By Munir K. Nasser
Chief Correspondent, Washington, DC
President Bill Clinton sent a message of friendship and respect to Muslims around the world as they begin the sacred month of Ramadan.
In a videotaped message from the White House, Clinton said he had hoped that when this month's crescent moon first appeared and the month of Ramadan was announced, fasting would begin in a time of peace. “Yet, tragically, violence continues, and lives are being lost in the land that is holy to Islam, Judaism and Christianity,” he said.
He added that for all Americans, these deaths are a source of great sorrow. “The Muslim chaplain at Georgetown University, where I attended college, has told me of a verse in the Koran in which Allah tells us that He created nations and tribes so we may know one another, not so we might despise one another,” he said.
“As America's six-million-member Muslim community grows in numbers and prominence, Americans of every religious tradition are learning more about the origins and meaning of Islam,” he said. “That is why we welcome Islam in America. It enriches our country with Islam's teachings of self-discipline, compassion and commitment to family. It deepens America's respect for Muslims here at home and around the world, from Indonesia to Pakistan, the Middle East and Africa.”
Clinton said as the fasting of Ramadan begins, “I pray people of all faiths may come to appreciate the precious wisdom of the Koran. And when next month's moon appears, and the Muslim world celebrates Eid al-Fitr, we may also celebrate the revival of our hopes for peace throughout the world. Ramadan Kareem.”
© 2000 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)