Obama hosts Muslim leaders for Ramadan iftar (VIDEO)

President Obama welcomed Muslim American leaders to the White House Wednesday night for an iftar dinner, a nightly breaking of … Continued

President Obama welcomed Muslim American leaders to the White House Wednesday night for an iftar dinner, a nightly breaking of the fast during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.

“No matter who we are or how we pray, we’re all children of a loving God,” Obama said to a crowd which included diplomats, military service members, administration officials, congressmen, Muslim 9/11 families and first responders.

Obama used the upcoming tenth anniversary of the 9/11 attacks to emphasize how Muslim Americans have contributed to anti-terrorism efforts: “Make no mistake, Muslim Americans help to keep us safe.”

More from the president’s address:

“Like so many faiths, Islam has always been part of our American family and Muslim Americans have long contributed to the strength and character of our country in all walks of life. This has been especially true over the past ten years.

“In one month we will mark the tenth anniversary of those awful attacks that brought so much pain to our hearts. It will be a time to honor all those that we’ve lost, the families who carry on their legacy, the heroes who rushed to help that day and all who served to keep us safe during a difficult decade.

“Tonight it’s worth remembering that these Americans were of many faiths and backgrounds including proud and patriotic Muslim Americans. Muslim Americans were innocent passengers on those planes, including a young married couple looking forward to the birth of their first child. They were workers in the Twin Towers: Americans by birth and Americans by choice, immigrants who crossed the oceans to give their children a better life. They were cooks and waiters but also analysts and executives. There in the towers where they worked they came together for daily meals and prayers and iftar. They were looking to the future: getting married, sending their kids to college, enjoying a well-deserved retirement. And they were taken from us much too soon.”

More On Faith and Islam:

Guest Voices: Do critics actually read the Koran?

AltMuslimah: Ramadan etiquette guide

Style: Muslim women’s plight to bare little

Muslims in America: A Washington Post feature series on the struggle by Muslims to reconcile their American identity with their faith.


Elizabeth Tenety Elizabeth Tenety is the former editor of On Faith, where she produced "Divine Impulses," On Faith’s video interview series. She studied Theology and Government at Georgetown University and received her master’s degree from Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism. A New York native, Elizabeth grew up in the home of Catholic news junkies where, somewhere in between watching the nightly news and participating in parish life, she learned to ponder both the superficial and the sacred.
  • mikejchristensen01

    What in the world is this? I thought this government was supposed to be separating Religion and state? Why isn’t the ACLU all over this like they are with anything that has to do with Christianity? Religion is religion whether you are a Muslim, Jew, or Christian. I guess it’s okay to have a religious dinner at the White House as long as it’s part of the Muslim faith. Nobody wants to offend a Muslim person, lets all kowtow to the any religion as long as it’s not Christian. This is a disgrace to this country and completely disrespectful.

  • jhnjdy

    Yes sir, can’t have a day of prayer in this country, but the head Muslim in charge can spend tax payer dollars on Muslim Religous events by throwing them a feast.
    This country has reay gone down the toilet during this Presidents reign of destruction.

  • Kingofkings1

    That was a thoughtful speech, but it was Obama the idealist.
    Obama has another half – Obama the practilaist, who behaves in an entirely different way, frequently, contrary to Obama the idealist

  • Kingofkings1

    You’ve got to blame Jefferson – he was the first president who hosted the iftar event

  • Lairdkeir

    Sorry for the duplicate comment; it kept popping up with an error box..

  • bloggersvilleusa

    Hey, Mike, I’ll be waiting to hear your objections to the White House Christmas tree when the season comes around.

  • jtek4all

    I love Obama’s Speech in the Video, Its shows US is a Place to Be….. May GOD Almighty Forgive the Victims of the 9/11 and Grant them Al-janat….

    May GOD Mercy follows the Bloggers of this Blog Happy Ramadan from a Co Blogger @ http://www.naijaloaded.com

  • jtek4all

    I love Obama’s Speech in the Video, Its shows US is a Place to Be….. May GOD Almighty Forgive the Victims of the 9/11 and Grant them Al-janat….

    May GOD Mercy follows the Bloggers of this Blog Happy Ramadan from a Co Blogger @ http://www.naijaloaded.com

  • Kingofkings1

    Professor, perhaps he was referring to the slaves who built the white house, some of whom were muslim

  • brulito

    The Christmas tree is hardly Christian, even though it is associated with a Christian holiday.

    Anyway, not sure how it makes sense to say that all these religions believe in the same God/god when they contradict each other in their most fundamental beliefs. Moreover, even saying that we all believe in the same God/god is espousing a religious view (again, one that doesn’t make sense).

  • brulito

    That is, either one religion is right and the rest wrong, but not all can be right. To say the latter just cannot fit in with logic. The question is: which is right? (And to answer that ‘we can’t/don’t know’ is to say you know enough to know that…)

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