Trump used the event to speak of the “very rough time" Muslims are facing “around the world.”
Rabat – US President Donald Trump hosted his second iftar dinner at the White House last night, Monday, May 14.
Trump invited various Muslim diplomats and used the event to speak of the “very rough time” Muslims are facing “around the world, citing the recent terrorist attacks on Muslims in New Zealand, Sri Lanka, California, and Pittsburgh.
“In their blessed memory, we resolve to defeat the evils of terrorism,” Trump told attendees.
“We thank God that that America is a place founded on beliefs that citizens of all faiths can live together in safety and live together in freedom,” he added. He finished off his speech by wishing “all the people around the world Ramadan Kareem.”
Trump’s speech is a notable shift from the previous unfriendly remarks he addressed to the Muslim community. During his 2016 presidential campaign, Trump called for a complete ban on all Muslims entering the United States. Trump has also signed multiple executive orders restricting immigration from Muslim countries.
Trump did not host an iftar during his first year of presidency in 2017, breaking a twenty-year tradition started by the Clinton administration and continued by George Bush and Barack Obama.
Trump did host an iftar in 2018, but many members of the Muslim community in the US were left off the guest list. “We are no longer invited. We are being snubbed,” said Imam Yahya Hendi, chaplain at Georgetown University who had previously been invited by Obama.
The second iftar dinner comes just a few hours after a Twitter spat with Rashida Tlaib, one of the first two Muslim women in Congress, whom President Trump berated for controversial comments on Israel and the Holocaust during a podcast.
Democrat Rep. Tlaib is being slammed for her horrible and highly insensitive statement on the Holocaust. She obviously has tremendous hatred of Israel and the Jewish people. Can you imagine what would happen if I ever said what she said, and says?
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 13, 2019
Tlaib fought back in a statement saying her “words have been blatantly misconstrued.” Trump, the Congresswoman went on to argue, “ has once again used his platform to incite hate and violence based on lies.”