White House skips Ramzan celebration, breaks 20 years of tradition
Washington DC, June 26: For the first time in nearly two decades, Ramadan has come and gone without the White House recognizing it with an iftar or Eid celebration, as had taken place each year under the Clinton, Bush and Obama administrations.
US President Trump and the First Lady extended their best wishes to all Muslims celebrating Eidul Fitr to mark the end of holy fasting month of Ramzan, but the White House has likely ended a long tradition of celebrating it, a Washington Post report said.
Hosting an Eid celebration or an Iftar dinner - the nightly meal when Muslims break their fast during Ramadan -- had been a White House tradition since 1996, when then-first lady Hillary Clinton hosted the first Eid dinner there.
Iftar dinners inviting prominent members of the Muslim community to break their fast at the White House were continued each year during the administrations of both President Bush and President Obama.
Secretary of State Rex Tillerson also broke with tradition by not hosting an Iftar dinner at the State Department during Ramzan, as has happened for the past two decades.
Last year, then-presidential candidate Donald Trump told ABC News' Jonathan Karl in an interview that he would be open to continuing the tradition of hosting an Iftar dinner if he were in the White House.
"It wouldn't bother me. It wouldn't bother me," Trump said last June. "It's not something I've given a lot of thought to but it wouldn't bother me."
The president and first lady issued a statement Saturday afternoon recognizing the Eid al-Fitr holiday that marks the end of Ramzan.
"On behalf of the American people, Melania and I send our warm greetings to Muslims as they celebrate Eid al-Fitr," the statement reads. "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."
Oneinida News (With agency inputs)