Obama celebrates Eid for first time at White House

Published: July 24, 2016
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'Let's be clear, Muslim Americans are as patriotic, as integrated, as American as any other members of the American family', President Obama said on Thursday. PHOTO: EPA

'Let's be clear, Muslim Americans are as patriotic, as integrated, as American as any other members of the American family', President Obama said on Thursday. PHOTO: EPA

US President Barack Obama spoke in strong support of Muslim Americans, who he said “enrich our lives every single day”, at his first Eid celebration at the White House on Thursday.

Discrimination against Muslims an affront of American values: Obama

Obama broke from the tradition of hosting the annual Iftar dinner, an evening meal during Ramazan where Muslims break their daily fast, to celebrate the conclusion of the Islamic holy month instead.

President Obama smells a rose given to him by one Muslim American family during the White House’s first ever Eid celebration on Thursday. PHOTO: AP

More than 100 Muslim Americans attended the event celebrating the holiday, including Muhammad Ali’s wife Lonnie and six of their children.

President Barack Obama on Thursday praised the contributions of Muslim immigrants to the United States, saying any effort to discriminate against the Islamic faith plays into the hands of terrorists.

Obama broke from the tradition of hosting the annual Iftar dinner, an evening meal during Ramadan where Muslims break their daily fast, to celebrate the conclusion of the Islamic holy month instead. PHOTO: AFP

“Muslim Americans are as patriotic, as integrated, as American as any other members of the American family,” Obama said at a White House reception to celebrate the Muslim Eidul Fitr holiday.

Photo of Obama in Muslim garb shows deep ties to faith, claims Fox News host

“Whether your family has been here for generations or you’re a new arrival, you’re an essential part of the fabric of our country,” he said.

The Obama administration has faced criticism for its plan to admit as many as 10,000 Syrian refugees to the United States this year, with some Republicans warning that violent militants could enter the country posing as refugees.

Obama was introduced at the reception by Aisha Osman, a 15-year-old Oregon native, in the East Room. PHOTO: AFP

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump had proposed a temporary ban on Muslims entering the country after a Muslim American and his wife killed 14 people in San Bernardino, California, last year.

While not naming Trump specifically, Obama said that discriminatory policies against Muslims are an affront the “values that already make our nation great.”

Obama, pictured he greeting attendees after speaking at the Eid al-Fitr reception, said he wanted the day to be reminder that Muslims ‘have always been a part of America’. PHOTO: AFP

29% of Americans believe Obama is Muslim: poll

“Singling out Muslim Americans, moreover, feeds the lie of terrorists like ISIL, that the West is somehow at war with a religion that includes over a billion adherents,” Obama said, using an acronym for the Islamic State militant group. “That’s not smart national security.”

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Reader Comments (2)

  • Farooq
    Jul 24, 2016 - 6:50PM

    Well done Mr.ObamaRecommend

  • Bunny Rabbit
    Jul 24, 2016 - 7:45PM

    Good . now please go and extend your ‘wishes ‘ to those rotting in Guantanamo bay camps . Recommend

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