A statement put out today by President Barack Obama on the occasion of a religious holiday is raising some eyebrows.
The holiday is a Muslim one called “Eid-al-Fitr” and the statement says:
This last month has been a time of fasting, reflection, spiritual renewal, and service to the less fortunate. While Eid marks the completion of Ramadan, it also celebrates the common values that unite us in our humanity and reinforces the obligations that people of all faiths have to each other, especially those impacted by poverty, conflict, and disease.
In the United States, Eid also reminds us of the many achievements and contributions of Muslim Americans to building the very fabric of our nation and strengthening the core of our democracy. That is why we stand with people of all faiths, here at home and around the world, to protect and advance their rights to prosper, and we welcome their commitment to giving back to their communities.
The word choice here, that anyone built “the very fabric of our nation” would usually sound hackneyed and overplayed – but, in this particular instance, given that the U.S. didn’t even have its first Muslim-American congressmanuntil 2007, the peculiar word choice has left some scratching their heads.
It’s not hard to see why 72% of Muslim-Americans approve of the President, though (the highest percentage out of any religious group.)