As he attended his first in-person Eid al-Fitr celebration at the White House on Monday, US President Joe Biden praised Muslim-Americans’ contributions to the country.
“The Quran’s teaching that ‘We have made you into nations and tribes so that you may know one another’ is a monument to Muslim-Americans strengthening the fabric of this nation,” Biden said in the East Room, invoking the Muslim holy book.
Due to COVID-19 concerns, Biden sponsored a virtual Eid celebration last year.
But this year, Obama hosted dozens of notable Muslim-Americans for a face-to-face event, which he said was made possible “in no small part” by Muslim health professionals and “great Muslim scientists who helped pioneer the technology for the COVID-19 vaccine.”
“Don’t forget that either,” he said, referring to Ugur Sahin and Ozlem Tureci, the German-Turkish couple who pioneered the Pfizer-BioNTech mRNA vaccine.
“Today we celebrate the incredible stories of the indispensable contributions of Muslims all across this great nation — Muslim-Americans, a diverse and vibrant part of the United States, making invaluable cultural and economic contributions to communities all across the nation,” he added.
Those in attendance included members of the US Foreign Service, members of Congress Andre Carson and Rashida Tlaib, as well as Muslim-American thought leaders and activists.
The Eid holiday marks the end of the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan, during which most able-bodied Muslims abstain from food, drink, smoking and sex from sunrise to sunset.
For Muslims worldwide, the first day of the holiday includes feasts and celebrations among families and friends.