In a yearly event that has become a tradition with the Barack Obama administration, President Obama held a dinner last night in the State Dining Room of the White House, commemorating Ramadan. Earlier at the start of Ramadan, the U.S. President sent out a message to the American people in a White House released video.
Ramadan is an Islamic holy holiday that commences on the ninth month of the Islamic calendar. It is a month of fasting for Muslims. The word Ramadan is Arabic and means arid or intense heat. Muslims are to fast from sunrise to sunset, and are not only expected to not eat, but they should not engage in any drinking of liquids, smoking, or have sexual relations. Muslims are also expected get closer to their faith by not fighting or cursing. The purpose of Ramadan is to cleanse yourself, to spiritually reflect and show your devotion to Allah.
During this time, Muslims are also expected to practice self-control and show empathy, giving to the less fortunate. In Islam, charity is obligatory, in a system referred to as Zakat. The amount of Zakat that an individual pays to the needy depends on how much wealth that individual has. President Barack Obama was joined by elected congressmen, religious leaders, and some members of his administration at the White House dinner. Video shows Obama’s speech to the nation, released by the White House, where he says:
“Beyond our American borders, we are also committed to keeping our responsibility to build a world that is more peaceful and secure. That is why we are responsibly ending the war in Iraq. That is why we are isolating violent extremists, while empowering the people, like in places like Afghanistan and in Pakistan.”
What is the most confusing about Obama’s statement is that many Americans already know that the war in Iraq ended, and that this was a time of occupation to solidify peace. The war had ended, Saddam Hussein captured and sentenced by his own people. Americans also had many of the “extremest” he refers to very “isolated” in Guantanamo Bay, until his policies changed that.
Real Clear Politics video reveals segments of his speech to those in attendance at the White House dinner last night. In his speech to the attendees in honor of Ramadan, President Barack Obama emphasized the contributions made by Muslims in America. He is quoted as saying:
“Their works have helped to build our nation;”
adding that the people of North Africa and the Middle East need economic assistance as well as political support, saying it is the:
“root of so much of the change we’ve seen around the world in the past few years, including in North Africa and in the Middle East.”
It is difficult to understand what change the president is referring to. The Syrian civil war has already seen 100,000 in casualties, Egypt is in upheaval, and Iraq has had one of its deadliest months as a result of Al-queda random attacks.
The change the president must be referring to must be in the amount of money the America government has poured into the region. In 2011, the United States gave African and Muslim nations close to 90% of the approximate 30 billion dollars given in total, in foreign aid to countries. Kenya was on the top of the list of recipients, with over a billion dollars given to that country for Economic and Military assistance.
The U.S. economy is suffering with federal cut backs and layoffs, but there has been no signs that the Obama administration will change policies, but instead, it is expected that he will continue to fund foreign conflicts and support their economic needs over that of America’s.