Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has reportedly put a squash on the State Department’s annual Ramadan reception, an event commemorating the Muslim holy month.
The event has been held for nearly 20 consecutive years, throughout three different administrations.
President Trump’s administration however, has decided it shall continue no more.
In an apparent break with a nearly two-decades long bipartisan tradition, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has declined to host an event commemorating the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, according to two administration officials familiar with the decision.
The officials said Tillerson rejected a request by the State Department’s Office of Religion and Global Affairs to host a reception marking the Eid al-Fitr, the end of the holy month of Ramadan, which begins Saturday in many countries.
Reuters first reported that Tillerson declined to host an event for Ramadan.
A State Department spokesperson announced that they were “still exploring possible options for observance of Eid al-Fitr” and encouraged US ambassadors “to celebrate Ramadan through a variety of activities, which are held annually at missions around the world.”
A memo seen by Reuters reporters suggests that Tillerson’s staff recommended he follow the tradition of his bipartisan predecessors, but he declined anyway.
Former President Obama used his last celebration of Ramadan as president to take a swipe at Trump.
“I stand firmly with Muslim American communities in rejection of the voices that seek to divide us or limit our religious freedoms or civil rights,” he said.
While Obama was willing to reprimand supposedly anti-Islam ‘voices,’ he rarely – if ever – took the time to reprimand actual terrorists who killed in the name of Islam.
Trump himself broke that tradition as well. In his own statement about Ramadan, Trump stood up and blasted the recent Manchester bombing as “directly contrary to the spirit of Ramadan.”
“The holiday begins as the world mourns the innocent victims of barbaric terrorist attacks in the United Kingdom and Egypt, acts of depravity that are directly contrary to the spirit of Ramadan,” the President said. “Such acts only steel our resolve to defeat the terrorists and their perverted ideology.”
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