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Office of the Press Secretary

For Immediate Release December 9, 1999


Warm greetings to Muslims across America and around the world as you celebrate the start of Ramadan, a holy month of prayer, fasting, reflection, and good works.

Islam is one of the world's most prominent religions and a source of profound strength and guidance for millions of Americans. Members of the Muslim American community have made enormous contributions to our national life. I am especially pleased that my alma mater, Georgetown University, has named its first Muslim chaplain, reflecting the increasing recognition in our country of the Islamic faith and our firm commitment to religious tolerance. Sadly, in too many communities around the world, Muslims and other believers are unable to worship according to their religious traditions. We look forward to the day when people of all faiths can freely express their beliefs without fear of persecution or discrimination.

Each year, Ramadan brings a promise of renewal and hope for the world. I pray that, as the new moon rises, we will witness the beginning of a new era of tolerance around the globe. As the followers of Islam celebrate the revelation of God's word to Muhammad, we join you in honoring his call for harmony and peace.


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