US President Barack Obama has greeted Muslims across the world on the occasion of the holy month of Ramadan, describing it as the time for self-reflection and devotion through prayer and fasting.
“A time for self-reflection and devotion through prayer and fasting, Ramadan is also an occasion when Muslims around the world reaffirm their commitment to helping the less fortunate, including those struggling because of economic hardship and inequality,” Obama said in a statement yesterday.
Lauding the role of Muslim organisations in America for their efforts at social empowerment, Obama said: “Here in the US, we are grateful to the many Muslim American organizations, individuals, and businesses that are devoted to creating opportunity for all by working to reduce income inequality and poverty, not only through their charitable efforts, but also through their initiatives to empower students, workers and families with the education, skills and health care they deserve.”
Ramadan, he added, also reminds us of our shared responsibility to treat others as we wish to be treated ourselves and the basic principles that bind people of different faiths together: a yearning for peace, justice and equality.
“At a moment when too many people around the world continue to suffer from senseless conflict and violence, this sacred time reminds us of our common obligations to pursue justice and peace and to uphold the dignity of every human being,” Obama said.
Sending his wishes on the occasion, Secretary of State John Kerry said Ramadan is a time for peaceful reflection and prayer, a time for acts of compassion and charity — universal values and aspiration ingrained in every human heart.
“Across the globe, Muslims will assemble and celebrate a rich tradition with fasting and prayer, as generations have done every year since the time of the Prophet Muhammad.
Here in America, Muslims will commemorate Ramadan in ways that reflect the great diversity of our country and the spirit of community that binds us together,” he said.
“The diversity and patriotism of America’s religious communities are sources of strength for all of us, and our freedom to worship is a powerful reminder of the traditions we share.
E Pluribus Unum–From Many, One. And from many faiths, we stand together in one shared country,” Kerry said.