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‘There’s no them and us – it’s just us': Obama honors Muslim 9/11 victims at White House Ramadan dinner

11 August 2011 General 12 Comments Email This Post Email This Post

By OLIVER PICKUP

Tears flowed as U.S. President Barack hosted the traditional Ramadan dinner at the White House, only one month shy of the tenth anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

Mr Obama, who turned 50 last week, led the emotional evening last night and thanked the Muslim community for their help in dealing with the September 11 tragedy, which caused nearly 3,000 deaths.

The president honoured the Muslims for their help on home soil a decade ago, and also thanked them for their contributions to the war efforts in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Now scroll down to watch a video of President Obama’s Ramadan speech

President Obama spoke at length at the White House Ramadan 'iftar' dinner, praising Muslim's efforts in the 9/11 attacks. He also thanked them for their contributions to the subsequent war efforts

President Obama spoke at length at the White House Ramadan 'iftar' dinner, praising Muslim's efforts in the 9/11 attacks. He also thanked them for their contributions to the subsequent war efforts

Mrs Mansura Shajahan's husband died in the 9/11 attacks. She stands as President Obama acknowledges her

Mrs Mansura Shajahan's husband died in the 9/11 attacks. She stands as President Obama acknowledges her

With a month to go before the 10-year anniversary of September 11, Mr Obama used the Ramadan dinner to remember that people of many backgrounds perished in the 2001 attacks – including many American Muslims, who ‘made the ultimate sacrifice’.

In his speech, which he made to the 100 guests before the dinner began, the president said: ‘Muslim Americans were [the] first responders … the EMTs (Emergency Medical Technicians) … the nurse who tended to so many victims, the naval officer at the Pentagon who rushed into the flames and pulled the injured to safety.’

He continued, paying tribute to the ‘brave service of our men and women in uniform, including thousands of Muslim Americans … [and] some [who] have made the ultimate sacrifice.’

Mrs Shajahan cried when Mr Obama remembered the Muslim American's who 'made the ultimate sacrifice'

Mrs Shajahan cried when Mr Obama remembered the Muslim American's who 'made the ultimate sacrifice'

Support: Mansura Shajahan's son Yusuf Shajahan comforts his emotional mother at the dinner

Support: Mansura Shajahan's son Yusuf Shajahan comforts his emotional mother at the dinner

The president also thanked the mother of Army Specialist Kareem Khan, who was killed while serving in Iraq, for attending the dinner and said: ‘We must be the America they lived for, and the America they died for.’

And Mr Obama praised Mrs Mansura Shajahan, whose husband died in the 9/11 attacks, who stood up to acknowledge him and burst into floods of tears, producing one of the most moving moments of the evening.

Further, in an effort to bind tighter the disparate threads of American society, Mr Obama put aside religious differences and said: ‘There’s no them and us – it’s just us.’

This photograph shows President Barack Obama's place at the Ramadan dinner at the White House

This photograph shows President Barack Obama's place at the Ramadan dinner at the White House

The president addressed the 100 guests at the White House on Wednesday night

The president addressed the 100 guests at the White House on Wednesday night

Seated in the audience at the dinner were the two members of Congress who practice Islam: Representatives Andre Carson and Keith Ellison.

Huma Abedin, the Muslim aide of U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, wife of former Representative Anthony Weiner, recently disgraced, was also in attendance

In addition, there were government officials, Muslim community leaders and other leaders of faith groups in attendance.

The dinner, known as an ‘iftar’, breaks the day-long fast Muslims observe from sunrise to sunset during the holy month of Ramadan.

It was the third dinner that Mr Obama had hosted of this kind and follows a tradition started by Bill Clinton, and continued by George W. Bush.

Ramadan is dictated by the lunar calendar, and for the past two years it has taken place in late August and September.

However this year it has fallen between August 1 and 30.

Mr Obama acknowledged the longer days and hotter weather than Muslims usually have to endure during Ramadan and joked: ‘This year, Ramadan is entirely in August. That means the days are long, the weather is hot and you are hungry. So I will be brief.’

Mr Obama acknowledged the American Muslims who had been affected by the 9/11 attacks - and thanked the community for their help

Mr Obama acknowledged the American Muslims who had been affected by the 9/11 attacks - and thanked the community for their help

Huma Abedin, the Muslim aide of U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, wife of former Representative Anthony Weiner, recently disgraced, was also in attendance

Huma Abedin, the Muslim aide of U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, wife of former Representative Anthony Weiner, recently disgraced, was also in attendance

Original post: ‘There’s no them and us – it’s just us': Woman’s tears as Obama honours Muslim 9/11 victims at White House Ramadan break-the-fast dinner

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12 Comments »

  1. Did idiot Obama Islama mention what religion the terrorists followed? Just wondering.

  2. Love Them Moonbats
    and what religion did the columbine kids follow and timothy mcveigh? and the norway bombing and shooting? in history of mankind peopl ethat call themselves christian have murdered the most innocents, and yet, they arent all blamed for the actions of a few so why are muslims being blamed for what fake muslims are doing?

