2010 White House Iftar

Event Photos

August 14, 2010

During his remarks at the White House's annual iftar held last night, President Barack Obama stressed the central value of religious freedom, saying America should "treat everyone equal regardless" of religion. MPAC President Salam Al-Marayati along with intern Saaliha Khan were honored to be guests at the event. 

WATCH: President's Speech at White House iftar 
READ: President's Full Remarks at White House Ramadan Dinner 

President Obama pointed out that Thomas Jefferson was the first American President to host a White House iftar, in honor of Tunisian dignitaries over 200 years ago. He noted that Americans of various faiths - including Jews and Catholics - seeking to build their houses of worship have faced discrimination in the past, they were able to overcome those challenges and enriched our nation's pluralism in the process. 

"The President's made a historic speech in favor of religious freedom. He and Mayor Bloomberg have set the standard for other political leaders to preserve America's open society," said MPAC President Salam Al-Marayati. "The President landed a major blow against Al-Qaeda's false narrative that America is at war with Islam. We hope that other religious and civic groups will stand behind the President's commitment for openness and tolerance." 

President Obama also mentioned that Muslim religious leaders have condemned violent extremism and that thousands of American Muslims proudly and bravely serve in our Armed Forces. 

MPAC intern Saaliha Khan, a student at Georgetown University, had the privilege of sitting at the President's table. Al-Marayati and Khan thanked the President for his stand, reaffirmed the Muslim American community's commitment to civic engagement, and committed to empowering more young Muslim American leaders to engage in public service in our nation's capitol and around the country.



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