Obama marks Ramadan
August 1st, 2011
10:59 AM ET

Obama marks Ramadan

President Obama Monday is marking the beginning of Ramadan, the month-long Muslim holiday of fasting and reflection.

In a statement issued by the White House, the president said, "Times like this remind us of the lesson of all great faiths, including Islam - that we do unto others as we would have them do unto us."

He also said he will be hosting an iftar dinner at the White House, an event he hosted last year as well.

Obama's full statement:

As Ramadan begins, Michelle and I would like to send our best wishes to Muslim communities in the United States and around the world. Ramadan is a festive time that is anticipated for months by Muslims everywhere. Families and communities share the happiness of gathering together for iftar and prayers. Bazaars light up the night in many cities from Rabat to Jakarta. And here in the United States, Muslim Americans share Ramadan traditions with their neighbors, fellow students, and co-workers.

For so many Muslims around the world, Ramadan is also a time of deep reflection and sacrifice. As in other faiths, fasting is used to increase spirituality, discipline, and consciousness of God's mercy. It is also a reminder of the importance of reaching out to those less fortunate. The heartbreaking accounts of lost lives and the images of families and children in Somalia and the Horn of Africa struggling to survive remind us of our common humanity and compel us to act. Now is the time for nations and peoples to come together to avert an even worse catastrophe by offering support and assistance to on-going relief efforts.

Times like this remind us of the lesson of all great faiths, including Islam - that we do unto others as we would have them do unto us. In that spirit, I wish Muslims around the world a blessed month, and I look forward to again hosting an iftar dinner here at the White House. Ramadan Kareem.

Topics: President Obama

soundoff (41 Responses)
  1. Dean

    ...and Michelle is having a Ramadan Ribfest.

    August 1, 2011 at 11:12 am |
    • M.A. L

      Isit grat to know are pes. is a muslim. Now we find out.

      December 23, 2011 at 10:52 pm |
  2. tamara

    I remember at Easter when the president did not even mention Good Friday or make a statement on Easter until it was over at the easter egg roll. Many people back then said wait and see how he handles Ramadan that will show us if he is really a christian well i guess we have our answer he made a Ramadan statement that shows where his faith lies. I can not wait until this lying traitorous piece of crap is out of our white house

    August 1, 2011 at 12:05 pm |
    • Mikey

      That comment says much more about you than about our President.

      August 1, 2011 at 5:58 pm |
    • jean2009

      April 19, 2011 – East Room of White House: Here is President Barack Obama’s Easter Prayer Breakfast speech. Attendees at the second annual event included Christian leaders from across the nation.

      To all the faith leaders and the distinguished guests that are here today, welcome to our second annual — I’m going to make it annual, why not? (Laughter and applause.) Our second Easter Prayer Breakfast. The Easter Egg Roll, that’s well established. (Laughter.) The Prayer Breakfast we started last year, in part because it gave me a good excuse to bring together people who have been such extraordinary influences in my life and such great friends. And it gives me a chance to meet and make some new friends here in the White House.

      I wanted to host this breakfast for a simple reason -– because as busy as we are, as many tasks as pile up, during this season, we are reminded that there’s something about the resurrection — something about the resurrection of our savior, Jesus Christ, that puts everything else in perspective.

      We all live in the hustle and bustle of our work. And everybody in this room has weighty responsibilities, from leading churches and denominations, to helping to administer important government programs, to shaping our culture in various ways. And I admit that my plate has been full as well. (Laughter.) The inbox keeps on accumulating. (Laughter.)

      But then comes Holy Week. The triumph of Palm Sunday. The humility of Jesus washing the disciples’ feet. His slow march up that hill, and the pain and the scorn and the shame of the cross.

      And we’re reminded that in that moment, he took on the sins of the world — past, present and future — and he extended to us that unfathomable gift of grace and salvation through his death and resurrection.

      In the words of the book Isaiah: “But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.”

      This magnificent grace, this expansive grace, this “Amazing Grace” calls me to reflect. And it calls me to pray. It calls me to ask God for forgiveness for the times that I’ve not shown grace to others, those times that I’ve fallen short. It calls me to praise God for the gift of our son — his Son and our Savior.

      And that’s why we have this breakfast. Because in the middle of critical national debates, in the middle of our busy lives, we must always make sure that we are keeping things in perspective. Children help do that. (Laughter.) A strong spouse helps do that. But nothing beats scripture and the reminder of the eternal.

      So I’m honored that all of you have come here this Holy Week to join me in a spirit of prayer, and I pray that our time here this morning will strengthen us, both individually as believers and as Americans. And with that, let me introduce my good friend, Bishop Vashti McKenzie, for our opening prayer."

