Bush set to host iftar party at White House

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By Barbara Ferguson, Arab News Correspondent

Published — Monday 19 November 2001

Last Update 19 November 2001 3:00 am

WASHINGTON, 19 November — President Bush will host an iftar dinner and "offer remarks" at the White House today at 6:00 p.m. Ambassadors and representatives from the Muslim world will break their fast, pray and join the president for dinner in the White House State dining room.

Another iftar party is scheduled for the American Muslim community at a later date. This marks the first time ever that an iftar dinner will be offered at the White House. President and Mrs. Clinton held Eid dinners, but this is a new step forward.

"There has been a steady evolution of this," Arab American President Jim Zogby told Arab News. "I remember during the first Reagan administration, we wrote the first Ramadan greeting. When the Bush administration came, we had to remind them of that, and they followed suit. When the Clinton crowd came, we told them what was done, but they already had it down. They went one step up and held Eid dinners..

"The G. W. Bush administration came along and have taken another step. What’s interesting here is that when it first happened, in the Reagan administration, I said that if we get this done, there will be no going back. Not only is there is no going back, but there appears to be progression, and the dinners are becoming a tradition. There is a very steady recognition that we are a Judeo-Christian-Muslim country, and I think that’s great," said Zogby.

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