Archive for Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Obama hosts dinner for Islamic holy month

September 2, 2009


— President Barack Obama on Tuesday praised American Muslims for enriching the nation’s culture at a dinner to celebrate the Islamic holy month of Ramadan.

“The contribution of Muslims to the United States are too long to catalog because Muslims are so interwoven into the fabric of our communities and our country,” Obama said at the iftar, the dinner that breaks the holiday’s daily fast.

The president joined Cabinet secretaries, members of the diplomatic corps and lawmakers to pay tribute to what he called “a great religion and its commitment to justice and progress.”

Attendees included Congress’ two Muslim members — Reps. Keith Ellison, D-Minn., and Andre Carson, D-Ind., as well as ambassadors from Islamic nations and Israel’s ambassador to the United States, Michael Oren.

Obama shared the story of Bilqis Abdul-Qaadir, another invited guest, who broke a state record for most career points as a Massachusetts high school student.

“As an honor student, as an athlete on her way to Memphis, Bilqis is an inspiration not simply to Muslim girls — she’s an inspiration to all of us,” he said.

Obama also noted the contributions of Muhammad Ali, who was not in attendance, though the president borrowed a quote from famous boxer, explaining religion.

“A few years ago,” Obama said, “he explained this view — and this is part of why he’s The Greatest — saying, ‘Rivers, ponds, lakes and streams — they all have different names, but they all contain water. Just as religions do — they all contain truths.’”

Ramadan, a monthlong period of prayer, reflection and sunrise-to-sunset fasts, began Aug. 22 in most of the Islamic world. It is believed that God began revealing the Quran to Muhammad during Ramadan, and the faithful are supposed to spend the month in religious reflection, prayer and remembrance of the poor.

White House dinners marking the holy month are nothing new. Former President George W. Bush held iftars during his eight years in office.

Obama has made a special effort since taking office to repair U.S. relations with the world’s Muslims, including visits to Turkey and Cairo. In a June speech at the Egyptian capital, as well as in one to another important Muslim audience, in Turkey, Obama said: “America is not — and never will be — at war with Islam.”


Leslie Swearingen 8 years, 7 months ago

I have made an effort to learn something about different religions. This just proves that people are the same the world over, someone gets an idea in their mind and there it sticks. No matter how, or how often our President Obama says this, some Muslims are going to think otherwise. The President is a good man who is doing the right thing.

Calliope877 8 years, 7 months ago

virgilk (Anonymous) says…

"American Muslims for enriching the nation’s culture? He didn't mention any of the actions that have enriched America because there aren't any unless you count 911. Muslims have caused problems n every country they have immigrated to and have added nothing to those economies except to feed off others production."

Didn't Hitler think the same thing about Jews?

KansasVoter 8 years, 7 months ago

The world will be a much better place as soon as everybody stops believing in these silly superstitions that are thousands of years old.

jimmyjms 8 years, 7 months ago

"American Muslims for enriching the nation’s culture? He didn't mention any of the actions that have enriched America because there aren't any unless you count 911"

Pure idiocy.

feeble 8 years, 7 months ago

barry, there are very strong ties between white supremacists movements, white nationalist movements and Christian identity movements in the US.

bankboy119 8 years, 7 months ago


Islam is less than 1500 years old. If you include Christianity's Jewish roots then it's a few thousand years old. Allah and Jehovah are not the same God.


Are you trying to say that people who identify themselves as Christians are white supremacists? I know plenty of Christians who are not white.

badtaste 8 years, 7 months ago

Hypocrite … why is it that the President bans a traditional flyover at the “God and Country” event (ending a 42 year tradition) to honor our troops at a Fouth of July celebration because it favors a “religious” event … then he hosts a Muslim dinner with members of his cabinet. The word hypocrite comes to mind … or worse.

Pete Kennamore 8 years, 7 months ago

Religion is poison.

Suggested Reading: "The God Delusion" by Richard Dawkins.


Stuart Evans 8 years, 7 months ago

good point Badtaste.

Obama currently is only able to pander to one particular group at a time.

