President Obama wished a blessed Ramadan to Muslims in and outside of the United States in a web video on Friday. He made particular notice of those fasting during the holiday and talked about action on swine flu, a concern for those making the hajj pilgrimage this year.
The video is accompanied by a blog post from Rashad Hussain, deputy associate White House counsel:
As the new crescent moon ushers in Ramadan, the President extends his best wishes to Muslim communities in the United States and around the world.
Each Ramadan, the ninth month on the lunar calendar, Muslims fast daily from dawn to sunset for 29 or 30 days. Fasting is a tradition in many religious faiths and is meant to increase spirituality, discipline, thankfulness, and consciousness of God's mercy. Ramadan is also a time of giving and reaching out to those less fortunate, and this summer, American Muslims have joined their fellow citizens in serving communities across the country. Over the course of the month, we will highlight the perspectives of various faiths on fasting and profile faith-based organizations making real impacts in American cities and towns.
This month is also a time of renewal and this marks the first Ramadan since the President outlined his vision for a new beginning between America and the Muslim world. As a part of that new beginning, the President emphasizes that our relationship with Muslim communities cannot be based on political and security concerns alone. True partnerships also require cooperation in all areas - particularly those that can make a positive difference in peoples' daily lives, including education, science and technology, health, and entrepreneurship - fields in which Muslim communities have helped play a pioneering role throughout history.
The President's message is part of an on-going dialogue with Muslim communities that began on inauguration day and has continued with his statement on Nowruz, during trips to Ankara and Cairo, and with interviews with media outlets such as Al Arabiya and Dawn TV.
As this dialogue continues and leads to concrete actions, the President extends his greetings on behalf of the American people. Ramadan Kareem.