Trump breaks with tradition, forgoes Ramadan dinner

President Trump issued a statement Saturday greeting Muslims as they celebrate the holiday of Eid al-Fitr, breaking with nearly two decades of tradition of holding an iftar dinner to commemorate Ramadan.

“On behalf of the American people,” President Trump said in the statement, “Melania and I send our warm greetings to Muslims as they celebrate Eid al-Fitr.”

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The holiday marks the end of Ramadan, the Islamic holy month of fasting. 

The dinners began under President Clinton and were continued by President George W. Bush and Barack ObamaBarack Hussein ObamaReport: FCC chair to push for complete repeal of net neutrality Right way and wrong way Keystone XL pipeline clears major hurdle despite recent leak MORE. The iftar dinner at the White House is usually attended by prominent members of the Muslim community, diplomats and Congress members.

“Muslims in the United States joined those around the world during the holy month of Ramadan to focus on acts of faith and charity,” Trump said. “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.” 

Trump concluded the statement with the traditional Muslim greeting “Eid Mubarak” which means “blessed celebration” and is used only during the celebration of the important holiday. 

The president has faced backlash over his views of Muslims, as well as his travel ban restricting several Muslim-majority countries in the Middle East from entering the U.S.