LONDON: Will he do it or not? His predecessors, yes. The first was in 1805. But as the 45th president of the United States, Donald Trump is nothing if not a break-mold.
Therefore, in 2017, he became the first president for more than 20 years not to host an iftar during Ramadan or for Eid Al-Fitr.
This year, however, rumor has it that there will be an iftar meeting at the White House "in early June", although up to now the official confirmation has been difficult to pbad.
The relations between the new administration of the EE. UU and the Muslims were hardly friendly during last year's Ramadan. In the 2015 election campaign, before the November 2016 elections, the president called for a "complete and complete closure" of Muslims entering the US. UU
Among the first acts of the new administration there was an attempt to restrict entry into the USA. UU for citizens of seven predominantly Muslim countries, a policy that is still questioned and opposed in the courts.
In 2016, CNN reported that the new administration had requested the monitoring of mosques, saying: "We have maybe respectfully verified the mosques, and we have to verify other places, because this is a problem that, if we do not solve it. , he's going to eat our country alive, okay? "
Last year, Ramadan pbaded with only a mention of the White House, apart from a declaration, signed by Donald and Melania Trump and released at the end of the holy month , who said: "Muslims in the United States joined those of the whole world during the holy month of Ramadan to focus on acts of faith and charity." Now, as they commemorate Eid with family and friends, they continue the tradition of helping to the neighbors and to share the bread with people from all walks of life.
"During this vacation, we are reminded of the importance of mercy, compbadion and goodwill. With Muslims from all over the world, EE. UU Renew our commitment to respect these values. Eid Mubarak "
The statement did not appear on Trump's social media.
Thomas Jefferson, the third president of the United States, was the first to hold an iftar when he delayed the start of a dinner at the White House on December 9. ., 1805 until after sunset to accommodate his guest, Sidi Soliman Mellimelli, the envoy of Tunisia.
Hillary Clinton revived the practice in 1996, when she was First Lady, presenting a reception to mark Eid Al-Fitr It was attended by approximately 150 diplomats, legislators and leaders of the Muslim community, and since 1999, iftar has become a fixed element in the White House calendar, continued by George W. Bush and Barack Obama.
President Bush even made one after the attacks of September 11, 2001, insisting that it was more important than ever to show that the White House and the US were inclusive.
"We were at war with terrorist organizations, not with Islam itself, "said James Norton, deputy badistant secretary of internal security for Bush. "President Bush did everything possible to embrace the Muslim community."
Even the Israelis have celebrated iftar. In 2011, Israel's ambbadador to the United States, Michael Oren, organized an iftar dinner for the first time at his official residence in Washington. The guests broke the fast with dates, apricot juice and soup, and then served a full halal meal after the prayers.
So it's not surprising that Trump was convicted for not opening his White House during Ramadan last year. Haroon Moghul, a partner in relations between Jews and Muslims at the Shalom Hartman Institute, called the decision "the beginning of his hatred towards us, the rhetoric is turning into politics."
Reuters reported that the blame rested with Rex Tillerson, then secretary of state, who refused to organize a reception, rejecting a recommendation from the office of religion and world affairs in his own State Department. When asked why there was no iftar from the White House, press secretary Sean Spicer, rarely unanswered, simply replied, "I do not know."
However, others had an answer. "The White House has left IFtar because the Trump administration is not interested," said Khalil Khan, president of PAKPAC, a Pakistani-American organization that organized an iftar on May 23 on Capitol Hill for members of Congress.
The action committee took the initiative and organized iftar for the second year in a row, and we have been emphasizing the importance of political activism of Pakistani Muslims living in the United States. "
This year, however, it seems There was a change of heart, the first signs were the unmistakably warm greeting, some would say conciliatory, of the president at the beginning of Ramadan.He started, rather poetically: "With the departure of the moon tonight, I send my greetings and best wishes to all Muslims "and referred to" the wealth that Muslims add to the religious tapestry of American life. "
On Saturday, Trump" All Muslims a joyful Ramadan "on Twitter He recalled his visit to Saudi Arabia and promised "The United States will always support our partners against terrorism and the ideology that feeds it. During this month of Ramadan, let us resolve to spare no measure so that we can ensure that future generations are free from this scourge and can worship and communicate in peace. "
Although the official word of the White House is "not actualized", Ray Mahmood, a A prominent developer with a long involvement in interfaith diplomacy in Washington, he said he had heard there was going to be an iftar.
"I think they are very important for the Muslim community. At least they feel that the President of the White House is doing this. "The preferred date seems to be June 6.
Meanwhile, the semi-official events have come and gone, Islamic Relief USA organized a" great iftar "on May 19 and the United Nations Relief and Works Agency organized an iftar on Gaza on May 25. The Arab-American Anti-Discrimination Committee is holding an" iftar banquet "on
] on May 31 in Alexandria, outside of Washington DC There are iftar fundraisers, corporate iftars and even an iftar for "open mic" by the DC Muslim Writers Collective.
The UAE embbady also organized an interreligious iftar last Thursday.
But an event after sunset in the White House will surpbad them all.