Category Archives: White House

Obama’s statement on Eid

Barack Obama released a statement on on Tuesday marking Eid-ul-Fitr. Here it is in its entirety.

The White House
Office of the Press Secretary
For Immediate Release
August 30, 2011

Statement by the President on the Occasion of Eid-ul-Fitr

Michelle and I would like to send Eid greetings to Muslim communities in the United States and around the world. Ramadan has been a time for families and communities to share the happiness of coming together in intense devotion, reflection, and service. Millions all over the world have been inspired to honor their faith by reaching out to those less fortunate. This year, many have observed the month while courageously persevering in their efforts to secure basic necessities and fundamental freedoms. The United States will continue to stand with them and for the dignity and rights of all people, whether a hungry child in the Horn of Africa or a young person demanding freedom in the Middle East and North Africa.
As Ramadan comes to an end, we send our best wishes for a blessed holiday to Muslim communities around the world. Eid Mubarak.

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Green Bay Packers visit the White House

Barack Obama welcomed the Green Bay Packers to the White House on Friday.

The NFC North blog on ESPN.com has some cool photos of the Packers players at the White House. Linebacker Desmond Bishop wasn’t allowed into the White House because he forgot his ID on the team plane.

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NFL Green Bay Packers Super Bowl Champs Choice III Short Sleeve Basic Tee (Dark Green, XL)NFL Green Bay Packers Super Bowl XLV Champions Trophy Short Sleeve Basic Tee (White, XL)

Iftar at the White House tonight

Expect the bigots to be out in full force today.

Continuing what has become an annual tradition over the course of the last decade Barack Obama will host an Iftar at the White House tonight. Surely there are bound to be a bunch of “Obama is a secret Muslim” posts around the internet today.

As Barack Obama mentioned in his speech last year the first Iftar at the White House dates back to 1805 when Thomas Jefferson hosted one. Earlier this month President Obama did release a statement marking the start of Ramadan. The President did use the dinner last year to make some news when he announced support for the construction of the so called “Ground Zero Mosque.” Of course he did so on a Friday evening with no TV coverage to protect himself against bigots but it was still a step in the right direction. Will he make news this year?

Here is the press release with the guest list.

THE WHITE HOUSE
Office of the Press Secretary

____________________________________________________________________
For Immediate Release                                                           August 13, 2010

