Trump has broken a 20-year tradition of hosting an Iftar dinner at the White House to celebrate Eid, which marks the end of Ramadan. The event has been held every year since President Clinton’s tenure.
Eid al-Fitr celebrates the end of Ramadan, a fasting period where Muslims focus on charitable work.
Rex Tillerson, the Secretary of State, rejected the suggestion from the State Departments Office of religion to host the event.
Despite ignoring the tradition, Trump’s statement sent well wishes to Muslims saying;
“On behalf of the American people, Melania and I send our warm greetings to Muslims as they celebrate Eid al-Fitr. Muslims in the United States joined those around the world during the holy month of Ramadan to focus on acts of faith and charity. 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.”
The first Eid celebration in the White House was apparently under President Thomas Jefferson in 1805 for a Tunisian envoy. Hilary Clinton started the tradition recently, while she was First Lady, and it was continued with Muslim leaders from around the world, until now.
Trump’s negative rhetoric towards Muslims coincides with this decision to ignore the tradition of peaceful celebration and further adds to the storm of hatred being felt across Muslim communities.