Obama plays Iftar card to woo Muslims

Washington: In an effort to promote religious freedom, the US President hosted an Iftar dinner on Monday night to mark the Muslim holiday of Ramadan and to reach out to the roughly 1.5 billion Muslims around the world.

According to US President Obama, the holy dinner “is a reminder of the freedoms that bind us together as Americans, including the freedom of religion — that inviolable right to practice our faiths freely.”

Despite India having the world’s second-largest Muslim population in the world, Indian Ambassador to the U.S. Arun Singh was not among the guests, which included his counterparts from Pakistan, Indonesia, Malaysia, Turkey, Bangladesh, the Maldives and other nations.

At the event, Obama lauded Samantha Elauf, a young U.S. Muslim woman who won a landmark ruling from the U.S. Supreme Court after the battled the decision by clothing store Abercrombie and Fitch to deny her employment because she wore a headscarf for religious reasons.

He also condemned numerous incidents of religious violence targeting Muslims, including the murder of three young Muslim Americans in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, earlier this year, regarding which he said, “As Americans, we insist that nobody should be targeted because of who they are, or what they look like, who they love, how they worship.”

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