iNDICA News Bureau-
U.S. President Joe Biden and First Lady Jill Biden have extended greetings to Muslim communities in the United States and around the world on the beginning of the holy month of Ramadan.
The President also sent his “warmest greetings” to the Arab community in the U.S. to mark the start of Arab American Heritage Month. The annual celebration shines a spotlight on Arab culture, heritage and experiences, and the contributions the community has made to the development of America.
“For so many around the globe, including fellow Americans all across the country, this sacred month is a time for reflection and spiritual growth,” the President said in a statement on the commencement of Ramadan.
“Communities come together to practice forgiveness and resilience, to show compassion and generosity of spirit to those in need, of giving, and to celebrate the many blessings of life with loved ones.”
He said the simple act of breaking the fast this year will be “an even more poignant reminder” of the joys of health, family and community. “And we will continue to hold in our hearts all those families grieving a lost loved one who are facing an empty chair at the table,” he added.
Biden said that as the world continues to rebuild from the Covid-19 pandemic, people must continue to stand with all those who are suffering and vulnerable around the world and those who are facing persecution or hardship. “As the Holy Qur’an teaches, ‘whoever does even an atom’s weight of good will see its results’,” he said.
The President said we continue to see heart-breaking accounts of lost lives and images of families and children struggling to survive, which remind us of our common humanity — and the common teaching of all great faiths, including Islam — that we should always do unto others as we would have done unto us.
During this holy month, as Muslims everywhere honor god’s mercy, let us also renew our shared commitment to show kindness, mercy and understanding to one another, he exhorted the faithful. Let us honor the simple yet profound truth that all people are equal in dignity and rights. “That’s why the United States will continue to speak out for human rights everywhere — including for Uyghurs in China, Rohingya in Burma, and other Muslim communities all over the world,” the President said.
In a separate statement, Biden said the Heritage Month offers an opportunity to present a positive image of Arab culture and society among the wider American public, who are more used to negative portrayals of Arabs in the entertainment industry and news media.
“I send my warmest greetings to all those around the United States celebrating National Arab American Heritage Month,” he said, noting that the history of the Arab American community goes back to the early days of the U.S.
“Their story is deeply woven into the diverse tapestry of America,” the President said. “For centuries, Arab Americans have embraced working hard, giving back, and cultivating friendship and community — helping shape our nation’s history and build our future.
“Today, we see the contributions of Arab Americans reflected in every aspect of American life. By advancing innovation, leading businesses, serving in our military, teaching in our schools, and representing communities in elected office, Arab Americans make us stronger and help us form a more diverse and vibrant America.”
Biden acknowledged the challenges and discrimination that Arabs continue to face in the U.S. and promised to do more to combat hate crimes.
“Too many Arab Americans continue to be harmed by discrimination, bias and violence,” he said in his statement. “As President, I have made it a priority to strengthen the federal government’s response to hate crimes and to advance a whole-of-government approach to racial justice and equity so that all Americans, including Arab Americans, can meet their full potential.”
He thanked organizations working tirelessly to promote Arab American heritage and empower Arab Americans. “Today and every day, we must continue to celebrate our nation’s diversity and ensure that the foundational promises of freedom, equality and opportunity are within reach for all of us — no matter who we are or where we are from,” Biden said.