Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has refused to host an event celebrating the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.
According to two administration officials, Tillerson declined the State Department’s Office of Religion and Global Affairs’ request to host an event marking the Eid al-Fitr, the end of the holy month of Ramadan, which starts on Saturday in several countries.
At first, it was reported that Tillerson rejected to host an event for Ramadan.
It has been a tradition since 1999 to celebrate either Ramadan or Eid al-Fitr. Tillerson’s five former Republican and Democratic used to host an Iftar or a dinner in the holy month of Ramadan or a reception for Eid al-Fitr
The White House and State Department also celebrate other religious traditions such as a Jewish Passover Seder as well as Christmas and Easter holidays.
However, the Ramadan event is important. Many prominent figures usually attend the event like members of Congress, diplomats from Muslim nations as well as Muslim community leaders along with top US officials.
Why is Ramadan Event important?
Ramadan’s event is considered as part of US efforts to engage with the Muslim community.
“We are still exploring possible options for observance of Eid al-Fitr, which marks the end of the month of Ramadan,” a State Department spokesperson stated. “US ambassadors are encouraged to celebrate Ramadan through a variety of activities, which are held annually at missions around the world.”
On Friday, Tillerson announced the start of Ramadan describing the holiday as “a month of reverence, generosity, and self-reflection.”
“Most importantly, it is a cherished time for family and friends to gather and give charity to those who are less fortunate. This time reminds us all of the common values of harmony and empathy we hold dear,” he continued.