The State Dining Room
The Whiet House
November 19, 2001
5:50 P.M. EST
Good evening, and welcome to the White House. I'm so honored to welcome such
distinguished guests and ambassadors during the holy month of Ramadan.
America is made better by millions of Muslim citizens. America has close and
important relations with many Islamic nations. So it is fitting for America
to honor your friendship and the traditions of a great faith by hosting this
Iftaar at the White House.
I want to thank our Secretary of State for being here, as well as members of
my administration. I want to thank the ambassadors for taking time in this holy
month to come to join us in this feast.
Ramadan is a time of fasting and prayer for the Muslim faithful. So tonight
we are reminded of God's greatness and His commandments to live in peace and
to help neighbors in need. According to Muslim teachings, God first revealed
His word in the holy Qur'an to the prophet, Muhammad, during the month of Ramadan.
That word has guided billions of believers across the centuries, and those believers
built a culture of learning and literature and science.
All the world continues to benefit from this faith and its achievements. Ramadan
and the upcoming holiday season are a good time for people of different faiths
to learn more about each other. And the more we learn, the more we find that
many commitments are broadly shared. We share a commitment to family, to protect
and love our children. We share a belief in God's justice, and man's moral responsibility.
And we share the same hope for a future of peace. We have much in common and
much to learn from one another.
This evening, we gather in a spirit of peace and cooperation. I appreciate your
support of our objectives in the campaign against terrorism. Tonight that campaign
continues in Afghanistan, so that the people of Afghanistan will soon know peace.
The terrorists have no home in any faith. Evil has no holy days.
This evening we also gather in the spirit of generosity and charity. As this
feast breaks the Ramadan fast, America is also sharing our table with the people
of Afghanistan. We are proud to play a leading role in humanitarian relief efforts,
with air drops and truck convoys of food and medicine. America's children are
donating their dollars to the Afghan children. And my administration is committed
to help reconstruct that country, and to support a stable government that represents
all of the people of Afghanistan.
We are working for more opportunity and a better life for the people of Afghanistan,
and all the people of the Islamic world. America respects people of all faiths,
and America seeks peace with people of all faiths.
I thank you for your friendship, and I wish you a blessed Ramadan.