WASHINGTON, DC – The Indian American Muslim Council (IAMC), an advocacy group dedicated to safeguarding India’s pluralist and tolerant ethos, on Monday joined the celebrations of Eid-ul-Fitr at the White House at the invitation of US President Joe Biden and First Lady Dr. Jill Biden.
Eid-ul-Fitr marks the end of the holy month of Ramadan, during which Muslims around the world fast from dawn to dusk and focus on spirituality as well as charity.
IAMC Executive Director, Rasheed Ahmed, was among the invitees that included Congressman Andre Carson and Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib and others from the Legislative and Executive branches, as well as leaders of the American Muslim community.
“We are grateful to the US President for recognising and celebrating Islam and Muslims as an integral part of the American life,” Mr Ahmed said at the event at the majestic East Room. “On behalf of IAMC, the largest civil rights organisation of Indian Muslims in America, it is my honour to represent the community at the White House on this holiest of days.”
Speaking to American Muslims invited from across the country at the Eid celebration, President Biden said: “Today, around the world, we’ve seen so many Muslims that have been targeted by violence. No one, no one should discriminate against or be oppressed, or be repressed, for their religious beliefs. We have to acknowledge that an awful lot of work remains to be done, abroad and here at home. Muslims make our nation stronger every single day, even as they still face real challenges and threats in our society, including targeted violence and Islamophobia.”
At the event, IAMC’s Rasheed Ahmed also met and spoke with US Ambassador for International Religious Freedom Rashad Hussain as well as other federal officials from the US Department of State and the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF). Mr Ahmed updated them on the escalation of Hindu extremist violence against Muslims in India during the holy month of Ramadan that concluded with Eid.
“We discussed the widespread violence against India’s Muslims in Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat, Rajasthan and Delhi, among others, including the illegal and hateful demolition of Muslim homes, businesses and mosques in recent days,” Mr Ahmed said.