WASHINGTON, Aug. 10 (UPI) — President Barack Obama remembered the American Muslims killed on Sept. 11, 2001, as he hosted the annual Iftar dinner Wednesday at the White House.
The dinner, a meal held to break the daily fast during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, has been a tradition at the White House since the Clinton administration. This year’s was held a month before the 10th anniversary of the 2001 terrorist attacks and in a climate of growing hostility to Islam in some parts of the United States.
“Muslim Americans were innocent passengers on those planes, including a young married couple looking forward to the birth of their first child,” the president said. “They were workers in the Twin Towers — Americans by birth and Americans by choice, immigrants who crossed the oceans to give their children a better life. They were cooks and waiters, but also analysts and executives.”
The guest list for the White House dinner included the two Muslim members of Congress, U.S. Rep. Andre Carson, D-Ind., and Rep. Keith Ellison, D-Minn. The diplomatic corps was heavily represented, including the ambassadors from many Muslim countries, including Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Algeria, Azerbaijan and Bahrain.