Expected Attendees at the White House Iftar Dinner
This evening, the President will continue a White House tradition of hosting an Iftar celebrating Ramadan in the State Dining Room.  This is the third Iftar hosted by the President.  The Iftar is the meal that breaks the day of fasting, when Muslim families and communities eat together after sunset.
Below is a list of some of the expected attendees at tonight’s White House dinner celebrating Ramadan:
MEMBERS OF CONGRESS
The Honorable Andre Carson, United States Representative
The Honorable John Conyers, United States Representative
The Honorable Keith Ellison, United States Representative
The Honorable Donald Payne, United States Representative
DIPLOMATIC CORPS
Her Excellency Amina Salum Ali, Ambassador, African Union Mission
His Excellency Abdallah Baali, Ambassador, People’s Democratic Republic of Algeria
His Excellency Yashar Aliyev, Ambassador of the Republic of Azerbaijan
Her Excellency Huda Ezra Nonoo, Ambassador of Bahrain
His Excellency Akramul Qader, Ambassador of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh
His Excellency Bienvenu Joseph Charles Foe-Atangana, Ambassador of Cameroon
His Excellency Adam Bechir Mahamoud, Ambassador of the Republic of Chad
His Excellency Roble Olhaye, Ambassador of the Republic of Djibouti
His Excellency Sameh Hassan Shoukry, Ambassador of the Arab Republic of Egypt
His Excellency Mory Karamoko Kaba, Ambassador of Guinea
His Excellency Bayney Ram Karran, Ambassador of Guyana
His Excellency Dino Patti Djalal, Ambassador of Indonesia
His Excellency Samir Shakir Mahmood Sumaida’ie, Ambassador of the Republic of Iraq
His Excellency Micahel Scott Oren, Ambassador of Israel
His Excellency Aziz Mekour, Ambassador of the Kingdom of Morocco
Her Excellency Aminata Maiga Djibrilla, Ambassador of Niger
Her Excellency Hunaina Sultan Ahmed Al Mughairy, Ambassador of the Sultanate of Oman
His Excellency Husain Haqqani, Ambassador of Pakistan
His Excellency Mr. Maen Areikat, Ambassador, PLO Mission
His Excellency Ali Bin Fahad Faleh Al-Hajri, Ambassador of the State of Qatar
His Excellency Sergey Ivanovich Kislyak, Ambassador of the Russian Federation
His Excellency Adel A.M. Al-Jubeir, Ambassador of Saudi Arabia
Her Excellency Fatou Danielle Diagne, Ambassador of Senegal
His Excellency Bockari Kortu Stevens, Ambassador of Sierra Leone
His Excellency Subhas Chandra Mungra, Ambassador of the Republic of Suriname
His Excellency Mwanaidi Sinare Maajar, Ambassador of Tanzania
His Excellency Edawe Limbiye Kadangha Bariki, Ambassador, Togo
His Excellency Namik Tan, Ambassador of the Republic of Turkey
His Excellency Yousif Mana Saeed Alotaiba, Ambassador, United Arab Emirates
His Excellency Ilhomjon Tuychievich Nematov, Ambassador of the Republic of Uzbekistan
His Excellency Abdulwahab A. Al Hajjri, Ambassador of the Republic Yemen
His Excellency Ufuk Gokcen, Ambassador and Permanent Observer, Organization of the Islamic Conference
The Honorable Damir Dzanko, Chargé d’Affaires at Interim of Bosnia
The Honorable Sufyan Salman Qudah, Chargé d’Affaires at Interim of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan
The Honorable Jetish Jashari, Chargé d’Affaires at Embassy of Republic of Kosovo
The Honorable Tarek Ben Youssef, Chargé d’Affaires at Interim of Tunisia
COMMUNITY MEMBERS
Mr. Hamza Abdullah, Arizona Cardinals
Mr. Husain Abdullah, Minnesota Vikings
Ms. Dina Amer
Mrs. Durriya Badani, Brookings Institute
Ms. Faiza Arain, Los Angeles Police Department
Dr. Mahmoud Eboo, Aga Khan
Mr. Mohamed Ali Malouche, Tunisian American Young Professionals
Mr. Akram Syed, National Association of Indian Muslims
Mrs. Mansura Shajahan
Mr. Yusuf Shajahan
Dr. Manzoor Tariq, Association of Pakistani Physicians of North America

It remains a goal of mine to be on that list one of these years. Here are the guest lists from 2009 and 2010.

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Ramadan Iftar Party PackThe Holy Qur'an in Today's English

Obama’s statement to mark the start of Ramadan

Barack Obama’s statement to mark the start of Ramadan was posted earlier today on WhiteHouse.gov. In it he mentions that he will once again be hosting an Iftar at the White House like he did last year. I will ask the same question I asked last year, how do I get an invite? You can read the full statement below.

The White House
Office of the Press Secretary
For Immediate Release
August 01, 2011

Statement by the President on the Occasion of Ramadan

As Ramadan begins, Michelle and I would like to send our best wishes to Muslim communities in the United States and around the world.  Ramadan is a festive time that is anticipated for months by Muslims everywhere.  Families and communities share the happiness of gathering together for iftar and prayers. Bazaars light up the night in many cities from Rabat to Jakarta.  And here in the United States, Muslim Americans share Ramadan traditions with their neighbors, fellow students, and co-workers. 
For so many Muslims around the world, Ramadan is also a time of deep reflection and sacrifice. As in other faiths, fasting is used to increase spirituality, discipline, and consciousness of God’s mercy.  It is also a reminder of the importance of reaching out to those less fortunate.  The heartbreaking accounts of lost lives and the images of families and children in Somalia and the Horn of Africa struggling to survive remind us of our common humanity and compel us to act.  Now is the time for nations and peoples to come together to avert an even worse catastrophe by offering support and assistance to on-going relief efforts.

Times like this remind us of the lesson of all great faiths, including Islam — that we do unto others as we would have them do unto us.  In that spirit, I wish Muslims around the world a blessed month, and I look forward to again hosting an iftar dinner here at the White House.  Ramadan Kareem.

