Iftar Endrun

August 14, 2010

The Hill blog noted today that President Obama will delay his next vacation – a weekend jaunt to the Florida Panhandle beaches – to host an Iftar dinner tonite.  (An Iftar is the evening social meal during Ramadan.)  This shows just how out of touch the man is from the bulk of the US population.

Ramadan is the holy month of remembrance of the Quran being given to Mohamed.  It’s highlighted with the Haj, the pilgrimage to Mecca, and the stoning of the devil ceremony.  Many in attendance become riled up against infidels, and it is a time for increased levels of violence.

I find the Iftar feast an interesting practice.  Ramadan is a lunar month of fasting.  However, the legalists in Islam have declared that while the faithful must fast all day, they are allowed to eat anything they want at night. “At the end of each day there is a feast where friends and family gather to celebrate the day.” (ref)

The practice has evolved into a month of gluttony and lethargy.  Not only are the meals often festive occasions with rich food and sweets, they often last well into the night – midnight or later – making getting up the next morning a chore.  And once the people are up, if they rise after sunup, they can’t have their morning cup of coffee.  Workers are sluggish and irritable.

In that Mr Obama was raised in a Muslim country, he likely sees Iftar as a festive meal, divorced from religious overtones (I doubt he’s fasting during the day).  Unfortunately, it seems to be clouding his judgment and sense of history from a Western point of view.  Then Pres Obama took it a step further outside mainstream by declaring

“Ramadan is a celebration of a faith … a reminder that Islam has always been part of America and that American Muslims have made extraordinary contributions to our country.”

Somebody get that man a teleprompter.  When he goes off on his own, he mangles facts worse than Mr Bush or Ms Palin.  Ramadan may be a celebration of faith, but it is one practiced by only 2% of Americans.  And while there may have been isolated cases of Muslims immigrating to America in the past (or brought here as slaves), there has not been any measurable presence until very recently.  It has NOT “always been part of America” nor have Muslims made “extraordinary contributions” to the country at large.

Perhaps he’s talking about another nation when he says “our country.”?  Or is he simply trying to justify his unpopular support for the Ground Zero Mosque?