Obama fetes Muslims at end of Ramadan
US President Barack Obama marked the end of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan Saturday with his administration stressing the commonality between American culture and the values of Islam.world Updated: Sep 20, 2009 00:57 IST
US President Barack Obama marked the end of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan Saturday with his administration stressing the commonality between American culture and the values of Islam.
"As Muslims in the United States and around the world complete the month of Ramadan and celebrate Eid-ul-Fitr, Michelle and I would like to extend our personal greetings on this joyous occasion," Obama said in a statement.
"Even on this festive occasion, Muslims remember those less fortunate, including those impacted by poverty, hunger, conflict, and disease," he added.
Obama highlighted Muslims' commitment to collecting and distributing charity and said his administration was "working to ensure that Muslims are able to fulfill their charitable obligations not just during Ramadan, but throughout the year."
In her own message, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton stressed that Eid celebrations at the White House, pioneered by her husband Bill Clinton in 1996 when he was president, ensured that "all faiths have a home here in the United States."
"This time of self-reflection reminds us that the values of Islam -- charity, community, cooperation, compassion -- are values which we hold dear as Americans and which have contributed so much to American culture," Obama's top diplomat said.
"We know there is more that unites peoples of faith than divides us. So as Ramadan draws to a close, let us hold on to that spirit of community throughout the year to achieve our common goals of peace, prosperity, and stability."
Obama, who has Muslim heritage on his father's side of his family, vowed to forge a "new beginning" for Islam and America in a landmark speech to the world's 1.5 billion Muslims in Cairo in June.