Trump To Host Ramadan Dinner After Ditching Tradition Last Year: Reports

The president had previously broken a decadeslong tradition of hosting the dinner at the White House.

President Donald Trump will reportedly host his first presidential dinner honoring the Muslim holy month of Ramadan after breaking the White House’s decadeslong tradition last year.

The iftar dinner, which is a meal Muslims take at sunset after a day of fasting during Ramadan, is scheduled for Wednesday, The New York Times and Politico both reported on Saturday.

Details, including who will attend the meal, were not released. The dinner is typically hosted by the president and first lady. Trump’s wife, Melania Trump, has not been seen publicly since May 10, leading to speculation on her whereabouts ― though a tweet from the first lady’s account Wednesday said she is at the White House.

President Donald Trump will host his first Ramadan dinner on Wednesday at the White House, according to reports.
President Donald Trump will host his first Ramadan dinner on Wednesday at the White House, according to reports.

Trump, in a statement last month, sent his “greetings and best wishes to all Muslims observing Ramadan in the United States and around the world.”

“Ramadan reminds us of the richness Muslims add to the religious tapestry of American life. In the United States, we are all blessed to live under a Constitution that fosters religious liberty and respects religious practice,” the statement said.

Trump faced criticism last year after choosing not to host the dinner. Previous presidents, including Bill Clinton, George W. Bush and Barack Obama, hosted the dinner.

Trump and his wife last year instead released statements that acknowledged the religious days. One, released at the start of Ramadan, highlighted terrorist attacks overseas and America’s “resolve to defeat the terrorists and their perverted ideology.” That statement, which sparked public backlash, appears to have since been removed from the White House’s website.

A second statement, released at the end of Ramadan, took a more positive approach.

“During this holiday, we are reminded of the importance of mercy, compassion, and goodwill. With Muslims around the world, the United States renews our commitment to honor these values,” that statement said.

Trump has had a fraught relationship with the Muslim community.

In addition to enacting a series of travel bans that targeted mostly Muslim nations, Trump before his inauguration said he’d consider surveilling and closing down mosques in the U.S. to fight terrorism, as well as creating a national database for Muslims in the U.S. He also falsely suggested that Obama is secretly a Muslim.