In a surprising move, US President Donald Trump hosted an iftaar dinner at the White House to mark the holy month of Ramzan, the most important month in the Islamic calendar, The Guardian reported.
However, American Muslims did not seem very enthused by the idea and chose to remain absent as a sign of protest to Trump’s widely condemned anti-Islam rhetoric.
Religious leaders and groups, who have attended these events in the past under previous administrations, chose to give it a miss, which goes to show the strained relationship between Muslims and the Trump administration.
The invitation had allegedly been extended to “ambassadors only,” another reason why community members and leaders who ordinarily attend the event were miffed with the administration.
Daniel Dale, a correspondent for the Toronto Star, claimed that since the White House invited diplomats from Muslim countries and not members of the American Muslim community, they did not attend the event.
I wouldn’t anticipate that any credible mainstream American Muslim organisations or leaders would be invited or agree to attend, given the administration’s Islamophobic and white supremacist positions and policies.Ibrahim Hooper, spokesman for the Council on American Islamic Relations to The Guardian.
Community leaders have alleged that Trump and his administration have shown no real effort towards engaging with the community or to encourage dialogue between The White House and the community.
Hoda Hawa, the director of policy and advocacy at the Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC), claims that unlike past administration who showed a willingness to engage with the community, Trump has shown he isn’t willing to do so at all.
The contentious relationship was borne out of Trump’s controversial presidential election campaign, as he went hammer and tongs calling for a complete “ban” on all Muslims entering the US.
Ever since Trump was elected as the President of the United States, he has courted controversy, mainly because of his statements that are often seen as Islamophobic and racist by members of the community.
(With inputs from The Guardian)