Donald Trump Just Ended A Long Tradition Of Celebrating Eid At The White House
In early December 1805, a handful of prominent politicians received formal invitations to join President Thomas Jefferson for a White House dinner.
Such prayers were not common: Jefferson often hosted legislators for political work dinners in the White House, beginning almost always around 3:30 p.m., shortly after the House or Senate was lifted for the day.
But this meeting, scheduled for December 9, would be slightly different.
“Dinner is on the table precisely at sunset -” invitations were read. “We asked for the favor of an answer.”
The occasion was attended by a Tunisian envoy to the United States, Sidi Soliman Mellimelli, who arrived in the country last week, in the midst of the US conflict with what was then called the Barbary States.
And the reason for leaving dinner after the start of the year was Mellimelli’s respect for Ramadan, a sacred month for Muslims where observers quickly launched between dawn and dusk. It was only after sunset that the Muslims counterattacked with a meal called “iftar”.
The decision to change Jefferson’s meal time to take into account the observance of Ramadan Mellimelli was captured by both parties during the twenty-first debate on Islam of the century 200 years later.
Historians cite the food, as the first time an iftar held in the White House – and was mentioned in the recent celebrations of the White House Ramadan as the qu’incorporation fulfillment by the founding father of religious freedom. Meanwhile, critics of the far right have questioned the characterization of Jefferson December 9, 1805, as an iftar dinner.
All that Jefferson could have predicted the future of the young country, it seems that the modern tradition of the White House to mark Ramadan with a dinner or Eid ended.
Ramadan, which falls in the ninth month of the Islamic lunar calendar, began on May 27 this year and ends at dusk Saturday. Muslims around the world mark the end of the holy month to celebrate the feast of Eid al-Fitr, the “feast of the breaking of the fast.”
For the first time in almost two decades, Ramadan came and went without the White House recognizing that with a celebration of Iftar and Eid, as every year was carried out under the Clinton administration Bush and Obama.
In recent weeks, several former White House staff members have said that the post they usually begin to plan a “months in advance” of Iftar and did not anticipate that the White House could withdraw Trump something before the end of Ramadan .
White House officials did not respond to repeated requests for comment. On Saturday afternoon, the White House issued a brief statement from Trump’s president and the first woman to party gratefully.
“Muslims in the United States joined the whole world during the holy month of Ramadan to focus on acts of faith and charity,” the statement said. “Now, in commemoration of Eid with family and friends, they follow the tradition of helping neighbors and sharing bread with people of all backgrounds.
During this celebration, we remember the importance of mercy, compassion and goodwill. With Muslims around the world, the United States renews our commitment to respect these values. Eid Mubarak. ”
In late May, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said the State Department would break with the recent tradition and would not receive a receipt from Ramadan, as it had done almost every year for two decades. On Saturday morning, Tillerson also issued a brief statement by sending “best wishes to all Muslims celebrate Eid al-Fitr.”
“This holiday marks the end of Ramadan, a month where many of the meaning and inspiration in acts of fasting, prayer and charity,” Tillerson said in a statement. “This day provides an opportunity to reflect on our shared commitment to building peaceful, prosperous communities.” Eid Mubarak.
The brief comments contrasted Tillerson Trump and Obama, who issued a long statement for last year’s festivities, and ceremonies at the White House for 20 years.