September 1, 2009
Obama's Ramadan Dinner
Florida megachurch pastor Joel Hunter attended President Obama's Ramadan dinner tonight, another instance of an evangelical commemorating the Muslim holy month.
Brian McLaren is fasting in observance of Ramadan. However, Hunter, who has reached out to Muslims in the Orlando area in the past, attended due to his role on the faith-based office's advisory council. Ramadan commemorates the month during which Muslims believe the Quran was revealed to Mohammed.
Portions of Obama's remarks from t he dinner can be found after the jump.
(As provided by the White House)
Indeed, the contribution of Muslims to the United States are too long to catalog because Muslims are so interwoven into the fabric of our communities and our country. American Muslims are successful in business and entertainment; in the arts and athletics; in science and in medicine. Above all, they are successful parents, good neighbors, and active citizens.
...One of those values is the freedom to practice your religion -- a right that is enshrined in the First Amendment of the Constitution.
...Of course, we know that when it comes to athletes who have inspired America, any list would include the man known simply as The Greatest. And while Muhammad Ali could not join us tonight, it is worth reflecting upon his remarkable contributions, as he's grown from an unmatched fighter in the ring to a man of quiet dignity and grace who continues to fight for what he believes -- and that includes the notion that people of all faiths holds things in common. I love this quote. A few years ago, he explained this view -- and this is part of why he's The Greatest -- saying, "Rivers, ponds, lakes and streams -- they all have different names, but they all contain water. Just as religions do -- they all contain truths."
They all contain truths. Among those truths are the pursuit of peace and the dignity of all human beings.
...So tonight, we celebrate a great religion, and its commitment to justice and progress. We honor the contributions of America's Muslims, and the positive example that so many of them set through their own lives. And we rededicate ourselves to the work of building a better and more hopeful world.