WASHINGTON — President Trump recently delivered remarks at a White House dinner recognizing the Islamic month of Ramadan, characterizing the event as “honor[ing] a sacred tradition of one of the world’s great religions.” Vice President Mike Pence, Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin, and Senior Advisor Jared Kushner were among those in attendance.
“Good evening, and thank you all for joining us [at] this iftar dinner as we celebrate the Islamic holy month of Ramadan. It’s a great month,” he said before those gathered in the East Room of the White House on June 6.
In addition to members of Trump’s cabinet, the event was also attended by ambassadors of Muslim-majority nations, including Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Jordan and the United Arab Emirates.
“At tonight’s dinner, we especially are pleased to welcome members of the diplomatic corps, representing our friends and partners across the globe. And a very warm welcome to all of the ambassadors here tonight representing Muslim-majority nations. We’re greatly honored by your presence, and thank you very much for being here. Some very good friends,” he stated. “To each of you and to the Muslims around the world: Ramadan Mubarak.”
“In gathering together this evening, we honor a sacred tradition of one of the world’s great religions,” Trump continued. “For the Islamic faithful, the iftar dinner marks the end of the daily period of fasting and spiritual reflection that occurs throughout the holy month of Ramadan. Iftars mark the coming together of families and friends to celebrate a timeless message of peace, clarity, and love. There is great love. It’s a moment to call upon our highest ideals, and to give thanks for the many blessings we enjoy.”
He expressed thankfulness for his partnerships across the Middle East, and noted that his first trip as president was to the Muslim world.
“Only by working together can we achieve a future of security and prosperity for all. For this reason, I was proud to make my first foreign trip as president to the heart of the Muslim world, where I addressed an assembly of more than 50 leaders of Muslim-majority countries. That was something,” Trump stated.
He urged those present to “strive to embody the grace and goodwill that mark the Ramadan season.”
“Let us pray for peace and justice, and let us resolve that these values will guide us as we work together to build a bright and prosperous future that does honor and glory to God,” Trump said.
View his remarks in full at WhiteHouse.gov and watch the video of Trump’s speech below.
As previously reported, the tradition of hosting an Iftar dinner at the White House was reportedly started by Bill Clinton in 1993. It was continued by George W. Bush for all eight years in office, as well as Barack Obama.
“According to Muslim teachings, God first revealed His word in the Holy Qur’an to the prophet, Muhammad, during the month of Ramadan. That word has guided billions of believers across the centuries, and those believers built a culture of learning and literature and science,” Bush remarked at a 2001 Ramadan event, as documented in White House archives. “All the world continues to benefit from this faith and its achievements.”
Exodus 34:14-15 states, “For thou shalt worship no other god: for the Lord, whose name is jealous, is a jealous God; lest thou make a covenant with the inhabitants of the land, and they go a whoring after their gods, and do sacrifice unto their gods and one call thee, and thou eat of his sacrifice.”