Category Archives: American Muslims

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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Interfaith Iftar at Central NJ Mosque

If you’re in the vicinity of Piscataway, New Jersey and want to know more about why your Muslim friend/neighbor/classmate/co-worker has been fasting during Ramadan (and for that matter what is the significance of Ramadan) come visit the Muslim Center of Middlesex County on Thursday August 18th. The event starts at 6:30 PM. There will be a presentation from the Imam after which there will be a Q&A session where everyone is welcome to ask a question. In the past local elected officials as well as members of neighboring Churches have attended the event.

Program
Welcome Presentation………………….. 6:30 PM
Iftar & Prayer Observation……….7:50 PM
Interactive Dinner…………………………..8:15 PM

As we approach the 10th anniversary of 9/11 there will be a lot of negative portrayal of Muslims and Islam in the media. Come see what Islam and Muslims are really about for yourself.  For more information contact dawah@mcmcnj.org You can RSVP by sending an e-mail to Imam@mcmcnj.org or by calling 732-463-2004 X111

Muslim Center of Middlesex County
1000 Hoes Lane
Piscataway, NJ 08854


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Barack Obama’s remarks at the White House Iftar

Here is the video and transcript of President Obama’s remarks at the White House Iftar tonight.

Transcript.

THE WHITE HOUSE
Office of the Press Secretary
For Immediate Release                          August 10, 2011
REMARKS BY THE PRESIDENT
DURING IFTAR DINNER
East Room
8:35 P.M. EDT
THE PRESIDENT:  Thank you.  Thank you so much.  (Applause.)  Everyone, please have a seat, have a seat.
Good evening, everyone, and welcome to the White House.  Tonight is part of a rich tradition here at the White House of celebrating the holy days of many faiths and the diversity that define us as a nation.  So these are quintessentially American celebrations — people of different faiths coming together, with humility before our maker, to reaffirm our obligations to one another, because no matter who we are, or how we pray, we’re all children of a loving God.
Now, this year, Ramadan is entirely in August.  That means the days are long, the weather is hot, and you are hungry.  (Laughter.)  So I will be brief.
I want to welcome the members of the diplomatic corps who are here; the members of Congress, including two Muslim American members of Congress — Keith Ellison and Andre Carson; and leaders and officials from across my administration.  Thank you all for being here.  Please give them a big round of applause.  (Applause.)   
To the millions of Muslim Americans across the United States and more — the more than one billion Muslims around the world, Ramadan is a time of reflection and a time of devotion.  It’s an occasion to join with family and friends in celebration of a faith known for its diversity and a commitment to justice and the dignity of all human beings.  So to you and your families, Ramadan Kareem. 
This evening reminds us of both the timeless teachings of a great religion and the enduring strengths of a great nation.  Like so many faiths, Islam has always been part of our American family, and Muslim Americans have long contributed to the strength and character of our country, in all walks of life.  This has been especially true over the past 10 years.
In one month, we will mark the 10th anniversary of those awful attacks that brought so much pain to our hearts.  It will be a time to honor all those that we’ve lost, the families who carry on their legacy, the heroes who rushed to help that day and all who have served to keep us safe during a difficult decade.  And tonight, it’s worth remembering that these Americans were of many faiths and backgrounds, including proud and patriotic Muslim Americans.
Muslim Americans were innocent passengers on those planes, including a young married couple looking forward to the birth of their first child.  They were workers in the Twin Towers — Americans by birth and Americans by choice, immigrants who crossed the oceans to give their children a better life.  They were cooks and waiters, but also analysts and executives.  
There, in the towers where they worked, they came together for daily prayers and meals at Iftar.  They were looking to the future — getting married, sending their kids to college, enjoying a well-deserved retirement.  And they were taken from us much too soon.  And today, they live on in the love of their families and a nation that will never forget.  And tonight, we’re deeply humbled to be joined by some of these 9/11 families, and I would ask them to stand and be recognized, please.  (Applause.)
Muslim Americans were first responders — the former police cadet who raced to the scene to help and then was lost when the towers collapsed around him; the EMTs who evacuated so many to safety; the nurse who tended to so many victims; the naval officer at the Pentagon who rushed into the flames and pulled the injured to safety.  On this 10th anniversary, we honor these men and women for what they are — American heroes.
Nor let us forget that every day for these past 10 years Muslim Americans have helped to protect our communities as police and firefighters, including some who join us tonight.  Across our federal government, they keep our homeland secure, they guide our intelligence and counterterrorism efforts and they uphold the civil rights and civil liberties of all Americans.  So make no mistake, Muslim Americans help to keep us safe.
We see this in the brave service of our men and women in uniform, including thousands of Muslim Americans.  In a time of war, they volunteered, knowing they could be sent into harm’s way.  Our troops come from every corner of our country, with different backgrounds and different beliefs.  But every day they come together and succeed together, as one American team. 
During the 10 hard years of war, our troops have served with excellence and with honor.  Some have made the ultimate sacrifice, among them Army Specialist Kareem Khan.  Galvanized by 9/11 to serve his country, he gave his life in Iraq and now rests with his fellow heroes at Arlington.  And we thank Kareem’s mother, Elsheba, for being here again tonight.  (Applause.)  Like Kareem, this generation has earned its place in history, and I would ask all of our service members here tonight — members of the 9/11 Generation — to stand and accept the thanks of our fellow Americans.  (Applause.)        
This year and every year, we must ask ourselves:  How do we honor these patriots — those who died and those who served?  In this season of remembrance, the answer is the same as it was 10 Septembers ago.  We must be the America they lived for and the America they died for, the America they sacrificed for. 
An America that doesn’t simply tolerate people of different backgrounds and beliefs, but an America where we are enriched by our diversity.  An America where we treat one another with respect and with dignity, remembering that here in the United States there is no “them” or “us;” it’s just us.  An America where our fundamental freedoms and inalienable rights are not simply preserved, but continually renewed and refreshed — among them the right of every person to worship as they choose.  An America that stands up for dignity and the rights of people around the world, whether a young person demanding his or her freedom in the Middle East or North Africa, or a hungry child in the Horn of Africa, where we are working to save lives.
Put simply, we must be the America that goes forward as one family, like generations before us, pulling together in times of trial, staying true to our core values and emerging even stronger.  This is who we are and this is who we must always be. 
Tonight, as we near a solemn anniversary, I cannot imagine a more fitting wish for our nation.  So God bless you all and God bless the United States of America.  Thank you.  (Applause.)      
                        END           8:43 P.M. EDT

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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

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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Muslim man buys NFL team, Racist conservatives go insane.

Just saw a story on ESPN saying a Pakistani American has bought the St. Louis Rams. As far as I know he becomes the first Pakistani involved in North American sports in any major capacity and also becomes the first majority owner of a North American sports team. Shahid Khan is the owner of the Illionis based Flex-N-Gate. Him and his wife are also very involved with the University of Illinois.

This news has conservative pundits in an uproar because as you may remember, their hero Rush Limbaugh was turned away by the league. Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban wrote a great blog post on why the NFL should stay away from Rush Limbaugh. I wrote an entry at the time too. A Muslim buying the team of course gives extra fuel for these bigots to spread their hatred. A quick look at the blogosphere will find plenty of posts like this one. Oliver Willis has a must read on Debbie Schlussel.

I have no idea what the tax problems with the IRS are here but I can say with a certainty that those problems aren’t half as bad as what the conservative pundits will lead you to believe. There is no way the NFL hasn’t done a proper background check without letting the matter get this far.

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