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                     Office of the Press Secretary
                     (Shepherdstown, West Virginia)
For Immediate Release                                    January 6, 2000

January 6, 2000

Warm greetings to Muslims across the United States and around the world as the holy month of Ramadan comes to a close and you celebrate the festival of Id al-Fitr.

The month of fasting that Muslims everywhere are completing is not only a sacred duty; it is also a powerful teaching, a gift from Islam to the world. It reminds not just Muslims but all people of our obligation to aid those who face poverty and suffering. It reminds us that we must work together to build a better, more humane world.

We hope and pray for a world where all faiths are respected; where people of different beliefs and ethnic backgrounds can live together in harmony, finding strength and joy in our differences and in our common humanity. And we pray that the new moon will bring a new era of peace between nations -- in the Middle East and all across the world -- so people can emerge from the shadows of violence and make better lives for their children.


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