      The first family attended Easter Services at Shiloh Baptist Church.

      How is that egg on your face?

      August 1, 2011 at 6:26 pm |
      • Milyarni

        I have not personally ateendtd a town hall meeting with Mr Obama, but I live in a relatively small town, and I atten the meetings in my city. I think it is harder to govern when the people you are making decisions about are not faceless and nameless. Yet it might be a little better government if each of us knows each other better. Easier not to just blame each other, or disregard each other's opinions and desires, but to know where the person is coming from and try to find common ground.. I like that kind of town hall meeting..

        November 9, 2012 at 9:26 am |
  3. Thor

    One nation, under god.... hmmm.... which god? Perhaps not the Puritan God of our forefathers? Hein?

    August 1, 2011 at 12:11 pm |
  4. Thomas

    Since President Obama is the President of all of the United States, it is only fitting that he makes an announcement for the start of Ramadan just like he makes similar announcements for other religious events.

    August 1, 2011 at 1:41 pm |
  5. Howard

    You know the honeymoon is over when the comedians start.

    The liberals are asking us to give Obama time.
    We agree...and think 25 to life would be appropriate.
    –Jay Leno

    America needs Obama-care like
    Nancy Pelosi needs a Halloween mask.
    –Jay Leno

    Q: Have you heard about McDonald's'
    new Obama Value Meal?
    A: Order anything you like
    and the guy behind you has to pay for it.
    –Conan O'Brien

    Q: What does Barack Obama
    call lunch with a convicted felon?
    A: A fund raiser.
    –Jay Leno

    Q: What's the difference between
    Obama's cabinet and a penitentiary?
    A: One is filled with tax evaders, blackmailers,
    and threats to society.
    The other is for housing prisoners.
    –David Letterman

    Q: If Nancy Pelosi and Obama were on a boat
    in the middle of the ocean and it started to sink,
    who would be saved?
    A: America!
    –Jimmy Fallon

    Q: What's the difference between
    Obama and his dog, Bo?
    A: Bo has papers.
    –Jimmy Kimmel

    Q: What was the most positive result of
    the "Cash for Clunkers" program?
    A: It took 95% of the Obama bumper
    stickers off the road.
    –David Letterman

    August 1, 2011 at 1:52 pm |
    • Mikey

      As usual, an inaccurate post from an Obama-hater. I googled a couple of these phrases and found they have been posted on numerous conserative websites – just another example of the right wingnut echo chamber. The oldest postings are not attributed to these comedians and appear to be more original sources.

      I did note that a couple of the websites with the quotes are proudly displaying confederate flags. Big surprise.

      Some idiots believe anything they find on the Internet, especially if it supports their narrow views. Stupid is as stupid does.

      August 1, 2011 at 5:52 pm |
      • jean2009

        LOL! Thanks Mikey.

        August 1, 2011 at 6:34 pm |
    • CC

      How many sips of insani"tea" does it take to give a Dem the "runs"... {original}

      August 3, 2011 at 12:42 am |
    • CC

      Why does the GOP always look constipated...they are late for the teapotty... {original}

      August 3, 2011 at 12:43 am |
  6. George

    Are you kidding me? He spoke of the struggle of the Somali's and the only struggle that they have is islamist waving guns and shooting people! Are you seriously implying that these people are peaceful? Oh yeah, the horn of Africa is really struggling too! Struggling to pirate foreign ships and stealing their goods. Why does that happen, because the islamist leaders in those areas are backing it! The horde what they get and give nothing to the poor people there. Look it up, you might want to find out the truth before you go pushing this type of propoganda!

    August 1, 2011 at 2:26 pm |
    • Mikey

      Aparently, you have missed the famine in Somolia. Perhaps you don't care. Those people are not like you, eh?

      August 1, 2011 at 5:56 pm |
    • jean2009

      Somalia is ruled by anarchy, greed, armed thugs, a 17 year conflict, and religious fanatics, ...then throw in a famine, and an uneducated population with scant means, and you have a catastrophe. All of this explains the piracy, the religious wars, and the crushing poverty which as usual hurts those the least able to help themselves.

