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Bidens mark holy month of Ramadan

President Joe Biden speaks on the March jobs report at the White House in Washington, D.C., on Friday, April 1, 2022.

President Biden and first lady Jill Biden marked the start of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan on Friday.

“For so many around the globe, including fellow Americans all across the country, this sacred month is a time for reflection and spiritual growth. Communities come together to practice forgiveness and resilience, to show compassion and generosity of spirit to those in need, of giving, and to celebrate the many blessings of life with loved ones,” Biden said in a statement.

“This year, the simple act of breaking the fast will be an even more poignant reminder of the joys of health, family, and community. And we will continue to hold in our hearts all those families grieving a lost loved one who are facing an empty chair at the table,” he added.

The president also took the opportunity to highlight Muslim communities in China, Myanmar and elsewhere that have been subject to persecution.

“During this holy month, as Muslims everywhere honor God’s great mercy let us also renew our shared commitment to show kindness, mercy, and understanding to one another.  Let us honor the simple yet profound truth that all people are equal in dignity and rights,” he said. “That’s why the United States will continue to speak out for human rights everywhere–including for Uyghurs in China, Rohingya in Burma, and other Muslim communities all over the world.”

During Ramadan — the holy month for Muslims — Muslims refrain from drinking and eating between dawn and dusk, breaking their fast after the sun sets (known as an iftar), according to Vox.

During that daytime period, Muslims also avoid engaging in sexual activity and smoking. 

The holy month, which is based on a lunar calendar, is meant to be a time of studying the Quran, being more generous and charitable, praying more, and thinking about one’s relationship with God, according to the news outlet.

There are close to 2 billion Muslims worldwide, according to the Pew Research Center in 2019.

Updated 11:08 a.m.

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