Donald Trump Hosts Iftar Dinner for Ramadan; Condemns New Zealand Mosque Attacks

President Donald Trump speaks at an iftar dinner, which breaks a daylong fast, celebrating Islam's holy month of Ramadan, in the State Dining Room of the White House Wednesday, June 6, 2018, in Washington. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)
AP Photo/Andrew Harnik

President Donald Trump celebrated an Iftar dinner at the White House on Monday to mark the Islamic holy month of Ramadan, and commented on recent attacks on churches, synagogues, and mosques.

“Ramadan is a holy month for Muslims here in the United States and all across the world,” Trump said, giving the traditional greeting for the season, “Ramadan Kareem.”

This is the second year that President Trump has hosted a Ramadan Iftar dinner at the White House, after skipping the tradition started by President Bill Clinton in his first year as president.

“Ramadan is a time when people join forces in pursuit of hope, tolerance, and peace,” Trump said.

The president recognized recent attacks on places of prayer, specifically noting the mosque attacks in New Zealand, the attacks on Christians in Sri Lanka, and the synagogue attacks in Pittsburgh and California.

“In their blessed memory we resolve to defeat the evils of terrorism and religious persecution so that all people can worship without fear, pray without danger, and live by the faith that flows from their heart,” Trump said.

The president was joined by Vice President Pence, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, and Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar as well as Acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan and several ambassadors from Muslim countries.

“We’re going to have a good meal, and if it’s not good, blame me,” he joked as the audience laughed.

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