WASHINGTON, DC – In his message to the American Muslim community, US President Donald Trump has marked the start of Ramadan in a statement in which he lauded “the richness Muslims add to the religious tapestry of American life.”
“With the rising of tonight’s moon, I send my greetings and best wishes to all Muslims observing Ramadan in the United States and around the world,” Trump said in a statement published Tuesday.
“During the holy month of Ramadan, Muslims commemorate the revelation of the Quran to the prophet Muhammad through fellowship and prayer. Many observe this holy time by fasting, performing acts of charity, reciting prayers, and reading the Quran,” he continued.
He added that Muslims observing Ramadan strengthen communities, help the needy, and serve as examples of how to live a religious life.
“Ramadan reminds us of the richness Muslims add to the religious tapestry of American life. In the United States, we are all blessed to live under a Constitution that fosters religious liberty and respects religious practice,” said Trump.
The president’s statement stood in marked contrast to his past words, as he seeks to ban immigrants from seven Muslim-majority countries.
In a December 2015 campaign speech, Trump also said most Muslims hate America.
“Without looking at the various polling data, it is obvious to anybody the hatred is beyond comprehension,” Trump said.
“Where this hatred comes from and why we will have to determine. Until we are able to determine and understand this problem and the dangerous threat it poses, our country cannot be the victims of horrendous attacks by people that believe only in Jihad, and have no sense of reason or respect for human life,” he said.
Ramadan is the holiest month in the Islamic calendar.
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.
It is customary for Muslims to spend part of the days during Ramadan studying the Noble Qur’an.
Many men perform i`tikaf (spiritual retreat), spending the last 10 days of the month exclusively in the mosque.