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Iftar at the White House

As I mentioned earlier today, Barack Obama hosted an Iftar at the White House tonight.

The guest list for the event included Diplomats from Muslim countries, Muslim leaders from around the country and Muslims from many walks of life among others. Rep. Andre Carson (D-Indiana) was at the event but the other Muslim Congressman, Keith Ellison (D-Minnesota) was not present. I suggested earlier in the evening that it might have had something to do with his recent comments regarding Press Secretary Robert Gibbs. The Congressman took offense to that comment. Late tonight I received a series of messages from him via twitter. The gist of it was that he’s in California with Speaker Pelosi. The tweets read as follows:

I am with Speaker Pelosi at her Annual Issues conference.

Very irresponsible rumor. Very unbecoming of a Muslim or any person of integrity to spread such a baseless rumor. Please stop 

Tell anyone who cares to know that there is no conflict with the WH and I. I am with the Speaker in Napa, CA.

The intentions of my comments earlier were obviously not to take a shot at Rep. Ellison. I’ve liked his work for the most part. I like his stance on issues. We definitely need more Muslims not only in Congress but in politics in general. That being said, his absence from the event at the White House tonight was very odd. Anyone who follows politics even remotely would connect it to his comments about Robert Gibbs. It has nothing to do with me being a good or bad Muslim. This “Issues Conference” is probably a private retreat of Democratic Congressmen but a quick Google search didn’t turn up anything linking the Congressman to California. There was no statement made by his office either. There wasn’t a Press Release, an update on his blog or a message on his twitter account. There are only 2 Muslim Congressmen, if one wasn’t making it to the Iftar you’d figure they’d mention it somewhere right? Hopefully all is fine between him and the White House (I’ll take him at his word) but his reaction tonight disappointed not only me but others I spoke to.

I should mention that Rep. Ellison has said since that he does not want Robert Gibbs dismissed.

I would have liked to see Rep. Ellison in attendance since he too has been a very vocal supporter of the Mosque in Lower Manhattan.

I mentioned to a few people earlier today that the events seemed much more low key this year (coincidence that it is an election year?). Last year we saw a video statement marking the start of Ramadan but this year the White House only released a written statement. The President did throw people like me a bone though by coming through with the strongest worded support to date of the so called “Ground Zero Mosque” by the administration. It is a shame that it was part of a Friday evening news dump.

You can watch Obama’s remarks here.


Good work from the President here. It is a balancing act that he has to follow but the remarks do still come off as genuine.

Here is the guest list for the Iftar. I asked earlier but will ask again, what do I have to do to be on the guest list next year?
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Barack Obama is hosting an Iftar tonight

Tonight Barack Obama will continue a tradition started by Bill Clinton as he will host what has become an annual Iftar at the White House.

As I mentioned a couple of days ago, the White House did release a statement from the First Family marking the start of Ramadan. The statement can be found below. 

The White House

Office of the Press Secretary

For Immediate Release

August 11, 2010

Statement by the President on the Occasion of Ramadan

On behalf of the American people, Michelle and I want to extend our best wishes to Muslims in America and around the world. Ramadan Kareem.

Ramadan is a time when Muslims around the world reflect upon the wisdom and guidance that comes with faith, and the responsibility that human beings have to one another, and to God.  This is a time when families gather, friends host iftars, and meals are shared.  But Ramadan is also a time of intense devotion and reflection – a time when Muslims fast during the day and pray during the night; when Muslims provide support to others to advance opportunity and prosperity for people everywhere.  For all of us must remember that the world we want to build – and the changes that we want to make – must begin in our own hearts, and our own communities.

These rituals remind us of the principles that we hold in common, and Islam’s role in advancing justice, progress, tolerance, and the dignity of all human beings.   Ramadan is a celebration of a faith known for great diversity and racial equality.  And here in the United States, Ramadan is a reminder that Islam has always been part of America and that American Muslims have made extraordinary contributions to our country. And today, I want to extend my best wishes to the 1.5 billion Muslims around the world – and your families and friends – as you welcome the beginning of Ramadan.

I look forward to hosting an Iftar dinner celebrating Ramadan here at the White House later this week, and wish you a blessed month.

