WASHINGTON, DC – A leading American Muslim group will host a “NOT Trump’s Iftar” fast-breaking meal (iftar) outside the White House in partnership with other civil rights organizations on Wednesday.
The Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR) said it “has witnessed an unprecedented spike in bigotry targeting American Muslims and members of other minority groups since the election of Donald Trump as president,” the group said in a statement.
Co-sponsored by other Muslim and civil rights groups, the iftar will be held in Lafayette Square outside the White House at the same time President Trump is hosting an iftar inside to recognize the end of the holy month, during which Muslims fast from sunrise to sunset.
Trump’s iftar dinner is scheduled for Wednesday, June 6, but the White House official is yet to provide a list of attendees.
Trump faced backlash last year when he broke with nearly two decades of tradition by not hosting an iftar.
He has been criticized for his comments about Muslims, as well as his travel ban that prevented people from entering the US from several Muslim-majority countries.
The iftar comes as the US Supreme Court is reviewing the third version of his travel ban for ‘anti-Muslim intent.’
Ramadan is the holiest month in the Islamic calendar. It started in North America on Wednesday, May 16.
In Ramadan, adult Muslims, save the sick and those traveling, abstain from food, drink, smoking and sex between dawn and sunset.
Muslims dedicate their time during the holy month to become closer to Allah through prayer, self-restraint, and good deeds.
The White House iftar is a tradition that began annually under President Clinton and was continued by President George W. Bush and President Barack Obama.
The tradition can be traced to over two centuries ago as the first documented White House Iftar occurred more than 200 years ago, when President Thomas Jefferson hosted the Tunisian envoy Sidi Slimane Mhlmyla on Dec. 9, 1805, to discuss the issue of piracy in the Mediterranean Sea.