I wonder why he hasn't invited anyone from the ancient Greek or Roman mythology to have dinner at the white house.

ksdivakat 8 years, 7 months ago

By the way, I heard this morning on the news that his approval rating had dropped from 69% in feb to 42% yesterday. Just because one is christian doesnt mean they are racist. There are extreme idiots in every group, including democratic atheists.

jonas_opines 8 years, 7 months ago

Oklahoma City was carried out in the name of the Waco debacle by a lily-white army vet. Just a reminder.

denak 8 years, 7 months ago

Some Muslim/Arab contributions to the world:

Science--They are the originators of Chemistry, in Physics, they have contributed to such fields as optics, mechanics and hydrostatics. (See Jahiz Banumusa, Razi and Abdur Rahman Ibn Nasr) The father of Experimental Science was Arab/Muslim.Roger Bacon, who is considered the "father" of Experimental Science, in the west, was taught by Spanish Moors (aka Muslims).

Mathematics-- The number zero.

The fields of Botony and Zoology have also had huge contributions made to them by Muslims/Arabs. (Abu Ubaidan and Al-Jahiz)

Art....Thanks to both Arab and Christian conquests, we can see the cross contaimination of Arab art in churches in Seville and then in Mexico City. Read the history of textiles. Persian and Mughals art and the Tabriz and Isfahan school of art.

Literature: ibn Khaldun

Political Science: Abu Nasr Farabi--great intellectual thinker who influenced western renissance thinkers.

Music...the Guitar, several types of bells and drums.

In the U.S., there are over 6 million Muslims. The first recorded Muslim was arrived in the 16th century.

Some Famous Muslims: Malcom X, Muhammad Ali and Ice Cube. Dr. Fazlur Rackman--noted architect.

And one everyday Muslim: kareem Khan--serviceman who died in Iraq.


tomatogrower 8 years, 7 months ago

This list of American Muslims certainly has more positive contributors to our country than destroyers, even if you count the terrorists who committed suicide on 9/11.

I use to work at JC Harmon High School in KCK. Most of the students were quite disrespectful to adults, but the Black Muslim students were always polite and hard working.

tomatogrower 8 years, 7 months ago

RoeDapple (Anonymous) says…

What kind of beer was served?

Very funny, since Muslims aren't allowed to drink beer.

RogueThrill 8 years, 7 months ago

I can't wait for the rapture so I can get 7 years of peace and quiet.

Tom McCune 8 years, 7 months ago

Can I get invited to the White House for Festivus?

jonas_opines 8 years, 7 months ago

Haha, Marion sees that Obama hosts a dinner for Islamic Holy month and thinks that it is justification to impeach him, after denying over and over again that he is in any way racist.

not that anyone believed him, but it's still funny.

roger_o_thornhill 8 years, 7 months ago

So this story garnered 33 and counting posts. How many would accompany an article about Easter services or Christmas activity involving the Pres? This is a non-story that turns into this because of blue-team/red-team politics. How many of you are starting to see parallels between our "democracy" and that of places in S. Asia like Indonesia, Thailand, etc... They sure get into color coordinated politics where what team you are on is so much more important that what the people you vote for actually represent.

"Poor", oppressed, middle-class, Christian United Statesians--when will you ever get a champion on your side???

N_Trenched 8 years, 7 months ago

A Communist has a Muslim over for dinner. Sounds like the beginning of a bad joke. Hope we never get to the punch line!

Jimo 8 years, 7 months ago

Thanks virgilkkk. We are measurably more stupid now by your mere presence.

Christine Pennewell Davis 8 years, 7 months ago

Not knowing all that much I have a question, isn't there some amount of fasting done during this holiday? And if so having a dinner seems.....fill in word. But like I said don't really know much about the holiday.

Shane Garrett 8 years, 7 months ago

Newell_Post:: That was just the funniest! I am still laughing.

Dan Edwards 8 years, 7 months ago

This article is like flypaper for all the LJW bigots--very revealing.

remember_username 8 years, 7 months ago

Roger-O-Thornhill - well said, and admittedly I've become guilty of being pulled into left vs. right polarization. This civil war of position is spiraling out of control just like a So. California campfire. If one starts an extremist organization the gullible masses will give them money, airtime, even adoration. The more the controversy the more airtime or papers are sold and the more of the masses are reached. Soon no compromise is acceptable and all were left with is the violence we often see in other parts of the world.

Then I remind myself, it couldn't happen to a nicer bunch. Go Lemmings Go!

Tom McCune 8 years, 7 months ago

A Muslim, a Mormon, and a Christian Scientist walk into a bar...

