WASHINGTON, July 21: In his Ramazan message, US President Barack Obama said his country would continue to back democratic movements across the Islamic world.
He noted that this year, Ramazan held special meaning for those citizens in the Middle East and North Africa who were “courageously achieving democracy and self-determination and for those who are still struggling to achieve their universal rights”.
This was an indirect reference to uprisings in Tunisia, Egypt and Libya where popular uprisings led to a political change, although the military continues to control power in Cairo.
The second part of the statement refers to Syria where the government and opposition forces are engaged in a bloody conflict, causing thousands of deaths. The United States backs the opposition forces but has so far not heeded calls for a direct military intervention.
The Nato and US military intervention played a key role in bringing down the Qadhafi regime in Libya.
“The United States continues to stand with those who seek the chance to decide their own destiny, to live free from fear and violence, and to practice their faith freely,” Mr Obama said.
In the United States, he noted, Ramazan reminded Americans that Islam was part of the fabric of their nation, and that — “from public service to business, from healthcare and science to the arts — Muslim Americans help strengthen our country and enrich our lives”.
President Obama said that while Ramazan held a profound meaning for the world’s 1.5 billion Muslims, it was also a reminder to people of all faiths of their common humanity and the commitment to justice, equality, and compassion shared by all great faiths.
“In that spirit, I wish Muslims across America and around the world a blessed month, and I look forward to again hosting an iftar dinner here at the White House. Ramazan Kareem,” he concluded.