On Wednesday, the White House plans to host an iftar dinner, the meal that Muslims eat after sunset during the holy month of Ramadan.
As CNN reported, 30 to 40 people have been invited but the White House has yet to release the invite list. Nor is it clear how many plan to attend, given President Donald Trump’s long, long list of offenses against Muslims, from stoking Islamophobia to fire up his base, to all but halting the resettlement of Syrian refugees in the US, to a travel ban targeting people from Muslim-majority countries.
The list is virtually endless.
So it’s no surprise that some prominent Muslims are less than enthusiastic about the prospect of sharing an iftar dinner with the president.
“We do not need an iftar dinner,” Imam Yahya Hendi, the Muslim chaplain at Georgetown University, told CNN. “Rather, we need to get the respect we highly deserve. Do not feed us and stab us.”
“I was not invited to the White House iftar, but I would not attend if I were,” said Dalia Mogahed, director of research at the Institute for Social Policy and Understanding.
“Attending this event, especially during the holy month, a time of introspection and spiritual growth, would be inappropriate in my view as it would appear to normalize this administration’s behavior.”
Other prominent Muslims responded on Twitter.
Activist Linda Sarsour wondered why the Trump White House was suddenly doing Muslim outreach.
So word on the street is that Trump is hosting a Ramadan iftar on Wednesday. He didn’t last year. Wonder why the change of heart. 🤔🤔
— Linda Sarsour (@lsarsour) June 3, 2018
The Palestinian activist and filmmaker Rula Jebreal chronicled her fraught history with the Trump administration’s dinner invites.
Trump issues a statement focused on Muslims & terrorism.
His “Muslim Ban” under review by SCOTUS, Trump opts to recognize Ramadan via a statement referencing Muslims humanely.
These turn of events are hardly coincidental. https://t.co/kFcflI6xz0
— Rula Jebreal (@rulajebreal) June 2, 2018
Activist Mona Eltahawly incredulously wondered:
— Mona Eltahawy (@monaeltahawy) June 5, 2018