      August 1, 2011 at 6:54 pm |
  7. jean2009

    "Tea Party rebutter Michele Bachmann is under fire for saying the Founding Fathers eliminated slavery. Sarah Palin is very upset. Another female Republican trying to steal the dumbass vote." –Jay Leno

    "The best way to improve military morale is to praise the troops in speeches while slashing veterans' benefits and combat pay."- Political Roast

    "While criticizing President Obama during an interview on 'Good Morning America' this week, Rudy Giuliani said, 'We had no domestic attacks under Bush.' You know, I knew one day we would reach a point where people would forget about 9/11, but I never thought you would be the first." —Seth Meyers

    "Providing health care to all Iraqis is sound policy. Providing health care to all Americans is socialism." -Political Roast

    “I gotta say, of all my issues with Michele Bachmann’s brain, migraines are not even in the top 20.” –Jon Stewart

    “Jeb Bush is toying with the idea of running for president. Well, I’m toying with the idea of drinking again.” –David Letterman

    "Sarah Palin and President Bush have new books coming out this fall. You know what that means? This could plunge America into a huge crayon shortage." —Jay Leno

    “Jeb Bush may run for President. Bush Presidencies are like ‘Caddyshack’ movies. They should have stopped with one.” –David Letterman

    “It was so hot in Iowa that Michele Bachmann couldn’t tell if her headache was a migraine or a brain freeze from her Slurpee.” –Jay Leno

    “House Speaker John Boehner invited new congressmen over for pizza. Unfortunately, the delivery guy left when they spent 10 hours fighting over a plan to pay for it.” –Jimmy Fallon

    “In Washington, the air quality today was described as ‘red.’ I’d never heard that. ‘Red,’ somewhere between smog and barbeque sauce. You know what ‘red’ is? It’s bad for everyone, not just old people, sick people and babies. When it’s just bad for old people, sick people and babies, that’s called a Republican budget.” –Bill Maher

    "After President Obama gave his State of the Union Address, the Republicans gave their rebuttal, during which they pointed out that Obama has repeatedly failed to solve any of the problems they created under President Bush." —Jimmy Kimmel

    ""I want to just take a moment to thank the Teabaggers. Thank you so much for helping us pass health care, for resurrecting the Obama presidency. I know they're saying, 'Why are you thanking me? I was so against it, I marched on Washington with tea bags hanging off my Founding Fathers costume, with a gun on my hip and a picture of Obama dressed as Hitler, screaming about his birth certificate.' And America saw that and said, 'I think I'll go with the calm black man."' —Bill Maher

    August 1, 2011 at 3:20 pm |
    • Jay in NC

      Jean the cut-and-paste queen.

      August 1, 2011 at 4:14 pm |
      • jean2009

        Howard evidently knows how; so here is your lesson about how to cut and paste for the uninformed:

        How to Cut and Paste

        A little computer tip for the novice. This is a basic and easy maneuver that is extremely helpful.

        To cut and paste:

        (1) select the text you want to cut or copy (e.g. block it out with your mouse)

        (2) press CTRL-C to copy or CTRL-X to cut (this step saves the content to an unseen clipboard in the computer, saving the format as it appears in the program you copied or cut the text from). The difference between copying and cutting is that cutting has the effect of deleting the contents from the current program, but saves their content to be pasted elsewhere.

        (3) insert your cursor where you wish to paste (insert) the text.

        (4) press CTRL-V to paste the contents you just copied or cut. You are done.

        Note: The contents will appear according to the formatting parameters of the new program into which they are copied. If they are more limited than the program from which you copied them, then some of the formatting will be lost, but the text will be the same. For example, if you copied the content from a web page, and the content included italics, bolding, and tables, when you paste this into Notepad, which only supports basic ASCII (typewriter characters only) text, then the bold, italics and table formatting will be lost.

        Hope this helps!

        August 1, 2011 at 6:32 pm |
      • Jay in NC

        Like I was saying, no original thoughts, just repeat.

        August 2, 2011 at 1:49 am |
    • dognpony show

      funny stuff Jen 🙂

      August 1, 2011 at 10:16 pm |
      • dognpony show

        Oops ,,i meant Jean lol

        August 1, 2011 at 10:17 pm |
  8. AnthemFox

    So what What you guys do for Christmas that's insane,and its not Christian holiday,and we Muslims don't care.think about it..so we are a lot Muslim Americans here in USA so of course he will wish us Happy and Blessed Ramadan to The Whole World,May Allah bless all humans and bring them together :))

    August 1, 2011 at 6:12 pm |
  9. James

    Obama, You have got to be kidding !!! Marking the beginning of Ramadan is like celebrating 9/11–Shame on you !!!

