President Obama to Muslim Americans: “You’re a Valued Part of the American Family”


President Barack Obama greets guests during the Eid al-Fitr reception in the East Room of the White House, July 21, 2016. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

For Muslims all over the world, Eid al-Fitr marks the end of a holy month of fasting and prayer. As President Obama said in his remarks:

“This is a time of spiritual renewal — a time to reaffirm your duty to serve one another, especially the least fortunate among us. And it’s a time to reflect on the values that guide you in your faith — gratitude, compassion and generosity. And it’s a reminder that those values of Islam — which comes from the word salaam, meaning peace — are universal. They bind us all, regardless of our race or religion or creed, in a common purpose, and that is in our shared commitment to the dignity of every human being.”

The President took the opportunity to reflect on the positive role that Muslim Americans have played in American life:


“Today is also another reminder that Muslims have always been a part of America. In colonial times, many of the slaves brought over from Africa were Muslim. We insisted on freedom of religion, in Thomas Jefferson’s words, for, “the Jew and Gentile, the Christian and the Mahometan.” For more than two centuries, Muslim Americans of all backgrounds — Arab and Asian, African and Latino, black and white — have helped build America as farmers and merchants, factory workers, architects, teachers and community leaders…



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