DC: This week starts the beginning of the Muslim holiday of Ramadan.
The holiday is marked by a tradition of fasting for observant Muslims worldwide to commemorate the revelation of the Quran.
Modern-era presidents historically make an announcement to mark the beginning of the holiday. Barack Obama issued Ramadan messages each year he served in office and Donald Trump has done the same. Comparing the two messages delivered by both presidents in their second year in office certainly shows similarities.
Both presidents recognize the tradition and religious significance of the holiday.
“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.
“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.”
Both presidents also recognize that the holiday seeks to strengthen the Muslim community:
“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.”
“Ramadan is a time of self-reflection intended to deepen one’s spiritual growth and renew a sense of appreciation for the many blessings God provides. In this spirit of thanksgiving and reflection, those observing Ramadan can strengthen our communities, help those in need, and serve as good examples for how to live a holy life.”
However, the presidents diverge in their description of how Islam relates to the American experiment.