    August 1, 2011 at 7:00 pm |
    • Mohmad

      Obama is less than 9% black and as such doesn't qualify nor does he have the right to claim that he is. He also has yet to procdut a valid and verifiable birth certificate. The one that was produced in June of this year revealed several discrepancies. To wit: The certificate number was blacked out. The type face used in the document was computer generated and they used typewriters in the late 50 s and early 60 s. The copy that he produced did not have the officeial raised seal of the State Of Hawaii on it. All of the type was in CAPS except for the date of birth. As much as I don't like McCaan I feel Obama posses a much greater threat to this nation. Furthermore , this claim by many that he is the messiah and his failure to denounce that claim makes him even more of a threat to this nation. I feel that the democratic party should have required him to provide positive certified proof of his birth place and that they should have been more honest up front and told people that he doesn't qualify as an African American within the scope of is recognized as an African American. Obama, being 47.83 percent Arab technically still makes him an African American as Arabia is part of Africa. But not in the conventional sense of the term.In closing, any individual that runs for any office in this Great Nation that takes it upon themselves to remove the American Flag from their podiums and planes deserves at best to be deported much less elected to public office.Just food for thought on this election day 2008

      November 9, 2012 at 11:58 pm |
  10. Asad Ahmad

    I am a muslim American. I am fasting, today is first day of fast. We fast for 30 days. We fast to be aware of the kids and children who are starving right now, kids who are fighting for their lives, dying because of disease and hunger.....

    I am a Muslim. Does everyone hate me? Do u guys really hate me.

    August 1, 2011 at 7:34 pm |
    • joe

      if your religion truly professes death to anyone other that a Muslum yes
      do you denounce what your people did on 9/11?

      August 2, 2011 at 1:39 pm |
  11. Jubal Early

    James, given the fact that McVeigh and the cat from Norway were not Muslim and they did horrible stuff, are you willing to admit that people are bad and use religion as a tool to do bad things rather than believe that the religion is bad? Do you know there are more muslims than christians in the world? You sound so stupid. Its great to know that people like you will be gone within a generation or two.

    August 1, 2011 at 9:33 pm |
  12. dognpony show

    Peace to all .even the narrow minded scare souls out there..lol..Muslims are cool,so are Jews Christians..atheist

    August 1, 2011 at 10:15 pm |
    • Alexandra

      For the first time in India, PMI is hosting a three day cocnerenfe on Project management where distinguished speakers from all over the world are invited. Know more at .

      November 9, 2012 at 4:19 pm |
  13. Neil

    And who else but a Musiim would do this

    August 1, 2011 at 10:26 pm |
  14. joe

    Obama is the shepherd I did not want.
    He leadeth me beside the still factories.
    He restoreth my faith in the Republican party.
    He guideth me in the path of unemployment for his

    party's sake.
    Yea, though I walk through the valley of the bread

    line, I shall fear no hunger, for his bailouts are with

    me. He has anointed my income with taxes,

    My expenses runneth over.
    Surely, poverty and hard living will follow me all

    the days of my life, And I will live in a mortgaged

    home forever.

    August 2, 2011 at 1:36 pm |
  15. joe

    Obama is one of the Muslum Brotherhood

    August 2, 2011 at 1:37 pm |
  16. Henry Aldrete

    All you guys who are saying, "SEE! He IS a Muslim!" do know that Bush and other Presidents have hosted iftar before, right? Obama didn't start this.

    But still, a big thank you to Obama from us Muslims XD

    August 2, 2011 at 4:42 pm |
  17. CC

    I applaud the President for respecting all religions, all people of America and around the world. We are probably more alike then different... to fast for 30 days is quite a task, and if the mantra is do unto others as you would like them to do to you... then maybe some of us that are not Muslims should take on a fast, pray for others and see what the sacrifice feels like. To live in another mans shoes might give enlightenment... just a thought, personally I am going to see if I can go for just 24 hours without food, and serious meditation and prayer that at some point soon the spirit that guides us all brings a dose of peace and love, even to those that are filled with hate, turn the hearts of stone into those drenched with love.

    August 3, 2011 at 12:37 am |
  18. CC

    Neil, I am not a Muslim, and I would do it... I am going to do it, fast for a day or two

    August 3, 2011 at 12:39 am |
  19. Dan

    "Teabagger" is a sexual and derisive term applied by Democrats to folks wanting to restore constitutional government.

    August 3, 2011 at 7:09 am |
    • jean2009

      No, Dan we already have a constitutional government....just because you don't agree only means you don't fit...you should pack your bags and move to Iran, Somalia, China, North Korean, someplace more to your liking.

      August 3, 2011 at 7:45 pm |
  20. please_donate

    Donate Online to Somalia. Go to https://www.mercyusa.org/donateonlineform.cfm# to donate online.

    August 24, 2011 at 1:06 pm |
  21. graphic design cover letter

    Thank you for every other informative website. The place else could I get that kind of info written in such an ideal way? I have a mission that I'm simply now operating on, and I've been on the look out for such info.

    August 9, 2012 at 8:30 pm |
  22. Homemade Hot Chocolate

    We are a group of volunteers and starting a brand new scheme in our community. Your web site provided us with valuable information to paintings on. You have performed an impressive activity and our entire group will probably be grateful to you.

    August 25, 2012 at 12:03 am |