  3. DISCLAIMER: (next 7 verses) i’m a weak reader and so as i’ve begun reading the koran 7 verses at a time, it hepls me to cut and paste them after i’ve read them because i then re-read them on this post. they may have absolutely nothing to do with this article. i welcome any input as to historical context or to whom some of the pronouns are refering.
    http://quod.lib.umich.edu/k/koran/browse.html

    [2.272] To make them walk in the right way is not incumbent on you, but Allah guides aright whom He pleases; and whatever good thing you spend, it is to your own good; and you do not spend but to seek Allah’s pleasure; and whatever good things you spend shall be paid back to you in full, and you shall not be wronged.
    [2.273] (Alms are) for the poor who are confined in the way of Allah– they cannot go about in the land; the ignorant man thinks them to be rich on account of (their) abstaining (from begging); you can recognise them by their mark; they do not beg from men importunately; and whatever good thing you spend, surely Allah knows it.
    [2.274] (As for) those who spend their property by night and by day, secretly and openly, they shall have their reward from their Lord and they shall have no fear, nor shall they grieve.
    [2.275] Those who swallow down usury cannot arise except as one whom Shaitan has prostrated by (his) touch does rise. That is because they say, trading is only like usury; and Allah has allowed trading and forbidden usury. To whomsoever then the admonition has come from his Lord, then he desists, he shall have what has already passed, and his affair is in the hands of Allah; and whoever returns (to it)– these arc the inmates of the fire; they shall abide in it.
    [2.276] Allah does not bless usury, and He causes charitable deeds to prosper, and Allah does not love any ungrateful sinner.
    [2.277] Surely they who believe and do good deeds and keep up prayer and pay the poor-rate they shall have their reward from their Lord, and they shall have no fear, nor shall they grieve.
    [2.278] O you who believe! Be careful of (your duty to) Allah and relinquish what remains (due) from usury, if you are believers.
    [2.279] But if you do (it) not, then be apprised of war from Allah and His Apostle; and if you repent, then you shall have your capital; neither shall you make (the debtor) suffer loss, nor shall you be made to suffer loss.

  4. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-pacific-14486404

    helema,

    you’re right, we should abandon all these abrahamic religions. they are barbaric. don’t forget about the jews bringing down the walls of jericho. or bombing gaza.

  5. I agree Helema.
    And its not the religions which are messed up but the people who follow them and interpret them to suit their own means. It is impossible to say that out of around 1.2 – 1.57 billion muslims in the world, all of them are terrorists. People need to start looking at facts.

  6. Oh, what

  7. Congrats, Mr President, the first Closet Muslim in America!

  8. Angel Lasuma, So because he doesn’t call to kill muslims that makes him a closet muslim? I wish that all ppl who want to hate ppl strictly for their religion should just leave this country. It is because of diversity we became so great.

  9. shai,

    “It is because of diversity we became so great.” i take it by “we” you mean america? i hear this a lot but i don’t get it. how do you prove that? true we are a diverse nation now. but when did that start? yes we have always had people from all over the world, but not in great numbers. we started out mostly english with african slaves. the great early immigrant waves where mostly european. is that what you mean by diversity? english, irish, german, italian, slavic? anyways it wasn’t until the 70’s or even 80’s that you see an influx from non-european countries. i think our greatness was established in ww2 and the 50’s. plus don’t you think that our vast natural resources played a big role in our rise to greatness? how about our constitution and our emphasis on personal freedoms?

    if diversity equals greatness then shouldn’t the most diverse nations be the greatest? india has what over 200 offical languages, and how many religions? isn’t indonesia, malaysia extremely diverse? i guess some consider them great? do you? if so who isn’t great? on the flip side of the coin, you have japan. one, if not the most homogeneus societies in the world. they where the number 2 economy in the world for many years, with one of the highest standards of living, with i think still the longest life expectance? i think it’s like 98% of the peoople in japan are of japanesse origin. don’t think they care much for the “gaijin”.

    anyways i don’t hate muslims for being muslims, i just have some issues with your “divine writ”.

  10. miky..lool remember that your 2th great grandfather? or 3rd at most, if not less, i’ll give you the 3rd one, {’cause people before use to marry at younger age} was an immigrant himself..i’ll bet everything i own that a great majority of africans-american came way before youre “i’m gessing” european ancestors..lol and ya you hate muslims, you’re not fooling anyone but yourself when you spew such obvious lie..there is no harm by saying it out loud, your neither taking nor adding anything to our day to day muslims lives, trust me our lives will go on with miky love* or miky hate*…hate is a havy burden and a poison only for the one who carry on..

  11. sahra,

    the story on my father’s side is that my greatgreatgrand father turned 60 and the landlord in germany told him he was too old to work the fields so he would have to feed the pigs. he responded by saying i’m not going to feed no pigs, i’m going to america. probably not a true story but he did come over in 1860 with his second wife and a 5 year old son. as for “i’ll bet everything i own that a great majority of africans-american came way before youre “i’m gessing” european ancestors..” i agree. like i said i think america started out as mostly english and african slaves. don’t know where we disagree there? “lol and ya you hate muslims” not sure where i said i hate muslims? again “spew such obvious lie..” what lie? nor do i concern myself with any percieved effect on your life. again it strikes me as specious reasoning to say we are great because of our diversity? i’ve heard the statement many times (mostly by non-muslims) but have never understood the reasoning behind it? like i said, do not the nations examples that i gave give you pause to state that as fact? as for “hate is a havy burden and a poison only for the one who carry on
    ” i agree. trust me i’m light of foot. the mirror can be most telling from time to time. what was that woman who toured ground zero babbling about…….

  12. Mike

    No no, you are wrong. Only Muslims are barbaric, supposedly. Christians and Jews are only protecting themselves . (smh)

    And I never thought of him as a Muslim but now im suspicious.

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