United States President Donald Trump hosted his first Iftar at the White House on Wednesday, unlike last year when he broke a custom that had been around for about 20 years.
Trump’s administration, who many perceive is anti-Muslim and anti-minorities, hosted the dinner at the State Dining Room. Ambassadors from several Muslim-majority countries such as Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Jordan, the United Arab Emirates, Egypt, Tunisia, Iraq, Qatar, Bahrain, Morocco, Libya and Algeira were invited.
“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. “Only by working together can we achieve a future of security and prosperity for all.”
“To each of you and to the Muslims around the world: Ramadan Mubarak,” Trump was quoted as saying by AFP. “Tonight, we give thanks for the renewed bonds of friendship and cooperation we have forged with our valued partners from all across the Middle East.”
He added: “Iftars mark the coming together of families and friends to celebrate a timeless message of peace, clarity and love. There is great love.”
Several Muslim-American groups, however, staged a “NOT Trump’s Iftar” protest near the White House. They said Trump’s heated rhetoric has led to increased discrimination against Muslim Americans.