[Video below.] As reported here earlier tonight, President Obama continued his charm offensive on the Islamic world today, releasing a video wishing Muslims a happy Ramadan, the month of fasting, prayer and charity observed by Muslims worldwide.”On behalf of the American people — including Muslim communities in all fifty states — I want to extend best wishes to Muslims in America and around the world. Ramadan Kareem.” Obama said. “These rituals remind us of the principles that we hold in common, and Islam’s role in advancing justice, progress, tolerance, and the dignity of all human beings.”
This isn’t the first time Obama has sent special holiday messages — in April, for example, there was a two-fer video post on the White House blog recognizing Pesach and Easter.
But this message was part of a larger push, a point made clear in the introduction to the Ramadan video by Rashad Hussein, a deputy associate counsel in the White House who was the first Muslim in Obama’s administration.
“This month is also a time of renewal and this marks the first Ramadan since the President outlined his vision for a new beginning between America and the Muslim world,” Hussein wrote. “The President’s message is part of an on-going dialogue with Muslim communities that began on inauguration day and has continued with his statement on Nowruz, during trips to Ankara and Cairo, and with interviews with media outlets such as Al Arabiya and Dawn TV.”
Like his Cairo speech, Obama’s Ramadan greeting was sprinkled with Arabic words and references that were meant both to resonate with the Islamic world — by signaling that Obama knows something about its traditions — and to educate non-Muslims, said Nathan Brown of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.
Watch a video of the speech by clicking below:
[media id=139 width=400 height=300]