June 19, 2018

Trump hosts first iftar dinner at White House,Washington

09 June 2018, 05:15 | Taylor George

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Muslim groups to hold 'Not Trump's Iftar' outside White House

To protest the event, several Muslim groups gathered outside the White House to host a parallel dinner held on the lawn of Lafayette Square, under the slogan "Not Trump's Iftar".

"In gathering together this evening, we honour a sacred tradition of one of the world's great religions", Trump told the attendees at the dinner, according to AP.

The president welcomed friends and diplomatic staff of Muslim majority nations such as Iraq, Qatar, and the United Arab Emirates at the White House for the dinner, the meal that Muslims celebrate at the end of their Ramadan fast at sunset.

In this light, the decision to host the iftar dinner raised more than few eyebrows.

Other groups who have attended the White House iftar in the past have also said they won't go now, with or without an invitation from Trump.

He said that Iftar, which breaks the daylong fast, "marks coming together of family and friends to celebrate peace" and that he was proud to visit Saudi Arabia a year ago.

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However, the Muslim community is not eager to attend the Iftar party as they believe that they are not respected, so there is no reason to "first feed them and then stab".

"If the White House is interested in inviting foreign government leaders from largely corrupt, Muslim-majority countries that exhibit inequitable and unjust policies upon their own populations, that seems to be in line with the tenor of the current U.S. Administration", Colin Christopher, The Islamic Society of North America's interfaith director, told Huffington Post.

US President Barack Obama speaks as he hosts an Iftar dinner in the State Dining Room at the White House in Washington on July 14, 2014.

The Muslim community has a contentious relationship with Trump because of the USA president's incendiary rhetoric and policies against Muslims, but Trump has good ties with some monarchies ruling the Islamic states.

The White House struck a considerably warmer tone last month, when it released a statement from the president declaring "Ramadan Mubarak", a common greeting in Islam for a blessed holiday.

The administration faced criticism last year for skipping over the dinner for the first time in 20 years, and scrutiny remained as many Muslim-American groups felt excluded from this year's Ramadan feast.

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