Letters to the President: Reflections on Growing Up as Muslim Americans

(from the White House website)

POTUSeidToday, Muslims in America and around the world are breaking fast and celebrating the end of Ramadan with family and friends. President Obama offered the following statement:

Upon the arrival of a new crescent moon, Michelle and I send our warmest greetings to all those celebrating Eid al-Fitr in the United States and around the globe.

 For Muslim Americans, Eid is an opportunity to reflect on the 30 days spent fasting and to recommit to values of gratitude, compassion, and generosity. In neighborhoods and homes across the world, this special occasion begins in the early hours of the day when families dress in their finest attire in preparation for prayers and festivities. Homes are decorated with ornaments and lanterns. Gifts are wrapped and envelopes of money are prepared for kids. Above all, Eid is a time to gather and celebrate with loved ones.

 Muslim Americans are as diverse as our nation itself—black, white, Latino, Asian, and Arab. Eid celebrations around the country remind us of our proud history as a nation built by people of all backgrounds; our history of religious freedom and civil liberties, and our history of innovation and strength. These legacies would not be possible without the contributions of Muslim Americans that make our country even stronger.

 This past month, our country and the world endured challenges and senseless violence that broke our hearts and tried our souls. Our prayers are with the hundreds of innocent lives, many of them Muslim, taken during the month of Ramadan in places like Orlando, Istanbul, Dhaka, Baghdad, and Medina.

 Here at home, we’ve also seen a rise in attacks against Muslim Americans. No one should ever feel afraid or unsafe in their place of worship. Many Americans have shared in the experience of Ramadan by volunteering in community service efforts to assist those in need and even fasting a few days with their fellow Muslim American co-workers. In the face of hate, it’s our American values and strength that bring us together to stand in solidarity and protect one another—thereby, making our Nation stronger and safer.

Muslim Americans have been part of our American family since its founding. This Eid, we recommit to protecting Muslim Americans against bigotry and xenophobia, while celebrating the contributions of Muslim Americans around the country, including one of our finest, the People’s Champion Muhammad Ali, to whom we bade farewell this Ramadan. Later this month, Michelle and I will host an Eid celebration at the White House and we look forward to welcoming Americans from around the country to celebrate the holiday.

 From our family to yours, Eid Mubarak!

FULL ARTICLE FROM THE WHITE HOUSE WEBSITE 

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