WASHINGTON: In a rare peace message for Muslims, US President Donald Trump reminded them on Tuesday that in the United States they were free to observe Ramazan, unimpeded by the government. Ramazan begins in the United States on Wednesday.
In his first Ramazan message in May 2017, Mr Trump had sparked anger among American Muslims by raising the issue of terrorism but he did not include any controversial issue in his second statement.
But he did remind Muslims how the US constitution protects their religious rights.
“In the United States, we are all blessed to live under a Constitution that fosters religious liberty and respects religious practice,” he said. “Our Constitution ensures Muslims can observe Ramazan in accordance with the dictates of conscience and unimpeded by government.”
The guarantees given in the Constitution “also furnishes varied opportunities for all Americans to deepen their understanding of the human soul,” he added.
Mr Trump noted that many Muslim observe this holy month by fasting, performing acts of charity, reciting prayers, and reading the Holy Quran.
“Ramazan reminds us of the richness Muslims add to the religious tapestry of American life,” said the US president while wishing “Ramazan Mubarak” to the global Muslim community.
Donald Trump has sparked anger among American Muslims by using his Ramazan message to raise the issue of terrorism and remind the world of a shared obligation to reject violence.
Mr Trump had peppered his 2017 statement with references to acts of terror.
“This year, the holiday begins as the world mourns the innocent victims of barbaric terrorist attacks in the United Kingdom and Egypt, acts of depravity that are directly contrary to the spirit of Ramazan,” he said in his 2017 message. “Such acts only steel our resolve to defeat the terrorists and their perverted ideology.”
Mr Trump’s relations with Muslims is marked with controversy and bitterness. Less than a month after taking oath, he signed an executive order halting all refugee admissions and temporarily barring people from seven Muslim-majority countries. The move sparked numerous protests and legal challenges.
Published in Dawn, May 16th, 2018