Muslim American groups boycott White House Ramadan dinner

US President Barack Obama speaks as he hosts an Iftar dinner celebrating Ramadan in the State Dining Room of the White House, July 25, 2013.Press TV

Muslim American groups and individuals on Monday boycotted US President Barack Obama’s Iftar dinner over his administration’s anti-Muslim policies.

A large number of Muslims instead participated in a protest outside the White House against US government policies, according to reports published in US media.

The Iftar is when Muslims break their fast during Ramadan and it’s the meal they enjoy after sunset every day during the holy month.  

In the past, the White House has held several Ramadan dinners with prominent members of Muslim groups and various eminent Muslim Americans.

On Monday, some American Muslims and officials from certain Islamic states still attended the Ramadan dinner, which has been seen as an opportunity to engage with officials in power, but many American Muslims refused to participate in the event amid growing concern that US policies keep getting worse and they would be complicit if they attended the dinner.

According to Firedoglake, over a hundred Muslim advocates, activists, and scholars signed an open letter explaining why they believed a boycott was necessary.

They said the dinner “represents nothing more than an attempt to whitewash state violence, absolve government institutions from taking responsibility and creating mechanisms of accountability and transparency for the civil rights violations that have been perpetrated towards Muslims and Muslim Americans, and Americans at large, beginning from even before the onset of the War on Terror.”

In particular, Muslims intend to protest complete US support for Israel’s atrocities against the Palestinians in Gaza as well as the mass surveillance being targeted at Muslim Americans.

Nearly 200 Palestinians have been killed and hundreds wounded, including women and children, by the latest wave of Israeli aggression against the besieged territory. In response to the attack, Palestinian resistance fighters fired rockets into Israeli cities. No Israelis have died by the rocket fire.

The White House has backed Israel’s aggression against the Palestinians, saying Tel Aviv has a right to defend itself from rockets fired from the Gaza Strip.

“No country [sic] can accept rocket fire aimed at civilians,” White House press secretary Josh Earnest said on Monday. “And that’s the reason that we support Israel’s right to defend itself.”

American Muslims also intend to protest the ongoing unending detention of Muslim prisoners at the United States’ Guantanamo Bay prison.

Ramah Kudaimi, one of the organizers involved in building support for the boycott, told Firedoglake, “One of the main reasons we’re calling for this boycott is to say this is just an opportunity for the United States to have a publicity stunt where it whitewashes its crimes against Muslims.”

“Our action is going to be focusing on Guantanamo and the fact that, during last year’s Iftar, the prisoners at Guantanamo who were on hunger strike were being force-fed, and it was very shameful that there were Muslim Americans going to the White House Iftar to break their fast while their fellow Muslims” were being force-fed in Guantanamo, Kudaimi added.

The American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC) announced that it will not be “attending the government iftars” and called on Arab and Muslim communities to boycott, “given the government’s condoning of the current slaughter of Palestinians in Palestine and the spying of American Arabs and Muslims domestically.”


3 thoughts on “Muslim American groups boycott White House Ramadan dinner

  1. But, but, but, I’m one of you! I love the sound of the call to prayer, it’s the sweetest sound on Earth.

  2. “In particular, Muslims intend to protest complete US support for Israel’s atrocities against the Palestinians in Gaza as well as the mass surveillance being targeted at Muslim Americans.”

    How much longer before they figure out that the jews and the U.S. so-called ‘government’ are playing both sides against the middle.

    Too bad Hamas couldn’t set off a nuke in Israhell.

    Right down the street from the Knesset while it’s in full session.

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