The #WhiteHouseIftar controversy

Ramadan Kareem everyone –

This blog is still under hiatus until the next election cycle, but I did want to draw people’s attention to a post I wrote at City of Brass about the controversy over the Iftar to be hosted by President Obama tomorrow night. An excerpt:

this year these Iftars have come under fire by certain political activists in the Muslim American community. Their basic argument is that Muslims who accept the Iftar invitation by the President or the Administration are “house muslims” who are somehow betraying the Muslim community. The intention of these activists is to shame and embarrass any Muslim who embraces Barack Obama.

The litany of major complaints is a familiar one: the drone war (which targets Muslims abroad), domestic spying on Muslims (which Obama had nothing to do with), and force-feeding of Muslim prisoners at Guantanamo Bay (which Obama did try to close but was stymied by Congress). They consider any outreach by Obama to the Muslim American community as hypocritical and self-serving appeasement, and blame Muslims who accept that outreach for essentially validating those policies and even perpetuating and being complicit in them. There is even a hashtag – #WhiteHouseIftar – where these activists are making their case.

Read more: http://blog.beliefnet.com/cityofbrass/2013/07/honored-to-be-invited-to-the-state-department-iftar-and-grateful-for-the-whitehouseiftar.html

As you might imagine, I take issue with this and lay out reasons of my own that the Muslim American community should welcome this outreach by the Administration and be grateful for the opportunity to meet with the President. I also point out how such access and Iftars in the past – under Presidents Bush and Obama alike – have benefited the community as a whole. Check out the full post at City of Brass!

(and see you in 2014…)


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