President Donald Trump has broken a 20-year tradition for not hosting an iftar dinner during Ramadan. Bush, Clinton and Obama regimes all hosted feasts to mark the end of the holy month of Ramadan.

No iftar dinner in White House

White House failed to recognize this year’s Ramadan, which started on 26th May. The previous administrations used to hold an iftar dinner as a show of solidarity with American Muslims. The only statement from White House came late on Saturday where President Trump sent greetings to Muslims celebrating the completion of Ramadan.

Mr. Trump said that: “On behalf of the American citizens, Melania and I send our cordial greetings to Muslims as they celebrate Eid al-Fitr…During this holiday we are reminded of the significance of kindness, mercy, and goodwill.”

History of White House iftar dinner

White House had made it a tradition to host iftar dinner, since Bill Clinton’s Presidency.

On February 1996, Hillary Clinton hosted about 150 people for dinner to mark the end of Ramadan. Subsequent administrations have echoed the same trend. Eid al-Fitr feast marks the end of the holy month of Ramadan. Ramadan is always characterized with fasting.

Former President George W Bush hosted people for iftar dinner every year during his 8 years as a President. Just like President Bush, Obama’s also hosted the dinner all the years of his Presidency.

Iftar dinner has been a yearly event since 1999. The past three administrations made it a tradition to feast with Muslims during Eid al-Fitr. The White House feast was normally attended by leaders within the Muslim religion, leaders, diplomats, and legislators.

President Trump has been criticized for his anti-Muslim pursuit; including pushing for surveillance of all mosques in the U.S.

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Mr. Trump has strongly advocated for the ban on Muslims entering U.S, under the guise of mitigating terrorism. A week after his inauguration, the President issued a restriction notice on travelers coming from Muslim dominated countries. This sparked global outrage prompting the U.S courts to freeze the ban.

According to The Guardian, a statement from White House posted to the Social media read: “Muslims in the United States fused those around the world during the holy month of Ramadan to emphasize on acts of belief and charity.” Reportedly, the secretary of state Rex Tillerson rejected the State Department’s Office of religion and global affairs recommendation to initiate the Eid al-Fitr reception at White House.