President Obama: remarks at dinner during Ramadan
July 18, 2014
The White House hosted an Iftar dinner on July 14 to mark the end of fasting on one of the days of the month of Ramadan.
Ramadan began this year on June 28; it concludes on July 28.
“Tonight, we honor the traditions of one of the world’s great faiths,” said President Obama. “For Muslims, Ramadan is a time to reflect and to remember that discipline and devotion is the essence of a life of faith.”
“And for all of us, whatever our faiths, Ramadan is a reminder of just how much we share,” he added. “The values of peace and charity, the importance of family and community -- these are universal values. The command to love one another, to uphold justice, and to care for the least among us -- these are common threads in our faith traditions.”
Tonight we reaffirm a simple truth. Fundamental to the character of our country is our freedom of religion -- the right to practice our faith as we choose, to change our faith if we choose, or to practice no faith at all and to do all this free from fear of. All of us are deserving of an equal opportunity to thrive -- no matter who we are, what we look like, what we believe, or how we pray. And all of us have an obligation to do our part -- to help others overcome barriers, to reverse the injustice of inequality and to help more of our fellow citizens share in the promise of America.
The president also weighed in on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, renewed his support for “Syrians [who] stand up to Assad,” and criticized the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (one of the Syrian rebel groups) for its actions in Iraq.