I know there's got to be a punchline in there somewhere....

Leslie Swearingen 8 years, 7 months ago

Right now it is all too easy for the extremists in the Middle East and Afghanistan to persuade people to join their cause. When they claim that America has declared war on Islam all they have to do to prove it is to show some quotes from papers like the Journal World. Do the recent pictures of the private security forces prove that all Americans are drunken, sexually incontinent fools? Call me a conservative Muslim because I am deeply offended by that behavior. These people are mental and they will carry that mental attitude to the job. If you take pictures and put the pictures out there it is no longer a private affair. It becomes the business of those who depend on them. It says they can no longer do so. There is no reason to hate Islam or anyone for being of that faith. Our president and diplomatic corp, must within parameters, converse with all countries and all faiths, with friend and foe alike.

Shane Garrett 8 years, 7 months ago

This is for Irish:

The Fatwa (Arabic) in question was issued by the Al-Azhar affiliated "Dar el-Eftta" -- Fatwa Council for Islamic interpretations of laws in Islam. It stated "the will of a Muslim towards building a Church is a sin against God, just as if he left his inheritance towards building a nightclub, a gambling casino, or building a barn for rearing pigs, cats or dogs."

Yeah, there no reason to hate Islam because everyon from that (sic) religious sect knows how to show true love.

Shane Garrett 8 years, 7 months ago

And for those who continue to stick their head in the sand.

"PARIS (Reuters) – As thousands of girls and young women prepare to start the new school year in France, activists are sounding the alarm over those who are missing -- teenagers sent abroad over the holidays and forced into marriage.

Most victims are of Asian, African or Middle Eastern descent and belong to France's Muslim community, the largest in Europe."

That kind of behavior is okay because mohammed married a six year old and took her at age nine. So, its all good.

Shane Garrett 8 years, 7 months ago

Just to drive home the point that we are not at war with islam. From the Pakistan Christian Post.

Pakistan Christian Post: “Six Christians shot dead by Islamic militants in Pakistan” – Pakistan Christian Post reports: – “the Islamic extremists gunned down 6 Christians and injured 7 more in Quetta city of Baluchistan on August 28, 2009, after threats of ‘Convert to Islam or Die’” – “The sad incident of killing Christians was target killing when Baluchistan was observing death anniversary of Baluch leader Akbar Bugti and Islamic extremists targeted peaceful Christian.” – “According to PCP, Mushtaq Masih owned a Laboratory named ‘Maryiam Labs’ in front of Civil Hospital Quetta located in busy city centre.” – “On Friday, August 28, 2009, at 9:00 AM, two gunmen on motorcycle opened discriminatory firing at Maryiam Labs killing Mushtaq Masih, Naveed John, Naymat Gill, Nadeem Akhtar and Suleman who were in laboratory while 7 other were seriously injured and hospitalized.” – “The sources told PCP that Christians were receiving threats from Islamic militants to convert to Islam or Die letters and calls from months which resulted in killing.”

Shane Garrett 8 years, 7 months ago

And they love free speach. This is an example of that: – “Islamic extremists today set ablaze more than 50 houses and a church in this town in northeastern Pakistan following an accusation of ‘blasphemy’ of the Quran, leaving at least 14 Christians dead, sources said.” – “The dead include women and children, with several other burn victims unable to reach hospitals for medical care, according to the Centre for Legal Aid Assistance and Settlement.”

Paul R Getto 8 years, 7 months ago

"Beating their wives with sticks" === United States law condoned wife abuse and protected the right of men to beat their wives through the mid-nineteenth century.==("For as he [the husband] is to answer for her misbehavior, the law thought it reasonable to intrust him with this power of restraining her, by domestic chastisement, in the same moderation that a man is allowed to correct his apprentices or his children." (quoting William Blackstone, Commentaries *444) --- Apparently this practice is not exclusive to our Muslim brothers. It is always dangerous to generalize from individuals to large groups. To do so allows Rev. Phelps to represent the christian nation.

Shane Garrett 8 years, 7 months ago

Point well taken. I would not want Rev. Phelps to represent anything but himself. But I do not see the Pope, or other major religious teachers crying out for a crusade. But we are not Whabbie, Al-qaeda, or Taliban. And I am not comparing mid-ninetheenth century religious law to current Sharia law. Unless you are willing to admit that followers of mohammed are following an outdated religious doctrine. (And yes, Christ also died a long time ago. However, Love thy neighbor is the exact opposite of the join or die doctrine of mohammed).

