasting, prayer, and charity,” Tillerson said in the statement. “This day offers an opportunity to reflect on our shared commitment to building peaceful and prosperous communities. Eid Mubarak.”
Tillerson’s and Trump’s brief remarks were in stark contrast to Obama, who released a lengthy statement for the holiday last year, as well as to ceremonies hosted at the White House for the last 20 years.