Prominent Muslim organizations say they weren’t invited to White House iftar dinner

Greg Nash

Some of the United States’s largest Muslim organizations say they were not invited to an iftar dinner at the White House, according to a HuffPost report

Both the Islamic Society of North America and the Council on American-Islamic Relations say they were snubbed by the White House at the first iftar dinner of President Trump’s tenure in office. 

Every president since Bill Clinton has hosted an annual iftar dinner to celebrate the Muslim holy month of Ramadan. Trump declined to do so last year, but announced that he would hold one this year. 


The White House didn’t release a guest list for the event Wednesday night, but The Associated Press reported that it would include 30-40 people.

Colin Christopher, the ISNA’s interfaith director, told HuffPost that he believed that the guest list primarily included diplomats from Muslim-majority countries.

“If the White House is interested in inviting foreign government leaders from largely corrupt, Muslim-majority countries that exhibit inequitable and unjust policies upon their own populations, that seems to be in line with the tenor of the current U.S. Administration,” Christopher said in an email to the news website.

“We are confident that they will enjoy their time together, ignoring the basic needs and human rights of their respective peoples.”

CAIR spokesman Ibrahim Hooper said he was not aware of any mainstream Muslim leader or activist who received an invite to the dinner.

CAIR is co-hosting a “Not Trump’s Iftar” outside the White House on Wednesday night with a number of other Muslim organizations instead. 

The White House did not respond to HuffPost’s request for comment.
Trump has had a strained relationship with Muslim communities since he began his presidential campaign in 2015. He once declared that “Islam hates us,” and called for a “total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States.”
Shortly after taking office last year, he sought to implement the first version of his proposed travel ban, targeting Muslim-majority countries.

But that order and a subsequent ban failed to pass muster in the courts. The Supreme Court has allowed the enforcement of a third iteration of the travel ban, and is expected to issue a final decision on it this month.

Tags Bill Clinton CAIR Donald Trump Iftar Ramadan

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