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Obama hosts iftaar at White House

Last updated on: September 2, 2009 

Obama hosts iftaar at White House

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US President Barack Obama praised Islam and American Muslims during an iftaar party hosted by him at the White House. He said he was committed to building a better relationship between the country and the Muslim world.

"Together, we have a responsibility to foster engagement grounded in mutual interest and mutual respect. And that's one of my fundamental commitments as President, both at home and abroad," Obama said at the Iftaar, the meal that breaks the daily fast during Ramadan, last evening his first at the White House.


Image: Barack Obama introduces basketball star Bilqis Abdul-Qaadir during the Iftaar
Photographs: Jim Young/Reuters
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That is central to the new beginning that I've sought between the United States and Muslims around the world. And that is a commitment that we can renew once again during this holy season," Obama said before a host of diplomats, including Indian Ambassador to the US Meera Shankar, lawmakers, his cabinet colleagues and eminent American-Muslim leaders.

"Tonight, we celebrate a great religion, and its commitment to justice and progress.We honour the contributions of America's Muslims, and the positive example that so many of them set through their own lives. And we rededicate ourselves to the work of building a better and more hopeful world," he said. Ramadan, a month-long period of prayer, reflection and sunrise-to-sunset fasts, began on August 22 in most of the Islamic world.


Image: Barack Obama at the Iftaar
Photographs: Jim Young/Reuters
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