Way back in 1805, Thomas Jefferson hosted the first official White House iftar dinner, recognizing the holy celebration of Ramadan.
Between the third president and today, celebrations have been admittedly varied. But since 1996, when Bill Clinton held an official iftar dinner, modern presidents have always held a dinner out of respect for the Muslim American community.
It's actually a pretty good meal. Since Ramadan involves fasting during daylight hours, breaking that fast brings forward a feast for the senses.
You'd think that the concept of gorging himself on a ton of food would be at least somewhat appealing to Trump.
But no, breaking with that 20 year tradition, Trump declined to hold an iftar dinner or invite any Muslims to the White House during Ramadan.
Donald Trump’s government has not held an iftar dinner for the end of Ramadan, breaking a Muslim tradition held at the White House for more than two centuries.
The iftar dinner occurs at sunset at the end of the holy month of Ramadan, the ninth month of the Islam lunar calendar and a time of prayer, reflection and fasting.
White House officials reportedly spend months planning the event, which has been held every year under the Clinton, Bush and Obama administrations, but 2017 took a different path.
To be fair (and you know how much it kills me to do that), Trump also declined to join in on a Seder dinner either, despite his daughter and son-in-law being Jews. Don't want to alienate the Frog Squad on Twitter, you know.
But the snub wasn't enough to alienate the Muslim community here and abroad. No, no, no...Trump also had to issue a statement on Ramadan that also seemed to imply that all Muslims were responsible for the acts of the very few:
"I reiterate my message delivered in Riyadh: America will always stand with our partners against terrorism and the ideology that fuels it,” Trump added. “During this month of Ramadan, let us be resolved to spare no measure so that we may ensure that future generations will be free of this scourge and able to worship and commune in peace.”↓ Story continues below ↓
The president’s statement further referenced recent “barbaric terrorist attacks” in the United Kingdom and Egypt, calling them “acts of depravity that are directly contrary to the spirit of Ramadan. Such acts only steel our resolve to defeat the terrorists and their perverted ideology.”
In stark contrast to his outrage about those attacks, Trump has a habit of remaining mute about massacres committed by non-Muslims.
Trump's statement on Ramadan, Muslim holy month, is mostly about terrorism. pic.twitter.com/lwXgqJSzHO
— Daniel Dale (@ddale8) May 26, 2017
This will have reverberating repercussions throughout the Middle East at a time when we can least afford it.
But hey, at least he scored some easy points with his white supremacist supporters, and that's something, right?