Iftar, this one in particular, grabbed the eyeballs once again in 2010 when the then US President Barack Obama pointed to the story. Obama claimed the tradition went back in time, adding that Jefferson had actually hosted “the very first known iftar at the White Home, more than 200 years earlier”.
However, Obama was not the one to have actually revived this custom at the Oval Office. The credit goes to the Clintons who hosted 150 Muslims in the February of 1996. The celebration was Eid-ul-Fitr, the conclusion of the holy month of Ramzan.
“It is only fitting. Simply as children and families of other faiths have actually come here to celebrate some of their holy days, so you too are all here to mark this important Islamic tradition,” the then very first woman, Hillary Clinton had said.The White
Home had long had the custom of commemorating the Easter and the Christmas. Hillary called the Eid-ul-Fitr celebrations “historical and past due”, focusing on accommodating the Muslim-American community.Fast forward to 2016,
even as Hillary was fighting Donald Trump for the Presidency, President Obama, in his in 2015, held a reception on Eid-ul-Fitr. There was a lot at stake. The would-be President Donald Trump, to mad cheers and applause, was rooting for a “total and complete shutdown on Muslims entering the US”.
Obama, on the other hand, sought to instil confidence in the very same Muslim community. “And whether your family has been here for generations or you’re a brand-new arrival, you’re an important part of the fabric of our country,” Obama stated at the reception.Six months into
his Presidency, Trump, who trenchantly criticised Islam “for disliking us” and “having significant hatred”, has twice aimed to bar Muslims from seven Mulsim-majority nations from going into the US.Breaking from the
tradition that even much-disliked George W. Bush didn’t, the Trump administration is not hosting the annual White House Iftar this year. The holy month of Ramzan is nearing completion, and there is no interaction from Trumps’ workplace as yet.But offered Trump’s past, deluged with anti-Muslim, anti-immigrant declarations, his displeasure of even a “symbolic gesture” serves his constituency. As much as the Clintons and Obamas were implicated of “political symbolism” behind such celebrations, Trump’s choice is likewise emblematic of his politics.An iftar celebration could have been deduced as an attempt to calm the waters in between the administration and the Muslim neighborhood, in utter disregard to what propelled Trump to the much-coveted chair of the President.The intention behind any symbolic political
ploy is to establish a psychological link with a politician’s core constituency.Obama, perhaps, did it for he ran for workplace assuring to enhance relations with the Muslim world. Trump is doing it, for he promised to “make the United States fantastic again”. By keeping “hate-filled Islam “at bay.