Trump administration has been on the criticism end for their discriminatory attitude towards minorities and immigrants. However, they did try to get back in the stream this year – inviting more controversy.
Every year since Clinton administration, The White House holds an Iftaar dinner every Ramadan to make the Muslim community feel included and promote goodwill. Trump passed on the tradition in 2017, causing a global outcry. This year, however, he held the ritual but not in the very ideal way.
No Muslim-American leaders and activists attended the dinner. Following the condemnation, White House press secretary Sarah Sanders also declined to share the guests list hence it is unknown if anyone was invited in the first place.
The dinner was instead attended by a number of Middle-Eastern diplomats and senior officials. As reported by Guardian, even the representatives of prominent Islam advocacy organizations including MPAC (Muslim Public Affairs Council) were rather ‘shocked’ on not being invited.
MPAC’s director of policy and advocacy Hoda Hawa showed her concerns about the lack of consideration.
“There has been no real engagement, no real effort to even invite members of our faith communities, to have conversations with the White House or administration’’ – Hoda said.
The effort might have good intentions, but the way it was carried out acted as a rather repetitive pattern we have witnessed in Trump’s presidency: minimal attention paid to the minorities, denial of their sentiments and monotonous behaviour of bigotry.
Just like the global community has always discouraged his repeated, factually incorrect and unfairly exaggerated comments about Islam and Muslims, people were quite offended by this act as well.