As Ramadan reaches its end let us jump down the rabbit hole to visit Donald Trump’s first Iftar dinner at the white house. Yes, I know writing Donald Trump and Iftar in the same sentence is more of a contradiction then anything else but that’s what has happened and that is what we will talk about today.
On June 6th, 2018, Donald Trump-hosted his first ever iftar dinner. A dinner that is annually hosted by the elected presidency of the United States of America. So why is it such a big deal that Trump is hosting an Iftar dinner which is something that has been a part of the white house’s long-standing tradition?
Well because of Trump’s rampant and inflammatory anti-Muslim remarks. Trump is known for his controversial views regarding Islam and Muslims and how he views them as a threat to the whole world. He even skipped the annual Iftar dinner in 2017 because he deemed Islam nothing but a source of backwardly held views that leads to nothing but terrorism.
This year, however, things took a different turn and Donald hosted his first ever Iftar dinner in the white house where he invited ambassador from major Muslim majority countries.
These included ambassadors from Sudia Arab, United Arab Emirates, Egypt, Tunisia, Iraq, Qatar, Bahrain, Morocco, Algeria and Libya. At the head table, Donald Trump sat next to Saudi Ambassador Prince Khalid Ben Salman, and Jordanian Ambassador Dina Kawar with 50 other guests.
“To each of you and to the Muslims around the world: Ramadan Mubarak,” Trump said to the attending guest of the evening.”, he added “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.”
Things outside the white house although weren’t as rosy as one may think it would be. Many Muslim groups were protesting against the immigration policies presented by the Trump administration and said this Iftar dinner is nothing but done in self-interest.
“We think it´s the height of hypocrisy for Donald Trump to ban Muslims with one hand and then invite lead diplomats into the White House and breakfast with them,” said Bilal Askaryar.
One protestor claimed that “It´s hypocritical and his actions with the Muslim ban and spreading hate speech about Muslims is un-American and un-presidential.”.
Imam Yahya Hendi of the Muslim chaplain at Georgetown University said: “We do not need an iftar dinner. Rather, we need to get the respect we highly deserve. Do not feed us and stab us.”
The Iftar dinner at the white house also invites Muslims from civil circles to appreciate their work and diversity that they bring to America but this year a sum of many American Muslim civil groups did not attend the Iftar dinner because they deemed it to be hypocritical and meaningless.
The main concern for these groups is to see a change in the attitude of the president and in his policies. Donald Trump’s sudden change of heart seems nothing but fishy to these groups. The protestors that were gathered around the white house wanted to see actual change and not hollow dinner parties.
So will we see any actual change in the presidential policies of the President of United States of American? I leave this question for you to brainstorm.