May God’s peace be upon you.

Last year Barack Obama not only released a text statement but a video as well

The White House also uploaded the video of his remarks at the Iftar event last year. Will they do the same again this year?

A lot of people were not happy with the guest list last year as major Muslim organizations like Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) were not on the guest list (though the President of ISNA was there). Hopefully the guest list is more diverse this year. What do I have to do to score an invite next year?
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No god but God: The Origins, Evolution, and Future of Islam

Obama’s Edison Trip Schedule

The White House has released its schedule for tomorrow‘s trip to Edison. If you missed it yesterday, the White House now lets you subscribe to Obama and Biden’s schedule. Some of my questions were answered here. Looks like at least part of it will be streamed on the White House website.

11:45 AM
The President departs the White House en route Andrews Air Force Base
South Lawn
Open Press
12:00 PM
The President departs Andrews Air Force Base en route Newark, New Jersey
Andrews Air Force Base
Travel Pool Coverage
(Call Time 10:45AM – Virginia Gate, Andrews Air Force Base)
12:50 PM
The President arrives in Newark, New Jersey
Newark Liberty International Airport
Open Press
1:30 PM
The President meets with a group of small business owners to discuss the economy and urge Congress to pass support for small businesses
Edison, New Jersey, Tastee Sub Shop
Travel Pool Coverage
2:20 PM
The President delivers a statement to the press
Edison, New Jersey, Tastee Sub Shop
Travel Pool Coverage
5:40 PM
The President attends a DNC finance event
Four Seasons Hotel, New York City
Closed Press
7:20 PM
The President attends a DNC finance event
New York City, Private Residence
Closed Press
8:50 PM
The President departs Newark, New Jersey en route Andrews Air Force Base
Newark Liberty International Airport
Open Press
9:40 PM
The President arrives at Andrews Air Force Base
Andrews Air Force Base
Travel Pool Coverage
9:55 PM
The President arrives at the White House
South Lawn
Open Press

I’ve been blogging about this trip the last two days. You can find those posts here.

By the way, you can follow tweets related to Obama’s trip to Edison below.

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By the People: The Election of Barack ObamaInside The Obama White House

Saints have yet to visit White House | ProFootballTalk.com

There is a lot of ceremonial stuff that happens at the White House. As a sports fan though one of the coolest ones for me is when sports teams are honored at the White House. 


If you haven’t noticed yet, the New Orleans Saints have not yet visited the White House in honor of their Super Bowl win this year. Mike Florio of “Pro Football Talk” is reporting today that the delay is to be blamed on Saints owner Tom Benson. It should be noted that Tom Benson is a Republican. He’s backed both George W. Bush and John McCain in their Presidential bids. He’s also donated generously to the GOP.  

This is pretty low isn’t it? I can even excuse him somewhat for not wanting to go to the White House but why has he not flown his team to Washington yet? Heck, Barack Obama like most of the country hopped on the Saints bandwagon this past season. Has anyone else heard anything on this lately? Has any other owner tried something similar recently? I can’t recall one.


Read Mike Florio’s full story on this. Saints have yet to visit White House | ProFootballTalk.com



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Barack Obama and Reggie Love

By now unless you’ve been living in a cave somewhere you should know that Barack Obama is a big time basketball fan. Not only does he watch basketball, he plays a lot of basketball. It has been well documented on Twitter too where Christina Bellantoni of “Talking Points Memo” created the brilliant hashtag called “#potuslovessports

Some of you might be aware that the President is holding another pickup game today. I’m guessing that came up in today’s press briefing with Press Secretary Robert Gibbs.

Watch the video to see what happened.

Obama playing hoops, blocking a shot by aide Reggie Love (Whi... on Twitpic

Reggie Love for those who aren’t aware of it is the personal aide to the President. The “body man” as they are called. If you’re a “West Wing” nerd like me you’ll make the immediate connection to “Charlie.” This is what Reggie Love does. What makes this basketball story better is that Reggie Love actually played for Duke. He was part of a pretty loaded Duke team that won a national title. A total of 5 players from the team ended up going to the NBA.

Saw another piece on Obama and Basketball today. ABC did a little reporting and wants to know why there have been no women involved in these pickup games?

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