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Office of the Press Secretary

For Immediate Release December 22, 2000


On behalf of the American people, it is my honor to congratulate Muslims around the world on the occasion of the Eid Al-Fitr.

Whether native-born or immigrants from Africa, the Middle East, Asia, or Europe, Muslims now represent an increasingly important element in the tapestry of American society. Because of the growth of Islam in our country, American citizens of all faiths are coming to appreciate the significance of Ramadan as Muslims fast, pray, and rededicate themselves to the teachings of the Qur'an.

United in faith, America's Muslims are also united in their commitment to building a society rich in diversity and grounded in mutual respect. I believe America is made stronger by the core values of Islam -- commitment to family, compassion for the disadvantaged, and respect for difference.

There is special significance this year as the three Abrahamic faiths all celebrate holidays in the span of the same week. As Jews celebrate Hanukkah, Christians celebrate Christmas, and now Muslims celebrate Eid Al-Fitr. The Qur'an, the Bible, and the Torah all call on believers to love one's neighbors and to welcome strangers. The Qur'an tells us that we are all People of the Book and that we share a common humanity and dignity.

As the appearance of the new moon brings to a close this holy month, we all pray that it will usher in a year of reconciliation and peace. The First Lady and I wish all Muslims a blessed celebration of the Eid Al-Fitr and peace, health, and prosperity in the years ahead.

Eid mubarak.


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