Shane Garrett 8 years, 7 months ago

Would it not be a nice world if we could only eliminate all the ism skisms.

Paul R Getto 8 years, 7 months ago

"Muslim: “No man is a true believer unless he desires for his brother that which he desires for himself” (Hadith, Muslim, imam 71-72)." === The essence of all religions I have studied is the golden rule; all rules can be ignored or preverted.

Shane Garrett 8 years, 7 months ago

Those who reject (Truth), among the People of the Book and among the Polytheists, will be in Hell-Fire, to dwell therein (for aye). They are the worst of creatures. (98:6)

Surely the vilest of animals in Allah's sight are those who disbelieve, then they would not believe. (8:55)

Verse 7:176 compares unbelievers to "panting dogs" with regard to their idiocy and worthlessness. Verse 7:179 says they are like "cattle" only worse.

Verse 5:60 even says that Allah transformed Jews of the past into apes and pigs. Verse 2:65 continues the theme.

A hadith says that Muhammad believed rats to be "mutated Jews" (Bukhari 54:524, also confirmed by Sahih Muslim 7135 and 7136).

Verses 46:29-35 even say that unbelieving men are worse than demons who believe in Muhammad.

All from the preaching of the book you want to quote.

Shane Garrett 8 years, 7 months ago

And that quote you use Paul, only applys to other brothers of the faith.

Shane Garrett 8 years, 7 months ago

Christianity teaches that God loves all men, but hates sin. The Qur’an never says this. Instead it explicitly declares that Allah does not love those who do not believe in him:

For He loves not those who reject Faith (30:45)

Allah only loves those who obey Muhammad (at least according to Muhammad):

Say: "Obey Allah and His Messenger": But if they turn back, Allah loveth not those who reject Faith. (3:32)

Whereas Christianity teaches that God loves the sinner, but hates sin, the wrath of Islam's god is placed squarely on the person:

Surely Allah does not love any one who is unfaithful, ungrateful. (22:38)

Leslie Swearingen 8 years, 7 months ago

There are as many interpretations of the Koran as there are the Bible. The Sufi are very easy going. The Sunni not so much. Then you have the Shia. There are as many sects in Islam as there are Baptist churches with as many different points of view. My granddaughter went to a Persian wedding and had a great time.
I see no reason to be at war with Islam anymore than with Judaism. I could give you a list of Protestant injustices and criminal actions towards Catholics and how they treated the Irish at one point.

Tom McCune 8 years, 7 months ago

A Muslim, a Mormon, and a Christian Scientist walk into a bar…

I know there's got to be a punchline in there somewhere. Somebody help me out.....

Tom McCune 8 years, 7 months ago

OK. How about this....

The Muslim pulls out his sword, waves it over his head and cries "Allah Akbar! Death to all drunken non-believers."

The Mormon prays, "Oh, Jesus. Come down to us from your home on the star made of molten glass, and save us from the wrath of the Muslim."

And the Christian Scientist says, "Bartender. Give me a martini. Mohammad: now you can go ahead and behead me so I don't have to listen to the Mormon any more."

Cait McKnelly 8 years, 7 months ago

Looks like a number of people on this board wouldn't know the difference between a Sunni, a Sufi and a Shi'ite if it bit them in the a$$, Irish. They could care less. As far as they're concerned they're all "towel heads". You know, "brown people". I think it was Robbie at the Fast Break store at 6th and Florida who put up a sign that said "This shop is owned by Indians" (or some such message along that line) after 9/11. The guy actually feared for himself just because he and members of his family had brown skin. How sad.

gphawk89 8 years, 7 months ago

I always tried to avoid any heavy interaction with Saudis during Ramadan. The fasting seemed to make some of them pretty grumpy.

parlet 8 years, 7 months ago

Marion writes: "By the way, tomatogrower, “Black Muslims” have about as much in common with Middle Eastern Muslims as apples do with pears; they're both fruits but the similarity ends there."

No, the similarity doesn't end there, Marion. Apples and pears are both members of the Rose family. Both are unique pomaceous fruits, and both share similar, if not identical, cultivation requirements. As usual, you don't know the facts. Must be the booze talking, huh?

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