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Obama hosts Ramadan dinner at White House

India TV News Desk 11 August 2012, 13:24
India TV News Desk
Washington, Aug 11: US President Barack Obama celebrated the Islamic holy month of Ramadan by hosting an iftar dinner on Friday at the White House.

The iftar is the meal that ends the day of fasting, when Muslim families and communities eat together after sunset.

The meal was served in the State Dining Room, and is the fourth iftar that Obama has hosted.

It continues the tradition of hosting iftars that began annually under President Bill Clinton and continued by President George W. Bush.

Invited guests included elected officials, religious and grassroots leaders in the Muslim-American community and leaders of diverse faiths and members of the diplomatic corps.

During his speech, Obama expressed his sorrow for the victims of an attack at a Sikh temple in the US state of Wisconsin.

Army veteran Wade Michael Page killed five men and one woman, and wounded three other people, including a police officer, in the ambush on the Sikh temple on Sunday.

He said it was an assault on religious faith and has no place in the United States.

"While we may never fully understand what motivates such hatred, such violence, the perpetrators of such despicable acts must know that your twisted thinking is no match for the compassion, and the goodness, and the strength of our united American family," Obama said.

He added no American should ever have to fear worshipping in public.

Obama also singled out Huma Abedin, a Muslim and an aide to Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton.

Republican Michele Bachmann of Minnesota has alleged that Abedin has family ties to Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood.

Obama called Abedin "an American patriot" and "an example of what we need in this country."